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Whale tale: what it’s like to go behind the scenes on David Attenborough’s Our Planet

The Netflix series was a runaway hit when it was released this spring—and understanding the lengths to which the teams go in order to secure their footage makes watching it even more profound

By Ralph Jones  

Our Planet was a runaway hit. But what is it like to work on the series? Photo: PA/Prospect composite

I’m on a boat in the middle of Alaska, holding a hydrophone under the icy water, trying to hear humpback whales talking to each other so that a £500,000 camera can film them. It’s not what I would describe as a normal day.

What I’m doing, as per the instructions of onboard marine biology professor Jan Straley, is rotating the hydrophone while the boat is stationary. We’re trying to…

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