The BBC is looking to head off controversy about the forthcoming natural history showcase Blue Planet II by openly admitting before transmission that a few sequences were filmed in glorified fish tanks.
But only the hard bits, they say. Sequences involving illustrating the bleaching of coral, for example, which happens slowly and at extremely small scales out in the ocean, simply can't be filmed out in the ocean. So it was off to the lab for these parts, where filming business can be carried out at a vastly superior level thanks to stable lighting.
The show's executive producer James Honeyborne explained: "We make films that are totally true to nature and we’re honest and open about the techniques we use to do that. If you’re filming something that’s microscopic, you have to put added light on it – that’s just the simple laws of physics."
The first episode of Blue Planet II arrives this Sunday. [Guardian]