The best TV shark moments ever | Virgin Media
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The best TV shark moments ever

02/08/2016TV

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Not scared of sharks? Well, you damn well should be – sharks are unstoppable aquatic killing machines and will bite you in half as soon as look at you. Fortunately, they also make exceptional watery adversaries when it comes to popular entertainment.

We’re celebrating the return of our favourite bonkers shark-based action movie franchise as Sharknado: The 4th Awakens airs on Syfy at 9pm on Tuesday 2nd August (Don’t miss it – record it here on TV Anywhere). While we wait, let’s look at eight of the other greatest shark scenes on TV.”

Shark kills Jill (Baywatch)

In the season 1 episode “Shark Derby”, experienced Baywatch lifeguard Jill Riley (Shawn Weatherly) is killed by a shark after she saves a little boy. As shark attack scenes go, it's fairly shoddy, but it just goes to show you what can be accomplished with lots of high-pitched screaming and splashing. Weirdly, the show bottled out of actually having the shark eat the character (too traumatic for tea-time?) and cut to a scene with Jill in hospital, where she later died anyway.

Dharma Initiative branded sharks (Lost)

How do you make a shark even scarier? Give it a spot of corporate branding and hint that it's part of a giant never-to-be-explained mystery, that's how. At least, that's what they did on season two of Lost, when Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Michael (Harold Perrineau) were attacked by sharks as they tried to escape the island on their raft. Did we ever find out WHY the Dharma Initiative were branding sharks? No, of course we didn't.

King Shark (The Flash)

One of the joys of superhero show The Flash is the way in which it takes full advantage of advanced CGI technology in order to bring the comic's more colourful supervillains to life. One such member of the Flash's so-called Rogues Gallery is the half-man, half-shark man-monster known as King Shark, who made a memorable appearance in season two. Memorable because… well, just look at him.

Great White attacks shark cage (Shark Week)

Terrifying real-life shark moments are the Discovery Channel's bread and butter – indeed, it often feels like every other week is Shark Week. Still, you can hardly blame them when the sharks themselves seem to go out of their way to recreate all the scariest moments from Jaws. For example, here's a Great White knocking seven bells out of a shark cage, which is just like that bit where Jaws attacks Richard Dreyfuss, only real.

The Fonz jumps the shark (Happy Days)

The Fonz (Henry Winkler) doing a water-ski jump over a shark (while dressed in his trademark leather jacket) in a 1977 episode of Happy Days has become a landmark scene in TV history, but not in a good way. Lacking in both comedy and drama, the sequence marked an all-time low point for the series and ended up originating an entire phrase: if an established, once enjoyable show is said to have “jumped the shark”, it has become irretrievably awful, often changing beyond recognition from the show it used to be. 

Shark in the bedroom (Doctor Who)

“There's a shark in my bedroom?” The Dickens-inspired 2010 Christmas special episode (A Christmas Carol) of Doctor Who featured a memorable sequence where a Fog Shark (don't ask) traps the Doctor (Matt Smith) and young Kazran (Laurence Belcher) in a wardrobe after swimming through an open window into the boy's bedroom. The idea of a shark swimming in the air is properly scary… at least until the Doctor harnesses it for the shark equivalent of a sleigh-ride.

Chandler’s shark fantasies (Friends)

Could you BE any more embarrassed? Season 9 episode “The One With The Sharks” gave the show one of its funniest moments, when Monica catches Chandler “giving himself a treat” in his hotel room and assumes that he gets aroused by shark documentaries, not realising that he managed to switch channels just in time. The pay-off is even better, when Monica offers to join in with a bemused Chandler's supposed shark fantasies: “Do you want me to get in the tub and start thrashing?”

Street Sharks (Street Sharks)

A blatant attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles cartoon, Street Sharks was an animated series about crime-fighting half-man/half-sharks that ran for a whopping 40 episodes between 1994 and 1997. The premise involved four teenagers getting transformed into sharks by a machine called a “gene-slammer”, after which they gave themselves crazy shark names (Ripster, Jab, Streex and Big Slammu – there's a trivia question for you) and dedicated themselves to taking down evil-doers like Sharkbot and Slobster. They also had a catchy theme tune – careful, or you'll be singing this to yourself all day.

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