"Beast Legends" (Syfy, 10 tonight) is a goofy, educational romp, a show that takes itself seriously, even when it shouldn't.
The premise is this: over six episodes, a team takes on mythical creatures, exploring their origins, and gathering enough research to recreate it in 3D CGI in the "Beast Lab."
First up is the kraken, the giant sea creature made famous in "Clash of the Titans." The multi-cultural team -- a comic book artist, an adventurer, a biologist, and a legends expert (aka anthropologist) -- take on different aspects to learn about the beast. That includes talking to someone who has encountered a giant squid, catching a giant octopus to examine it, and climbing a ship's mast to see how big and strong the tentacles need to be to turn over a boat. In the lab, they debate whether their creation should have armor or lasers to shore up its super strength.
In some ways, it's as silly as it sounds, especially because these adults are a little too excited by all of this. Yet along the way, you learn some fun facts about squids and octopuses, even seeing a squid carcass examination, offering an up-close look at its tentacles. And the crew's determination to breakdown how the kraken would operate -- from how it could take out a ship, to what it might have eaten -- offers more knowledge about sperm whales and physics. Plus, there's some nice sightseeing of New Zealand.
The episode ends with a funny short showing the kraken in action. In the end, you're left with a lot of information you don't really need, but is kind of fun (in a dorky way) to know. I'm not sure why this show airs so late because it seems the kind of show a middle-school boy would love.
Share it with the nerd in your life.