Ayreon Turning Classic Album Into New Live Stage Production

Courtesy:  InsideOut Music

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Eleven years after it was originally released on CD, prog-rock band Ayreon will bring its concept record The Human Equation to life.

InsideOut Music announced today that Ayreon will present “The Human Equation Theater Experience” this fall. The once-in-a-lifetime theater production will be presented Tuesday, September 8th – Thursday, September 20th at the nieuwe Luxor theater. It is being presented by the production company Shadow Freaks, which is led by Aryeon founder Arjen Athony Lucassen’s former manager Yvette Boertje. The original list of vocalists tapped to perform on The Human Equation will also be part of the album’s live theaterproduction. That list includes: James LaBrie, Devon Graves, Heather Findlay, Eric Clayton, Marcela Bovio, Magnus Ekwall, Irene Jansen, Wudstik, Anneke van Giersbergen and Mike Mills.

Along with the record’s original cast of vocalists, the theater production will also feature Ed Warby, Johan van Stratum, Jeroen Goossens, Ben Mathot and Maaike Peterse, Marcel Coenen, Freek Gielen, Erik van Ittersum and Ruben Wijga. Joost van den Broek will serve as music director and arranger. The production will also feature performances from The Epic Rock Choir, which was assembled especially for the show.

Originally, “The Human Equation Theater Experience” was going to run only three dates. But those dates sold out so fast that a fourth performance on the afternoon of the 19th was added. At the time of this posting, tickets for that fourth showing were still available and could be purchased online at http://www.thetheaterequation.com/. More information on the show, including its full cast and more is available at this same website as well as via Facebook and Twitter at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thetheaterequation

Twitter: http://twitter.com/theaterequation

The story behind The Human Equation follows a comatose man battling his emotions within his own mind as he lays in his hospital bed. He also encounters memories both good and bad along the way that lead to some powerful revelations and hope-filled desires. At the story’s end, the man is left to choose: Does he wake up and live or does he die?

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Heads To The Big Apple This Week For Sunday Night Baseball Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s weekly baseball broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball heads back to the Big Apple this weekend as the Yankees take on the Mets in the third of a three-game series between the teams this weekend.

Dan Shulman will anchor Sunday’s broadcast. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk, and reporter Buster Olney. Audiences that won’t be near a TV during the game can also catch it on their local ESPN Radio station and online via WatchESPN. Jon Sciambi will have the call for ESPN Radio. He will be joined by Chris Singleton. It will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes for all of ESPN’s Spanish-speaking audiences. Sunday night’s televised broadcast will be preceded by its weekly early pre-game show Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7pm ET. Karl Ravech will anchor Sunday night’s broadcast. He will be joined by analyst Aaron Boone and ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian. Nicole Briscoe, the newest addition to ESPN’s MLB broadcast team, will also be on hand with coverage during Baseball Tonight. Audiences can also catch game two of the teams’ series this weekend on ESPN Radio. Jon Sciambi will have the call for that game, too. He will be joined by Chris Singleton for that game, too.

Before Sunday night’s broadcast, fans will also be treated to a pair of games featuring the Washington Nationals. The ‘Nats currently sit third in the NL East, four games back from the Mets, who currently lead the division at 10 – 3. Washington has gone 5 – 5 in its last ten games and has performed slightly better at home than on the road going 4 – 3 at home and 2 – 4 on the road. Speaking of that record, the first of Washington’s games on ESPN this week will see the Nats at home against the NL Central leading Cardinals Wednesday night. The Nats’ second game on ESPN this week will see the team on the road against Atlanta next Monday, April 27th at 7pm ET. Jon Sciambi will have the call for Wednesday night’s game. He will be joined by analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Doug Glanville for the game. Next Monday night’s game will be the network’s game of the week on Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA. It will be called by Dave O’Brien. He will be joined Aaron Boone and Mark Mulder for the broadcast on ESPN. And for those not near a TV, the game will also be available online via WatchESPN. The complete broadcast schedule for this week and next week’s games is noted below complete with broadcast times and platforms.

Date Time (ET) Show / Commentators Network (s)
Wed, Apr 22 7 p.m.    St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals    Jon Sciambi, Rick Sutcliffe, Doug Glanville ESPN, WatchESPN
Sat, Apr 25 3 p.m.     New York Mets at New York Yankees–Jon Sciambi, Chris Singleton ESPN Radio
Sun, Apr 26 7 p.m.    Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown Presented by ChevroletKarl Ravech, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian ESPN, WatchESPN
8 p.m. New York Mets at New York Yankees Presented by Taco Bell–Dan Shulman, Curt Schilling, John Kruk, Buster Olney ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
Mon, Apr 27 7 p.m. Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves–Dave O’Brien, Aaron Boone, Mark Mulder ESPN, WatchESPN

Fans can get all of the latest MLB news and coverage from ESPN online every day at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lawless Hearts A Band With Real Heart–An Interview With Lawless Hearts

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

1) Lawless Hearts notes on its official Facebook page that “With Lawless Hearts, innovation is needed more than imitation. Our dream is to not stay in the past with our music but bring forth together our classic and new age appreciation to make something completely our own.”  Unlike so many other up-and-coming bands out there today, Lawless Hearts actually succeeds in its dream with its new EP Creatures of Habit.  The band clearly exhibits its classic rock influences yet still makes its own sound along the way, thus making its own identity.  What’s more, the incorporation of lyrics that are far deeper and more modern than anything from the 80s or even 90s, adds to that identity.  So considering that, I wanted to ask how hard was it in writing and recording this EP, to balance the band’s influences with its own material without crossing that line of just rehashing old songs?  Were there ever points in that process in which the band had to stop and step back so that the songs didn’t end up sounding like carbon copies of the music that influenced the band? 

“Michael”- To be honest these songs and all of our songs have come so easily some as simple as picking up my guitar and letting my emotions bleed through the notes i play. In past interviews I’ve discussed how the music of the new EP was born quite a crazy story i think you can find it in our “Metal Exiles” interview. Alex does most of the lyric writing and i create the majority of the music. with the “Creatures of habit” EP it was effortless i remember Creatures coming together in like 24 hours and in a very natural way. I came to her with the riff and some how she already had the lyrics for it… Sometimes we will rehash old tunes and make them fit with who we are now but my sister and i write so much that we like to move on with the story and we create new songs on a daily basis. 

The band never had to step back our sound comes from our hearts thats why i think people will relate to it 100%. We are not trying to feed the listeners some BS story that never happened rather drag them in with actual life scenarios we have had happen to us. We have actually tried at one point in time making our sound more relevant to make the industry finally care but that didn’t work either. 


We instead stuck to our guns and remained who we are and kept believing 

This is only the beginning for  “Lawless Hearts”  

2) Staying on the writing avenue, the songs’ lyrical content is really thought provoking.  As I already noted, I noticed that the songs’ lyrical content does a lot to maintain Lawless Hearts’ identity.  Both the EP’s opener/title track and its closer really seem to embrace the EP’s title, albeit in different ways.  The closer seems (at least to me) to be a commentary in regards to humans being creatures of habit by wasting their lives away worrying about things that there is no need to worry about.  On the opposite side, the EP’s opener seems to tackle humans’ less kind habits for lack of better wording.  I’d love for you all to talk about those two songs.  

Alex Marie- First of all I want to say how refreshing it is for someone to ‘get it’ you couldn’t of explained the song’s definition better than myself. But, to dive deeper still ‘Creatures of Habit’ I think encompasses the struggle of everyone’s Yin/Yang we all have our demons, that inner turmoil between what’s right and what’s real, and what being a good person really is. Bad habit’s are hard to break, and Karma (pardon my french) can be a real bitch.

As far as ‘The Fallout’ goes I think it really brings everything full-circle. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, and telling whatever is haunting you, that you aren’t afraid of it, when you get the chance you will have retribution. 

3) ‘If I Have To’ could be argued to take on the underlying theme that runs through both Creatures of Habits’ opener and closer, too.  It seems at least to me as painting a picture of humans’ positive habits in contradiction to those darker habits seemingly presented in the disc’s opener and closer.  Could you enlighten me more on that song?  Am I completely off base with this one or actually at least somewhere in the ballpark? 

Alex Marie- With ‘If I have to’ going back to the Yin/Yang we’re dealing with the other side, the side that has courage and hope. The side that will ‘lay it all on the line’ so to speak. 


4) Looking at Creatures of Habit from a larger view, what was the catalyst in the EP’s creation?  Did one of the band members just come in one day and say, “Hey, I’ve got an idea for this release” or was the process more organic?

Alex Marie- It was pretty organic, some of the songs were written around the same time frame, while others had been written sporadically months prior. We have so many songs written, we just picked the ones that would depict the story and message the best. When I write, it is always from personal experience, because I want the song to be relatable. I want that girl or guy to hear the song and feel hope that they aren’t alone. Because I think the world right now is lacking that ‘spiritual’ connection, and that’s what being human is. 

5) I wanted to switch gears for a moment and ask about Lawless Hearts signing with Pavement Entertainment.  How did the band’s deal with Pavement Entertainment come about?  And I don’t know if you can talk about it.  I understand if not.  But were there any labels on the band’s radar other than Pavement?  Or was Pavement the only one the band wanted?  On the other side of the coin, were there any other labels going after the band as it talked to Pavement?


Alex Marie- Michael can elaborate more on this topic, but we literally tried for two years trying to get any label to notice us; we were green for a while and made some hasty choices that ended up not working out anyway thankfully. But throughout the process we gained all possible knowledge on the different types of labels because we didn’t want to be naive about it. It’s scary signing a contract. When we were just about to give up we were finally contacted by Pavement who actually wanted to listen to us, and give us a fighting chance. It’s good to have a label that truly believes in you and doesn’t just put you on a shelf. “Michael”- yes in a nutshell i reached out to the label and thought wed get the same response but finally we got a company that wanted to help us make it to that next level! 


6)  I want to get back to Creatures of Habit now.  Doing research on the band’s body of work, this EP is really the band’s first official release unless I’m mistaken.  Lawless Hearts isn’t the first band to release an EP for its first release, as many acts do so each year to test the waters so to speak.  Though, most bands that release EPs first are typically signed to much smaller labels.  I wouldn’t personally call Pavement Entertainment a small label.  So what was the mindset among the band’s members in releasing this record first instead of a full length?  Was it to test the proverbial waters or was there another motive in doing so?


Alex Marie-Yeah since we are pretty ‘new’ to the industry we wanted to see if what we have to offer floats, because it really is sink or swim you know? We already had this EP in the works a year ago, we just didn’t have any real outlet for it. But, now that we have a label, we can finally make our full-length if the EP does really well.


7) Looking at the band’s tour schedule, Lawless Hearts only has two dates on tap.  And they aren’t until June.  Was this a self-imposed limitation on touring or are there updates that perhaps you could share in regards to audiences getting to see the band live?

Alex Marie- We are still pretty new and ‘unknown’ so to speak, so once we gain traction it will be a lot easier to be demanded for touring. People don’t know how hard it is to get on a tour unless you have thousands of dollars or you’re in high demand by the public. We are hoping it’s the latter pretty soon.


8) I want to go in a slightly different direction for a moment, but not too different.  It seems easier to find EPs in independent record stores than in the major chains.  April 18th is Record Store Day, the annual celebration of not only vinyl but of indie record shops in whole.  I can say from my own experience that the closest indie record store to my home is roughly 45 minutes away.  I’ve also read stories here and there in recent years about indie record stores and the big box stores alike becoming increasingly endangered because of digital downloading and streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, etc.  Considering that and that indie shops are by and large where a lot of lesser known acts really get their grass roots bases, I wanted to get your thoughts on the growth of digital music and whether or not you think it could affect acts such as yourselves.  Where do you stand on the divide between the physical object versus the digital?  What do you all see as the future for music in physical form versus digital?

Alex Marie- Have you seen that video of Jim Morrison predicted the future of music he says and I quote “It might rely heavily on electronics, tapes, one person with a lot of machines, and electronic sets ups, singing or speaking, using machines.” There is so much EDM music out there now, and streaming, hardly anyone is selling Platinum RECORDS only Platinum SINGLES, but then again as history does repeat itself, that’s how The Beatles took off, was from selling singles. I think in this digital age, you really don’t make any money on music sales, only on touring and merch. I’m an avid vinyl lover myself though, and with the growing ‘hipster’ population they’ve actually increased the demand of vinyl records which is pretty cool in my opinion. However, I just want to see a real musician get ahead instead of a guy pushing buttons on a ‘machine’ you know?


9) Sticking to the matter of younger up-and-coming bands such as yourselves, are there any other bands either in the underground or even just under that mainstream radar that you all are listening to now?  Are there any that you would recommend for myself or anyone else?

Alex Marie- Heaven’s Basement, Heaven’s Basement, oh and did I say HEAVEN’S BASEMENT. haha

Michael- yeah Heavens basement or sixx a.m not young members but a great band 

10) I’ve got one more question before I close this out.  Thank you so much for your time.  I really appreciate it.  I wanted to ask an easy one in closing.  Now that Creatures of Habit is out, do you have any material in the pipe ready to go for your first full-length album?  If so, is there a timetable on that album?  Thank you again very much to each and every one of you.

Alex Marie- We are working towards getting in the studio very soon to start tracking our full-length. We are very excited to show the world more of the story. 

Michael Thomas- The tittle of the album will be “Hell and Back again” :)

ESPN Releases Statement On Tebow NFL Deal

Photo Credit: Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images

Photo Credit: Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images

Tim Tebow is headed back to the NFL.

For those that have not yet heard, Tebow is headed to Philadelphia to join coach Chip Kelly and quarterback Mark Sancez. The current contract is only for one year. Despite this, his deal also means he will depart ESPN’s SEC Network as an analyst to join the Eagles this season. There is no word yet on Tebow’s odds of playing. That aside, a statement has been released by ESPN VP of Programming and Production John Wildhack in regards to Tebow’s contributions to the SEC Network and to ESPN in whole. The following is Wildhack’s statement on Tebow’s departure and future endeavours with the NFL.

“We appreciate Tim’s contributions to the launch of SEC Network and wish him all the best as he pursues his NFL dream. Tim quickly established a tremendous rapport with everyone he worked with in front of and behind the camera. He has a tireless work ethic and a unique passion for football. Tim developed quickly into an excellent analyst. He has a home at ESPN when his playing career is done.” – John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Production

All of the latest SEC news is available online now at:

Website: http://www.secnetwork.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SECNetwork

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Bots Confirmed For Summer Tour With Deftones, Incubus, Death From Above 1979

Photo Credit: Elijah Dominique

Photo Credit: Elijah Dominique

The Bots announced over the weekend that it will join Deftones and Incubus on the road this summer.

Fresh on the heels of its own US tour with Australia’s The Preatures, the duo announced over the weekend that it will join Death From Above as a support act for Incubus and Deftones on their upcoming U.S. tour. The tour kicks off July 22nd in Clarkston, MI and runs through August 30th in San Diego, California. In also includes a stop in North Carolina on August 9th. before that though, the duo is set to perform live May 30th at the Sweetlife Festival in Columbia, Maryland. The upcoming performances are all in support of The Bots’ latest full-length studio effort Pink Palms, which was released October 14th, 2014. The complete schedule for The Bots’ upcoming tour with Deftones, Incubus and Death From Above 1979 is noted below:


05/30    Sweetlife Festival    Columbia, MD

With Incubus, Deftones, and Death From Above 1979

07/22 DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston, MI*

07/23 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre Tinley Park, IL#

07/25 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH

08/04 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ

08/05 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Wantagh, NY

08/07 Xfinity Center Mansfield, MA*

08/08 Susquehanna Bank Center Camden, NJ

08/09 PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte, NC

08/12 Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood Atlanta, GA

08/13 MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre Tampa, FL

08/14 Coral Sky Amphitheatre West Palm Beach, FL

08/16 Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square New Orleans, LA***

08/17 Austin360 Amphitheater Austin, TX

08/19 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Houston, TX**

08/20 Gexa Energy Pavilion Dallas, TX**

08/24 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO*

08/26 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA

08/30 Sleep Train Amphitheatre San Diego, CA^

* on sale April 25

** on sale May 1

*** on Sale May 8

# Death From Above 1979 not appearing

^ The Bots not appearing

Audiences can check out the video for its latest single ‘Blinded’ now online via Vevo at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ7K1IO_k_c. Audiences can also check out a performance of ‘Blinded’ on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers by clicking the picture below.

Courtesy:  BBGun Press

Courtesy: BBGun Press

More information on The Bots’ upcoming tour dates is available online now along with the duo’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.thebotsband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thebotsband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thebotsband

Instagram: http://instagram.com/thebotsla

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Slayer Confirms New Album Complete, Coming This Year; Announces Tour Dates

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

It has been four long years since the members of Slayer last released any new material. But that long wait is about to come to an end.

Four years after the release of its Grammy-nominated record World Painted Blood and two years removed from the passing of Jeff Hanneman, the current members of Slayer–Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), and Paul Bostaph (drums)–have announced that the band will release its twelfth full-length studio release later this year via the band’s own label through Nuclear Blast Records. No title or official release date have yet been confirmed for the album. However, it is known that famed producer Terry Date (Miss May I, Smashing Pumpkins, Pantera) manned the boards for the record. And guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus) will handle guitar duties alongside King. The record marks the first time that Date has ever worked with the band. It is also the first time since the release of the band’s 2001 album God Hates Us All that Bostaph has recorded with his band mates. Audiences will be just as interested to note that there is at least one song penned by Hanneman included on the band’s upcoming record.

Nuclear Blast America General Manager Gerardo Martinez had nothing but good things to say of the upcoming album, saying essentially that it is some of the band’s best work to date. “Tom’s vocals are probably the best I’ve heard in two decades, and Kerry, Paul and Gary are playing their asses of with powerful, intense performances and riffs and beats that are absolutely lethal,” he said. Fans have already gotten to sneak peeks of Slayer’s upcoming album, the most recent being the Record Store Day release of the song ‘When The Stillness Comes.’ That song was released in a very limited quantity of only 500 copies s worldwide. It was released on a special seven-inch vinyl picture disc exclusively for Record Store Day but can be heard online now via Rolling Stone at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/hear-slayers-eerie-new-crusher-when-the-stillness-comes-20150416. The other sneak peek came in the form of the song ‘Implode.’ ‘Implode’ was offered as a free download last year following Slayer’s studio sessions last March. Audiences can hear the song now for free online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0gVs_UcxKY.

In anticipation of its new album, the members of Slayer have also announced that the band will embark on an extensive tour including dates on a number of major summer festival tours and its own “An Evening With…” Slayer-only dates. The band’s current confirmed tour schedule is listed below. It all begins this Friday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Confirmed Slayer tour dates:

24 Iron City, Birmingham, AL*
25 Monter Energy Welcome to Rockfille, Metropolitian Park, Jacksonville, FL
26 Civic Theatre, New Orleans, LA*

1 Lunatic Luau, Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, VA
3 Carolina Rebellion, Charlotte, NC
22 Rocklahoma, Pryor, OK
23 Socorro Casino, El Paso, TX*

13 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
16 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
17 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
19 State Theatre, Portland, ME
20 Amnesia Rock, Montebello, Montreal

(Mayhem headline dates):
26 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, CA
27 San Manual Amphitheatre, San Bernardino, CA
28 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
30 White River Amphitheatre, Seattle, WA

1 Idaho Center Amphitheatre, Boise, ID
3 Ak-Chin Amphitheatre, Phoenix, AZ
4 Isleta Amphitheatre, Albuquerque, NM
5 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
7 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs, IA
8 Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
10 Kilpsch Amphitheatre, Indianapolis, IN
11 DTE Energy Amphitheatre, Detroit, MI
12 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
15 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON CANADA
17 Susquehanna Bank Arts Center, Camden, NJ
18 First Niagara Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
19 Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, CT
21 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
22 Meadowbrook (Bank of NH Pavilion), Gilford, NH
24 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA
25 Xfinity Center, Boston, MA
26 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
29 Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
31 Whitewater Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX

1 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX
2 Gexa Energy Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX

* “An Evening with…” headline dates

More dates are likely to be announced. When those dates are announced, they will be posted online along with all of the latest news on the band’s album at:

Website: http://www.slayer.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/slayer

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philispicks.wordpress.com.

Not Some B-Movie Ripoff, Nature: Attack Of The Killer Whales Is One Of 2015’s Best New Documentaries

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ hit wildlife series Nature has proven time and again throughout its thirty-plus years on television to be the best series of its kind. This is even in comparison to the wildlife series that have and still do run on the Big Four networks. Over the course of its almost thirty-three years on television Nature has taken audiences around the world multiple times, presenting to audiences some of the world’s most exotic lands and equally exotic animals to audiences of all ages. For all of the exotic animals and lands that have been presented over the years on Nature sometimes the series uses those animals and lands to tackle some tough topics, too. That is exactly what is done in its 2014 episode Invasion of the Killer Whales. Invasion of the Killer Whales was released on DVD early this year. And while the episode’s title makes it sound like some classic Roger Corman B-movie, it is anything but. Yes, that bad joke was fully intended. Invasion of the Killer Whales is a serious look at the impact of climate change and global warming on the Arctic ecosystem. It does so without being preachy, too, which is just one reason that it makes for such an interesting watch. The footage is just as important to the whole of the presentation. Audiences actually see first hand how climate change and global warming are affecting specifically the Arctic ecosystem. They are not forced to rely on hearsay. It makes even more hard-hitting and even slightly shocking what is really happening as a result of climate change and global warming. That footage expertly complements the story presented in this episode of Nature, showing even more why climate change is such an important issue and yet again why this is yet another interesting episode of Nature. Both the story presented in this episode of Nature and its footage share equal importance in its success. As important as both are to the whole of the program, its pacing is just as important as those aforementioned elements. Those behind the cameras manage to keep a solid pace, even throwing in interviews on both sides of the presented issue to keep the pacing at a rate that is just enough to not lose audiences along the way. Thanks to the attention of the program’s pacing, audiences are even more apt to remain engaged from start to finish. And in turn, they are that much more apt to fully grasp and appreciate the magnitude of the covered topic. In understanding the magnitude of the topic presented here and appreciating it, audiences will agree that once more PBS’ Nature has proven exactly why it remains today the top wildlife-based program on television today.

Invasion of the Killer Whales sounds like a title ripped from one of Roger Corman’s classic sci-fi flicks from the 1950s, right? All jokes aside, this episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series Nature is a very serious episode. The topic tackled in this episode is the effect of climate change and global warming on the Arctic ecosystem. The program explains that because of climate change and global warming, polar bears, the region’s once top predators, are now being pushed out as their hunting grounds are disappearing more and more each year. By direct connection, killer whales are becoming increasingly dominant in the area. that is because the ice that once protected other marine life in the Arctic from the killer whales is no longer there to protect them. This means that certain animals such as narwhals are drastically decreasing because of these overall changes. It is just one example of the impact of climate change and global change globally. The information provided about these impacts is presented in a fashion that avoids being preachy, which is especially good for audiences. While it makes a clear argument about the effects of climate change even on a micro scale, it doesn’t do so in a preachy fashion. Rather it does so in a fashion typical of Nature. It just presents the animals that are common to the region. And it explains their interactions. In this case it shows the effect of an outside factor on their interactions. It’s nice to see that it took on the subject in this fashion instead of just being a full-on argumentative piece unlike so many other programs out there. It’s just one reason that audiences will appreciate this episode of Nature, too. The footage that accompanies the program adds to its interest.

The topic tackled in this episode of Nature is a hot button issue, needless to say. Luckily, the program doesn’t approach the subject in an argumentative fashion in this case. Rather it does its best to maintain at leat a semi-objective vantage point in tackling the subject matter. The program’s use of its footage helps to maintain that vantage point. It shows the killer whales entering territory that they once couldn’t enter due to the existence of that Arctic sheet ice. Audiences see their wolfpack mentality as they surround groups of narwhals and take them down almost systematically. It is shocking to a point. It is shocking because of the level of intelligence that the orcas display in this mentality. Just as interesting to note is the footage of the polar bears in question hunting unsteadily among the melting ice. It clearly shows that the polar bears’ hunting grounds are indeed disappearing. The interviews that are interspersed with all of this footage makes for even more interest as they show just how far the impacts of the changes reach. Both pros and cons are discussed in regards to the changing conditions. Those interviews coupled with the footage of the changes happening in the Arctic add another level to the program in whole. They partner with the episode’s subject matter to make this episode even harder-hitting, proving once again why Nature remains the top wildlife-based program on television today.

Both the topic covered in Nature: Attack of the Killer Whales and the footage that accompanies the topic are key elements of this episode. As important as they are to the whole of the episode, the episode’s pacing is just as pivotal to its success. Those behind the cameras keep a pace that is solid enough to keep audiences engaged from beginning to end of the roughly hour-long program. At no one point does it waste any time on one part of the topic or another. The result is that audiences will be more apt to more fully appreciate the magnitude of the subject presented here. In better appreciating and understanding the material in question, audiences will agree that Nature has once again proven why it remains over thirty years after its debut, the front-runner in the realm of televised wildlife programs. This applies regardless of whether audiences have been watching Nature throughout its run or are relatively new viewers. Audiences will also agree in considering this element in conjunction with this episode’s footage and the manner in which it approached its subject matter, that Attack of the Killer Whales is one of this year’s best new documentaries.

Nature: Attack of the Killer Whales proves itself to be one of this year’s best new documentaries. Whether for its subject matter and its approach of said material, the footage compiled for the program, or for the its pacing, there is obviously plenty to like about this episode. It is available now on DVD and can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=51197006&cp=1378003.2831221&sr=1&origkw=nature&parentPage=family. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

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