Penguins: Spy In The Huddle Airs In New Zealand

The touching wildlife documentary series Penguins: Spy In The Huddle  is coming to New Zealand TV screens next week. The three part documentary from John Downer Productions, the makers of Earthflight and Polar Bear: Spy On The Ice, narrated by David Tennant, will screen on TV One from Tuesday 18th June at 8.30pm

The series uses innovative hidden camera techniques to get straight to the heart of flocks of three different species of penguins - Humboldt, Rockhopper and Emperor penguins - to uncover their most intimate secrets through unique footage. There's tragedy, tenderness, devotion and heartwarming moments as the birds struggle to survive in some of the world's bleakest environments.

The New Zealand Herald have made the show their Pick Of The Week and say:


This new documentary is just like Happy Feet, only real life and minus the musical bits. Although, the soundtrack to this three-part series - from the makers of Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice and Tiger: Spy in the Jungle - sure gets things rockin' along, especially when the poor old rockhopper penguins are taking their lives in their own flippers to get ashore along the treacherous and rocky coastline of the Falkland Islands.

"But," says narrator David Tennant, "they're tough, irrepressible characters and never give up."

Similar to the past Spy series, the spy cams are in full effect. This time round, however, PenguinCam takes things to a whole new and more intimate level. So, as the rockhoppers are coming ashore there is a PenguinCam in the water as they crash and bash into the rocks, and then another located on the shore to record the relief on their cute, battle-hardened faces as they make it to dry land.

Meanwhile, down at the emperor penguins' camp in Antarctica, you get a penguin chick's eye-view of what it's like nestling underneath "nature's most devoted parent".

Then there are the humboldt penguins - one of the lesser known of the 17 species of penguin - that have to waddle their way through a minefield of grumpy and snappy sea lions as they nest in the Atacama Desert on the coast of Peru.

It's educational, entertaining and, quite often, funny stuff. And as Tennant says: "Behind their feisty charm lies an amazing character."

The action is caught on 50 customised cameras that are made into versions of the penguins, their chicks and even eggs. So realistic are the cameras that one of the emperor penguins apparently fell in love with a PenguinCam during filming.

Over the course of the series, it looks at the extreme survival tactics that the birds endure over the course of the year they are followed.

Watch Penguins: Spy In The Huddle in New Zealand from Tuesday 18th June, TV One, 8.30pm