Michael Palin owns what must be the most-used passport in Britain. Now it has been taken out of the drawer once again for the making of his new one-off documentary, Around the World in 20 ... See full summary »
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In this four part BBC television series presented by British comedian and travel presenter Michael Palin, and broadcast in 2002. In it, Palin traveled around the Sahara Desert in Northern ... See full summary »
This 2004 BBC television series records comedian and travel presenter Michael Palin's six-month trip across the Himalaya mountain range, covering an amazingly diverse range of cultures and ... See full summary »
This trip is just so long and unusual that you can't help being intrigued and fascinated by it all. Ten months and 50,000 miles traveling through 17 countries all the way around the Pacific Ocean!
Specifically, these countries were visited: USA (Alaska), Russia (Siberia), Japan, S. Korea (entry to N. Korea was denied), China, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, USA (California and Washington), Canada (British Columbia) and back to Alaska again.
What makes Michael Palin's trips so special is the enthusiasm, wit and charm he brings to the endeavor. Plus the ability of the crew to find extremely interesting people for Michael to talk to and very interesting activities for him to sample. And the whole thing is beautifully photographed, making you want to visit the various places yourself.
Among some of the most interesting points on the trip are a wedding ceremony in South Korea, the Russian Gulag in Siberia, the CaoDai religion in Vietnam, Philippine women learning how to be foreign workers, lassoing camels in Australia, a French shaman in the Amazon valley, narcotics problems in Bogotá, and illegal immigrants from Mexico to the USA.
My only criticism is that the west coast of the USA and Canada got glossed over. I'm guessing that Michael Palin, after nine months of traveling, just wanted to get home.
The DVD version of this TV program consists of three discs. These discs contain the ten 50-minute episodes (8 1/2 hours) plus some extra material:
a very interesting interview with Michael Palin (28 minutes)
some scenes that didn't make it into the TV program (almost 50
a funny meeting with Eric Idle, with lots of inside jokes for Monty
Python fans (8 minutes)
Even without the extra material I'd give these DVDs a "highly recommended" rating. The extra material, especially the interview with Michael Palin, makes it even more wonderful.
Note that there is also a beautiful and well-written book available that covers this trip - also highly recommended.
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