Capturing viewers and international news headlines around the world, the shocking Season 3 finale of WHALE WARS (airing on Animal Planet Canada on Wednesday, September 22 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT) follows the gripping last chapter in the much publicized case of anti-whaling activist, Sea Shepherd Pete Bethune’s Japanese imprisonment.
But there’s more to the story. Animal Planet announced today the addition of a new standalone special – WHALE WARS: FROM PIRATE TO PRISONER – which delves deep into Bethune’s capture and four-month detainment.
Premiering Wednesday, September 29 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, this exclusive one-hour special follows the Bethune story arc which has gripped Animal Planet audiences this season as his beloved vessel Ady Gil collided with Shonan Maru 2 and sank to the bottom of the South Ocean Whale Sanctuary in February 2010.
After attempting to conduct a citizen’s arrest on the captain of a Japanese whaling vessel, eco-warrior Bethune was taken into custody by Japanese authorities and brought to Tokyo, where he was held on charges of trespassing, obstructing the passage of a vessel, carrying a knife, and damaging property. Only released by his captors in July, viewers are desperate to learn how was he treated during his detention? What went through his mind during that harrowing time?
WHALE WARS: FROM PIRATE TO PRISONER features Bethune as he shares with the Animal Planet audience his experiences – where cameras could not follow – on board the ship that held him for nearly a month and later the three months he was detained in Japan. The outspoken whale warrior shares revelations, opinions and thoughts on the experience after spending four months contemplating his decisions and fate until finally being released on July 9, 2010 and returning home to New Zealand. In addition to Bethune’s interview, the special reveals his background, showcases the most exciting highlights from the season featuring Bethune, Captain Paul Watson and other members of Sea Shepherd, and delves into what’s next for this environmental cowboy.
“Bethune’s unfailing passion has really connected with WHALE WARS viewers this season,” said Stan Lipsey, Director of Programming for Animal Planet. “And though his actions in this campaign lead to his incarceration by the Japanese, the media frenzy that ensued ultimately brought further attention to the whaling activities in the Antarctic.”
WHALE WARS follows a masterful match at the far end of the globe as both Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whalers engage in an environmental showdown with millions of dollars at stake. The team of oceanic crusaders join forces and set out to risk it all to save the whales, even if that might mean not all crew members make it back to port together.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized WHALE WARS last spring for exploring issues of concern to our society in a compelling, emotional and insightful way by bestowing the series with a Television Academy Honour which identifies it as “television with a conscience.” The series has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy® for Outstanding Cinematography in a Non-Fiction Series and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Non-Fiction Series.