On the weekend my family and I were lucky enough to preview a brand new series called The Deep. Coming from November 30 on 7TWO weekdays at 7.30am. The series will also broadcast on ABC3 later in 2016 and is set to roll out globally, so if you are reading this in a country other than Australia, keep your eye on your TV guide. We have already set the set top box to record the whole series.
The show focuses on the Nekton family, who are explorers and daring aquanauts, but also, in many ways a typical family. Which makes them relatable. They work together and the siblings fight, but they come together in the end and clearly care for each other.
A truly all-ages show, this unique and stunning underwater animated series drew in our 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter equally with its beautiful animation, daring and exciting adventures and its scares and thrills (that were not too scary for the little ones).
I was impressed off the bat when the Nekton father mentioned a Lazerus species being a species that was thought to be extinct until a living example was found. This tiny fact, which I was already aware was true, led me to snoop out many of the claimed facts on Google as the show progressed and was very impressed that when something was stated as a fact it was always true. The mix of fantasy and fact is even clearly delineated with the parents making comments like 'we are in uncharted waters here', making it clear when the fact and glorious fiction separated.
The first episode, "The sea is deep and full of secrets" introduces the family and their quest to explore the underwater world. A brilliant team with advanced technology and an unquenchable thirst for discovery, the Nektons boldly explore this spectacular final frontier from their immense state-of-the-art submarine, the Aronnax, which is also their home.
His older sister, the artistic, Fontaine, shares his sense of wonder, and lends rationality when Ant touts his latest wild theory.
Their differences sometimes hinder and sometimes complement each other, but either way, life on the Aronnax is never dull. Their parents, gentle giant, former Olympic swimmer and oceanographer, Will, and marine biologist and skilled pilot, Kaiko, are passionate deep sea explorers and encourage their children's enthusiasm and fascination for the mysteries lurking beneath the waves, while showing parental concern for their safety. This concern is a refreshing change from some shows where, as a parent, I shake my head and wonder how they could be so reckless. That being said, it is a fantasy and if they didn't take unrealistic risks there would be no show.
This first episode sees the Nektons discover a brand new blue hole after a diver has a close encounter with what could only be a mermaid. Ant is instantly a believer but will he turn out to be correct, or is there something else entirely unexpected going on? The first episode also hints at a much larger mystery which will unfold over the series. To find out you'll just have to watch.
The series comes with an impressive lineage for those who are interested. Co-Produced by Australia's A Stark Production and Canada's DHX Media, The Deep is based on the multi-award-winning graphic novel series written by Tom Taylor, illustrated by James Brouwer and published by Gestalt Publishing.
Melbourne-based writer, Tom Taylor, is the co-creator and lead writer of the series. He is a #1 New York Times best-selling comic book author, screenwriter and playwright, well known for his many Star Wars works and the worldwide #1 bestselling comic series, Injustice: Gods Among Us. Taylor has spent the last year writing a critically acclaimed run of Marvel's flagship superhero, Iron Man, and has been announced as the next writer of Batman/Superman for DC Comics, and Wolverine for Marvel. It is this background that gives him real chops in the adventure of the series, but The Deep also holds a family feel and a story driven by the family dynamic, which makes it much richer and is reminiscent of recent animation coming out of Japan.
Avrill Stark, CEO of A Stark Production and Australian producer of the show said, "The Deep is a spectacularly entertaining series. The characters draw us into their irresistible world of wonder, mystery and adventure".
Niki Hamilton at the Seven Network is also an executive producer on the program. Ms Hamilton said, "The Deep's stories are multi-layered with themes and humour that will engage children and adults alike. This is truly family viewing and we are thrilled this classy animation will premiere on the Seven Network. Our involvement underlines the network's ongoing commitment to the commissioning of great content".
The official media release promises further adventure in the future, saying "On their travels the Nektons discover mythical wonders, perform rescues on (and in) the high seas, cross paths with villainous pirates, encounter mysterious figures, and come across sea creatures and monsters never before seen by mankind."
My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. The mix of family and adventure, fact and fiction and a great story animated in a beautiful style all made for a winning combination, and we will certainly be watching to see how the story unfolds.