A new documentary series premiering this fall immerses viewers into wild, wondrous Vancouver Island, helmed by a voice that may sound familiar.
Canadian actor Will Arnett narrates the new docuseries Island of the Sea Wolves, streaming Tuesday, Oct. 11 on Netflix.
“This is life on the edge; it’s life on Vancouver Island,” Arnett says in a series preview, as scenic shots of land and Pacific Ocean wildlife flood the screen.
“Vancouver Island, covered in thick rain forest. The ocean, teaming with life. The Island, of the sea wolves,” he says. “Their home is a vast outpost of volcanic rock, creating a giant Island filled with wonders. Surrounded by the North Pacific, it feeds life across its lands.”
The series is directed by Jeff Turner and Chelsea Turner of Vancouver-based River Road Films, with James Honeybourne serving as executive producer.
In an interview with CHEK News, Jeff describes the Island as “a special place in the world” and says filming spanned about nine months in 2021, starting in February and wrapping in November.
“What we really wanted to do with the series and the idea of it was to document a year in the life of Vancouver Island, just to go out there and see all the different wildlife characters and beauty of the Island and tell a story of what happens in a year there,” Jeff said in the interview.
He co-founded his production company with his wife 30 years ago and says “a pretty big crew” helped make their latest project happen, which was one of their most exciting to date, especially with Arnett’s voice talents.
“He was great. I think he really enjoyed it and he’s a great storyteller,” Jeff said.
The film director says they had six different crews working throughout the year, sometimes all at the same time in different places.
“Because when you only have one season to film, you really have to capture everything that happens in those moments,” Jeff said.
“The big flood and storm that came through in the fall, or the heat dome that happened. All those things, we had crews all around the Island capturing and recording what happened. 2021 was a pretty eventful year for weather.”
Clips of bears, bald eagles, Vancouver Island Marmots, sea otters and sea wolves, “whose spirit is legend,” are featured in the season one trailer, which was released earlier this month.
“We covered a lot of the Island,” Jeff added.
“There’s obviously more wildlife in the north and the west … but our eagles were certainly filmed on the southern part of the Island, and we did some stuff around Comox and Courtenay. We did a little hummingbird sequence that was down in Victoria, so yeah, we were sort of everywhere.”
In recent years, Netflix has taken an interest in the Island, using it as the background for several original series and films. The company pinpoints filming locations with its interactive online map, Netflix in Your Neighbourhood.
Watch the trailer for Island of the Sea Wolves here.