|Index||3 reviews in total|
12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Top-notch dramatic segments, 9 April 2005
Author: drrap from United States
I should, in all fairness, disclose at the first that I appear in this
broadcast as an on-camera historian, so I'm sure I'm probably a bit
biased in its favor. My comment is limited to the dramatic segments,
with which I had nothing to do, and only saw when the program was
I really do feel that the dramatic segments are absolutely top-notch. As someone who spent many years imagining the Franklin expedition, I think that the casting was just splendid. Anthony Garner is the perfect personification of Sir John Franklin, and Maureen Bennett does a lovely turn as Lady Franklin. Bo Poraj is spot on as a slightly dour, slightly haunted Francis Crozier, and Thom Fell captures the exuberance, and later despair, of James Fitzjames wonderfully. They all inhabit their roles as though they were born to them, something the more remarkable given that there were only a few days of shooting.
The cinematography by Harald Paalgard is truly superb, and it was a real honor to be able to watch him at work, and see the results -- all the Arctic scenes were shot on 16mm rather than digital, and the beauty of those stark regions comes across most dramatically, particularly in the long shots and aerial views.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A great story well told, 30 March 2005
Author: paul2001sw-1 (email@example.com) from Saffron Walden, UK
'The Seach for the North West Passage' is an unusually good documentary. Of course, it has the advantages of having a gripping story of life and death to tell, and the opportunity to show lots of breathtaking arctic scenery. What's also good is that there's a lot of content here, with a series of linked themes: John Franklin's failed expedition; how the fate of Franklin was afterwards discovered; Amudsen's successful expedition, fifty years later; why Amudsen succeeded where Franklin had failed; and what has happened to the Arctic, both culturally and climatically, in the century since Amudsen's voyage. But the approach it takes to dramatic reconstruction is also worthy of praise. Instead of a tedious "drama documentary", full of imagined dialogue, instead we see mainly silent pictures of the two expeditions, while a real, informative commentary explains to the audience what it going on. The extent to which this is preferable to uninteresting semi-fiction and dramatic excesses with computer graphics (two common trends in the genre) deserves to be stressed. The similarly effective 'Touching the Void' took the same lightweight approach, conveying visually the nature of an extreme environment in the way that a radio program or book could not, but also understanding that the story such as this is best realised as simple fact. It's strange that two of the best documentaries of the past two years have both been tales of survival amid snow and ice; and to Channel 4's credit that it funded them both.
We Need To See The Original Version!, 4 July 2006
Author: Stambaugh from United States
I did not realize that we watched in the States was essentially a
re-edited version of this documentary!
The part about Amudsen is unchanged. However, I have always been more interested in the Franklin Expedition and that was the part I wanted to see.
Still, even re-edited with scenes left out, Artic Passage was still a fine telling of this tragic tale. I only wish it would have been shown in its original form here in the States. I can't help but feel somewhat cheated.
If only this would be available so those who watched the NOVA re-edited edition could see it as it was meant to be.
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