Entertainment / Television

Discovery Channel gets up close with predators


A new series premiered on Discovery Channel on Nov. 17, the show is called Predators Up Close with Joel Lambert, which airs 8 p.m. every Tuesday .

The five-part series features Joel Lambert and his team of experts traversing through the plains of Zambia and the frozen ice floes of Norway down to the waters off the coast of South Africa. Encased safely inside a high-grade transparent pod among land and ocean predators, they get up close and personal with some of nature’s most dangerous and smartest food chain alphas.

In our exclusive email interview with Lambert, the exceptionally skilled former U.S. Navy SEAL discussed his experience filming the series. He also talked about what audiences can expect from a fascinating show about lions, hyenas, polar bears and sharks.


The Pod weighed 500 kilos and was designed to withstand a  2-ton load

Joel Lambert is a former US Navy SEAL who constantly seeks  out new endeavors that satisfy his curiosity and test the limits of his ability

Here’s the Q & A:

The series features extremely dangerous predators.  What else do people have to know about them and what does the series truly want people to understand about these creatures?

Yeah, that’s a good question because that was the thing that I think was most important to me while I was filming it, and the most important thing that I learned.  I learned a lot of things about these animals, you know, facts and knowledge.  But that wasn’t what was important to me.  What was important to me was seeing these animals seeing my place at the food chain.  We were just appreciating the world around us. I hope that we captured that to a degree and people were able to see that because you’re really going to see these animals at their most powerful; what they do, and being observed by somebody who is seeing them in their power.

Each episode has its own level of difficulty filming because of the weather conditions, the locations, and other factors.  Which one was the most challenging episode to film?

Every different episode presented its own challenges. All of them were difficult.  None of these were easy.  It’s a very dangerous thing to do, and it was so much fun, because we just never knew what was going to happen next. But I think filming the lions were extremely challenging because we’re in Zambia and the heat was incredible. But then in the Arctic, we were doing polar bears.  That’s an extremely dangerous environment.  It was well below zero.  We’re on floating sea ice that can crack and break apart.

You were able to capture spectacular and amazing footage using the pod, can you tell us a bit more about it?

The pod is an amazing invention.  It was created just for this show, and they made it extremely strong, but it had never been tested.  So, we were pretty worried that something might happen that we weren’t expecting. Example, the lions got very, very paws on the pod.  They were really trying to get in, and there were some large gaps that we were worried about.

Having that been said, how different is this series compared to your previous projects and other wildlife shows?  

Predators is very dangerous, but it’s completely not my area of expertise.  I am not the expert in predators.  As far as it being different than other wildlife shows, it is different.  You’re looking at the world’s biggest predators through the eyes of a warrior, through a completely different lens of experience.  And from a completely different point of view, obviously, you’ll see things you’ve never seen before and you’ll see it presented from my point of view in a way that you haven’t before.

And are we going to see another season for this?

I hope so.  It was an amazing, very difficult, very long series to film.  But what we got is just brilliant.  It’s beautiful.  It’s really just exceptional the way it’s shot – huge screens and high definition, it’s amazing.  So I hope we see Season 2.  There are more giant predators out there that I’d like to experience: salt-water crocodiles, tigers.  There’s still some things out there.

People have known you as someone who has been testing his ability out there.  Have you been like this like all through your life? What drives you to take on dangerous and difficult tasks?

I have been this way through my life, but it really kind of all happened when I decided to join the SEAL teams.  I got so much out of that, that I just wanted to continue to do amazing things, and to do things that were extremely hard. I think I’ll do this for the rest of my life and I love that.  I don’t think that I could ever stop, and ever sit back, and ever stop climbing mountains.

Would you consider visiting the Philippines perhaps again? Or probably the jungles and see some of our predators here?

I would love to.  I love the Philippines and I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Filipino martial arts, and the people, and the areas of the world.  So I always love going back to the Philippines every chance I get.  And the Philippine jungle is one of the roughest jungles.  It’s just the area that I was in on Manhunt was a really bad jungle. And it would happen to be during that typhoon, and it happened to be 100-degree heat index, and it just was – everything that could be bad was bad.  But other than that, I still love the Philippines.

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