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What ocean dwelling creatures or behaviors remain on your bucket list to capture onscreen?

Doherty: Ones that I don’t even know exist yet…

You seem to have a soft spot for Percy, the tuskfish. First things first, who came up with his name? Did he just look like a Percy?

Doherty: We’ve all fallen in love with Percy. It was the coral reef team that named him while they were filming with him on the Great Barrier Reef, day after day.


Secondly, can you elaborate on why Percy stood out to you?

Doherty: Because he’s the poster-fish for fish intelligence! Who knew that fish were as smart as they are? Who knew that they use tools, that they hunt cooperatively with an octopus, that they use sound to find their way home? We’re only just beginning to understand what goes on underwater and just how incredible the animals are that live there.

What do you do when you’re on land?

Doherty: It takes a huge amount of research, organization and logistics to get submarines to places they’ve never been to before – so I’ve been pretty one-tracked for the last four years while making Blue Planet II. I spend down time catching up with friends and family, so weekends are usually on the road to meet up with them in London or Ireland. I’m also still getting to know Bristol even though I’ve been living there for four years already!

What do you hope the key takeaway is for viewers, after viewing the series?

Doherty: That the ocean is vast, that it’s full of beautiful worlds, all so different yet all so connected, and that a healthy ocean is essential, not just for our own future but for that of all life on Earth.

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Don’t miss all-new episodes of Blue Planet II, Saturdays at 9/8c on BBC America!

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By Elizabeth Hyde