Will Smith (“Fresh Prince”, “Seven Pounds”), and director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”, “The Wrestler”) are back for episode three of their series, Welcome To Earth.
This time round it is the power of smell that is under the microscope, or nose, and at the start we see Will, on the back of a boat, dragging a small cage of dead fish in the water.
He’s in Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef, and they are all waiting for some Tiger Sharks to come and take the food, so they can tag one of them to see where they are all going.
Usually Tiger Sharks are lonely creatures however, once a year they all begin to congregate in this area and are all headed somewhere, for some reason.
That somewhere is Raine Island, as one of the wildlife photographers says, it’s a “spec of sand in the middle of the ocean”.
The Tiger Sharks aren’t the only ones headed for this island though, there are also turtles, thousands upon thousands of them, all headed the same way.
Now, a Tiger Shark is one of the few predators to be able to eat a turtle, but here they are ignoring them, swimming above them like they don’t exist. But they’re all headed to Raine Island.
The reasons are very different though. The turtles, drawn to the area first by the smell of coral and then by the copious amounts of bird poo on this island, are headed here because it’s where they were born and it’s were they will lay their eggs.
However, it’s 100 degrees on the beach and, sadly, not every mother turtle will make it back to the water. For those that don’t, they began to rot on the beach in the sun, and it’s that smell that is bringing the sharks.
Where one animal smells home, wanting to come back to the place it all started for them and give their children the same thing, another animal smells death and yet another smells dinner.
Exquisitely shot and soundscaped once again, Welcome To Earth is great, but this particular episodes feels the weakest of the three thus far. Hopefully just a minor dip though.
8th December 2021
THE QUICK SELL
On the trail of tiger sharks in the Pacific, Will Smith explores the power of smell. For humans, the sense of smell triggers deep memories and emotions, but it has an even more vital function in the animal world.
TV / STREAMING PLATFORM