TV Highlights

What was on Thursday 16th October

Conquerors

Eden - 9pm

Who's in it?

What's the deadliest predator in the high seas? Sharks? Whales? Giant evil serpents from the deep? Actually no: it's the cute little lionfish, as this eye-opening film revealed.

In a nutshell

Lionfish. They sound fearsome, but they're really very pretty, delicate looking things with colourful wibbly-wobbly bits. But don’t be fooled: they actually eat everything in their path, including the larvae of other animals and rival predators too. Where lionfish thrive, the rest of the area dies – that's how the portentous voice over put it, and the contrast was comical: a nightmarish narration accompanying footage of cute little lionfish bobbing innocently about.

This film looked into the frightening invasion of the East Coast of the United States by lionfish, who ordinarily live in the Far East. As one expert put it, it's like seeing kangaroos leaping across North America. How did they get there? Well, it's all down to their cuteness: bought by rich people as pets in the 1980s, a handful were released into the ocean by their owners and they started multiplying like gremlins. Oh, AND those wibbly-wobbly bits? They're poisonous and can make divers die. Just saying.

What's the verdict?

A reminder that sometimes it's the cutesy creatures that can cause the most damage to an ecosystem, this was a far-reaching, even cinematic look at a very peculiar sort of crisis. Conquerors indeed.

Star rating: 3/5

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07-07-2011