The National Geographic Channel is the place to go if you can not afford your own safari, shark hunt or adventure into nature. The photography, narration, drama and down to earth nitty-gritty is shown in full array and amazement. The up close and personal stories of every animal imaginable, has now traveled into the lives of interesting people as well. The National Geographic Channel features series such as the Ultimate Survival Alaska, Kentucky Justice and the newest series about a rugged survivalist, The Legend of Mick Dodge.
The National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 with its always informative magazine. Known for its in depth stories around the world, their television specials have been a favorite for decades. Documentaries soon turned into programs and series with the founding of the television channel in 2001. It was the joint venture of National Geographic Television and Film and Fox Cable Network.
The programs generally feature experts in the field of biology and animal science, specializing in conservation and research. They are expertly produced and filmed, showing magnificent details, while providing education and entertainment. In rare cases, well known celebrities may get the chance, by special privilege, to participate as well. In 2009, the late actor Paul Walker, was part of a team that filmed the documentary Expedition Great White. The National Geographic Channel went on do further research and filming, expanding the documentary into a series entitled Shark Men: Feeding Frenzy.
Before becoming a well known actor, Walker had studied marine biology at several California community colleges. The nature lover was a avid surfer and spent many hours admiring and studying the creatures of the sea. Walker was also on the Board of Directors of the Bluefish Society. National Geographic Channel provided a dream come true for Walker when he was invited to participate with the expedition in 2009.
The expedition, which took place 160 miles off the coast of Baja, Mexico was an 11 day journey led by producer Chris Fischer, Captain Brett McBride and Dr. Michael Domeier, of the Marine Conservation Science Institute. Walker was in good company and part of an elite group of scientists, marine biologists and fishermen. The crew was pleasantly surprised by his ability, strength, endurance and knowledge. Walker was accepted quite easily and his status as an actor was set aside as he became part of the dedicated crew.
Walker’s dream came true with the filming of the National Geographic Channel’s series, Shark Men: Feeding Frenzy. He actively did all the work required of him and was grateful for the experience. He even stated at the time if things were different, he would be on the ship full time. Walker can be seen in the first season of the series which aired in the summer of 2010. He appeared in episode 4: Giant on Deck, episode 8: Life and Limb and in episode 11: Blood in the Water. Paul Walker, the star of the Fast and Furious Franchise, was killed tragically in a fiery crash November 30, 2013.
Shark Men: Feeding Frenzy focused on catching and tagging great white sharks with tracking devices. The scientists also took measurements, as well as blood and DNA samples of the sharks. Plenty of photos and dramatic filming was captured in this amazing adventure, as is the case with all of the National Geographic Channel’s programs and ongoing series. It is never a dull moment when it comes to the real life of creatures both large and small.
The way the world works is captured in fine form, good taste and provides many hours of education for all ages. The National Geographic Channel helps bring dreams to reality. The Channel has provided a way to see on TV, the mysteries of life most never see in person. Walker’s dream also came true for a time, with his experience on the high seas.
By Roanne H. FitzGibbon