We no longer present Thalassa, a show created in 1975 and hosted until 2017 by Georges Pernoud, who died on January 10, 2021. Since 2017, several journalists (Fanny Agostini, Sabine Quindou) have taken turns presenting the sea magazine of France 3, but, due to lack of regular programming, he ended up seeing his audience dwindle. Diego Buñuel, born in 1975, a fan of the show when he was a child, is hosting a modernized version this evening.

Grandson of filmmaker Luis Buñuel, the Franco-American journalist was a war reporter, worked for “Les Nouveaux Explorateurs” (Canal, from 2008 to 2014), before directing France Télévisions programs from June 2020 to September 2021 .

Bag on his shoulder, bare feet treading the sand, Diego Buñuel explains on camera that, if “Thalassa” made us dream, times have changed. We must now go to the bedside of “endangered” seas and oceans.

“Extreme fisherman”

Three heavenly destinations are thus proposed in this first episode, with an undefined periodicity. First of all, Polynesia, which is home to the largest shark sanctuary in the world, and where freediver Denis Grosmaire makes world-famous videos (with his dog). He serves as a guide for several dives in the Apataki Atoll, offering sequences of great poetry; he is also filmed chatting with Diego Buñuel, when voice-over dialogue would have allowed more underwater images to be shown.

At Teahupoo, we then follow Léa Hahn, a rare female photographer to face the famous wave, before meeting Vahine Fierro, a surfer who will participate in the Olympic Games this summer.

Second destination, Huarmey, on the Peruvian coast, which Diego Buñuel reaches on a motorbike crossing an immense sandy desert, which leads to steep cliffs. This is where Juan, an “extreme fisherman”, works. The host takes the stage once again, before a more interesting exchange with Juan’s wife.

Magical images

Finally, off the coast of neighboring Ecuador, on the island of La Plata, marine biologist Michel Guerrero takes Diego Buñuel to a “cleaning station” for manta rays. He takes DNA samples, installs GPS beacons and – this is a first – carries out an ultrasound of a pregnant stingray.

So many magical and unthinkable images in 1975, which should appeal to a wide audience. As for Buñuel’s style, it is very far from that of Pernoud. Diego Buñuel rappels down, rides a motorcycle, dives and asks: “Is it dangerous there? » We think of another host who also put himself on stage. “A filiation with Nicolas Hulot” and his show “Ushuaïa” (on TF1, from 1987 to 2012), assumed, during the presentation to the press, the director of magazines at France Télévisions, Nicolas Daniel.

Is this due to this large conceptual gap? We do not find in Diego Buñuel the sincerity of his elder Georges Pernoud – for the moment anyway. On the other hand, it has the same meaning of the formula: “Eleven thousand sharks were massacred during the time of viewing this documentary. »