Home » Companion book explores landmark natural history programme wonders of the Celtic deep as it receives prime-time BBC transmission

Companion book explores landmark natural history programme wonders of the Celtic deep as it receives prime-time BBC transmission

Wonders of the Celtic Deep

A UNIQUE environment created by the confluence of three oceanic and climatic zones, the waters of the Celtic Sea and the adjacent Welsh coast teem with life and diversity, documented here as never before.

This book accompanies the landmark TV series Wonders of the Celtic Deep, set to air in a prime-time 8pm slot on BBC2, beginning 13th February and running for four consecutive Sundays. 

Filmed in stunning UHD, this compelling natural history programme is narrated by BAFTA-winning actress Dame Siân Philips and features music by renowned composer Paul Mealor, performed by the BBC National Orchestra and the Chorus of Wales.

The companion book is introduced by Dale Templar, executive producer on the series and managing director of its production company, One Tribe TV. Wonders of the Celtic Deep is her latest credit, having previously spent a decade at the BBC Natural History Unit, including working on the multi-BAFTA-award-winning Human Planet.

In her contribution, Dale details how she was inspired to make the programme a reality and gives an insight on how the team persevered through the restrictions and added pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic to capture so many rarely seen animal behaviours and challenging environments. 

These include the unique high-frequency dialect used by Cardigan Bay’s bottlenose dolphins and the congregation of vast basking sharks, giving an amazing new picture of the world around our shores.

The book’s four chapters follow the four one-hour episodes and were written by series producer and director Sally Weale and series director Anne Gallagher. 

In Coasts, the journey begins on the rugged edge of Wales, exposed to fierce weather and rich with Celtic myth and legend. Here the rocky sanctuaries of the Atlantic grey seal and the seabird city of South Stack on Anglesey are explored. 

In Shallows, just beneath the surface lie environments as complex and diverse as any found on land, with species taking residence in the canopies of kelp forests and amongst submarine reefs and cliffs and underwater desserts. 

The Deep, difficult to reach and least well known, follows, posing some of the most difficult challenges to filming but yielding some of its greatest rewards. 

Finally, Heroes completes the book, where we learn of the stories of a number of determined individuals working to turn the tide on the harm that climate change and pollution threaten on these natural wonders and building on the environmental issues raised by the series.

Rigorously researched, setting out key information on each of the species encountered, the book contains a wealth of detail, illustrated with more than 300 images, fact files and diagrams, including many stills extracted from the original UHD series footage.

The behind the scenes stories of the ultimate successes of the team’s work follow at the end of each chapter, giving an exclusive insight into the efforts and dedication required for a programme of this calibre which does justice to its subject.

Dale Templar says: ‘I am thrilled with the Wonders of the Celtic Deep book, it is a perfect accompaniment to the TV series. It absolutely encapsulates the heart and soul of show, with its glorious photography and fascinating content. Perfect for anyone who wants to know more about the making of the series and the marine life in the seas around Wales.’