Animatronic cameras disguised as penguins (and even penguin eggs) recorded first-time images of penguin behavior in a new three-part series Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, beginning on pbsnature Wednesday, September 24th.
He is loose-limbed swagger and tight-waisted sway, a swing of legs and tilt of mouth that shout “Fashion without trying!” And there’s grace, by God, so much of it; his feet turn out like he dances for his money–“and he could,” his shoulders set back, and his neck standing long cry with pride. He wears an old leather jacket and jeans that ought to be too young, yet embrace his seniority and make it twist its outlines every right way.
Walter strolls up the drive from the bike parked on the street while Barbara hides behind the coat tree.
“Woah… I–I can’t–I don’t think I can do this?”
entrenched behind the kitchen counter, armed with a bread knife and the excuse of his own dinner to make, does his best to be encouraging while resisting the urge to flee out the back door.
“You’ll be fine, mom. It’s just Mr. Strickler,” he says, shocked at the words as he hears himself say them.
Not helpful at all, replies something inside her that sounds as young and afraid as she feels. She peeks through the window again. He’s paused on the sidewalk digging in his pockets for something. Barbara bolts to the kitchen to the long mirror hung sideways on the wall. Her hair is stiff as the hairspray could get it, yet stubborn pieces stray from their lines and curl petulantly around her ears and forehead. She squints at her foundation in the low, late-afternoon light and cannot tell if the patch on her chin is just slightly lighter or darker than the sticky substance around it.
“Oh, I look terrible!” she groans, throwing her hands up to (but not touching!) her face. “I can’t do this. We’re just going to have to call it off. We can go out another night! We could do that, right?”
Jim has put down the bread knife and holds one fresh slice of Italian in each hand, putting them together and pulling them apart again as he blinks at his mother wondering how in the world he should be expected to know such a thing.
“You look great, mom! Everything will be great, just–you know, just breathe.”
He takes one long breath in and exhales it through his nose, smiling, amazed at his own presence of mind. Breathing always works, right? He chuckles when his mother copies him and answers with her own smile. They smile together. Jim puts the slices down on his plate. Barbara pulls her hands down and wrings them in front of the belt loops of her faded dress jeans.
“Thanks, sweetheart. I just have to–keep calm and–”
The knock at the door sounds in the empty front rooms.
“Jiminey!” She jumps and throws her hands up against her gluey ‘do.
Barbara grimaces, flapping her hands at her hair as she realizes what she’s done. “Oh, no. Oh, no!”
“A date!” crowed Nomura.
“Dinner,” corrected Walt.
“An evening out with dinner,” said Blinky, and lifting one stony brow, “romantically.”
Walter glared. They grinned together as though they had accomplished something.
“I’ve no idea why you seem so pleased with yourselves. This evening was neither of your doing, and will merely serve to maintain our cover with Jim.”
Infuriatingly, their grins widened. Nomura didn’t bother to hide her snicker.
“Simply necessary,” she said.
“A measured sacrifice,” added Blinky, nodding.
They looked at one another and guffawed.
“You are insufferable,” huffed Walt as he turned on his heel and stamped from the library.
“Have fun on your date!” called Nomura, and he rolled his eyes and permitted himself a small growl, trying to ignore how difficult it had suddenly become to swallow.
By Deya’s grace, Walt still remembers how to operate a motorbike. It isn’t his, additional Praise Be, else there would be nothing to keep him from driving it into a tree in his distraction. (The collateral to borrow it from another Janus changeling in town had been steep, on account of his propensity for destroying any but the most fortified motor vehicles.)
The white, slat house was lighted but quiet as he drove up and cut the engine. When a sudden surge of paranoia got him rummaging in his pockets to be sure, for the 13th time, that he had remembered his wallet, he heard a commotion and the cry of a familiar, feminine voice.
He’d fairly run to the front door.
Now, the house is quiet again. He checks his watch; he is only a little past his time, and he knocks.
There comes another cry from inside, then the advance of heels rises against the door. It opens suddenly, making Walt jump back a step.
She’s a silk-gloved punch in a polka dot sweater, a lipstick kiss in red rouge and spicy perfume. Her hair’s in a faux-fifties updo, artfully uncurling around her face. Willow-slim in a pair of jeans that ought to be illegal, she hangs around the door like the curving work of a calligraphy pen. But her eyes remind him about that punch, and add a bite to the tune of “Mack the Knife;” they draw him and drown him, too big and blue to be real.
They stare at each other.
“Hi,” says Barbara.
“Hello,” says Walt.
She slides up and down him and smiles.
He feels like he’s been kicked in the chest.
“Oh, well.. You, definitely… Er, that is, you, too…”
She giggles. Honest-to-girlishness, and now his cheeks feel inexplicably warm.
“I was… I was a little worried about…” she begins to say, frowning.
His hands go cold.
“I, um… I don’t remember?”
Her smile turns back on and brings his with it.
“Well, then…” a lightness picks up his feet and makes them step forward. He clicks his heels and bows to her without thinking about it. “Shall we go?” he asks, offering his hand.
She seems to fall into it like she’s letting go of something else.
“Have her home before midnight!” Jim’s voice carries from the kitchen. Walt salutes and pulls the door shut as Barbara slides comfortably under his arm.
“A date,” whispers a pink spy to a blue one as they huddle in the bushes. She nudges his arm. “Get pictures! For evidence!”
The blue spy chuckles, and clicks an old-fashioned camera. “They’re going to have so much fun!”
Omg I’m getting emotional over a penguin documentary that David Tennant is *cough* coincidentally *cough* narrating. He said something about a lone penguin being left by his companions and I was like hey that sounds familiar and then I realized…
I’ve been watching “Penguins - Spy in the Huddle” recently and oh my gosh is it the most amazing show. It’s a BBC show wherein they have Spy Cameras disguised as rocks, different penguins, penguin chicks, and eggs. It’s also narrated by David Tennant.