2018’s Monster Week on Animal Planet has been a complete joke… with almost no new shows produced for the themed week. Which is honestly similar to 2017’s which also was trash compared to the new, if fake, shows on air during the 2016 monster week.
One of the rehashes during this year’s Monster Week River Monsters: Monster in the Abyss…
Jeremy ventures into the depths of the ocean floor to uncover a monster mystery dating back to the 1940s
Jeremy’s journey to the ocean floor continues as he seems to unravel the truth behind this decades old mystery
During the two hour special, which is not part of the regular River Monster series (so it won’t automatically record), Jeremy Wade investigates the sinking of RMS Laconia (read about the Royal Mail Ship Laconia here).
RMS Laconia sank during WWII in the Atlantic after being struck by a torpedo. It’s thought well over 1000 people died during the sinking and the subsequent feeding frenzy.
What animals took part in that feeding frenzy is what Jeremy Wade tries to discover during the episode… which you would not know from the title.
Jeremy initially reviews survivor interviews at the Imperial War Museum and then goes off to interview one of the few living survivors of the sinking. From there he’s off to Ascension island, which is an active military base used by the United Kingdom and the United States as a refueling, possible equipment testing, and signals intelligence station.
The ‘suspects’ Jeremy Wade investigates during the show are…
- The Snoek, which apparently has an anticoagulant that will cause bleeding for a significant amount of time.
- Cookiecutter sharks, although none is actually caught during the filming.
- A beautiful horse-eye jack fish (also known as big-eye).
- Followed by an Amberjack.
- A tiger shark is caught and then gets off the line as it reaches the boat.
- The Oceanic Whitetip shark is then investigated as one of the possible sharks that responded after hearing, sensing, the sinking.
- And lastly, the sixgill shark was investigated as one of the animals that could be responsible for pulling those in the water straight down into the depths.
It’s that last one, the Sixgill, that gives the episode its title ‘Monster in the Abyss‘. That’s despite the fact that the Sixgill feels like an afterthought and only features in the last bit of the two-part special.
Ultimately, while you get to see some beautiful fish like in a normal River Monsters episode, it’s clear that somebody tried to make this special much more sensational than it really is.
The title is ridiculous, the inclusion of the sixgill equally so, and ultimately I can’t help but think that a ship sinking was specifically chosen so that Animal Planet could have something both sensational and be able to include its massive money earner Jeremy Wade in the show in a natural manner.