The planet Earth is in for a whale of a problem as the great mammals of the sea suddenly begin to attack humans who have plied the world’s oceans for millennia.
This is the world-threatening cataclysm at the center of “The Swarm,” an eight-part apocalyptic sci-fi drama series premiering on The CW on Tuesday.
The show continues CW’s efforts begun late last year to curate TV shows from around the world to fill its airtime as content dries up due to the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes.
Expediency was also an issue because the new owners of The CW, Nexstar Media Group, took ownership just last November.
That meant that the company had a very short window in which to assemble a fall schedule, as the TV Blog reported last May from a CW news conference held during Upfront Week in New York.
“We had to comb the world. Finding some really strong acquisitions to help fill the development schedule was important,” Brad Schwartz, president of entertainment for The CW, said at the time.
The latest find in The CW’s global comb-over is a German production -- in English -- that was filmed in Belgium and Italy.
Based on a German novel, “The Swarm” (“Der Schwarm” in German) was first seen on German TV last February and March.
When a movie or TV series is titled “The Swarm,” the first thoughts that come to mind are killer bees, mosquitos, gnats or any other flying insect that bites or stings.
In “The Swarm,” however, there appear to be many swarms encompassing a number of species of marine life, although this is not evident in the series premiere, which The CW provided for preview.
In Episode One, the marauding sea dwellers are whales, which for reasons unknown have suddenly begun conducting sneak attacks on watercraft of all sizes, with deadly results.
These whale attacks are the only assaults seen in the episode. But a CW press release promises much more marine mayhem to come, including sea crabs attacking beaches, and mussels gathering in swarms big enough to block the paths of container ships.
A deadly pathogen will poison drinking water and a species of ice worm will “destabilize continental slopes and trigger tsunamis,” said The CW.
Clearly, this revolt of the sea dwellers is a global phenomenon involving victims and scientists in locales ranging from Vancouver Island in Canada to the rough sea coast of Scotland.
The deadliest assault in the premiere episode of “The Swarm” is an attack on a group of whale tourists who were doing nothing more than smiling and pointing at a whale that seemed to be gamboling happily off the port side of their tour boat -- until the whale drew closer and the laughter turned to terror.
Much of the first episode of “The Swarm” was suspenseful and terrifying -- more “Jaws” than “Sharknado.”
“The Swarm” premieres on Tuesday (September 12) at 9 p.m. Eastern on The CW.