Wednesday, 22 July 2009

On Thin Ice

Oh the magic of TV. For the past few weeks I have been enthralled with "On Thin Ice" - the documentary following Ben Fogle and James Cracknell as they prepare for and take part in the first race to the South Pole for I don't know how many years (I could find out, but I can't be bothered to look it up - my google research seems to be reserved solely for investigating scams these days)

Merely watching them brace against the cold in temperatures way below freezing (with their breath solidifying instantly on their beards) has given me frostbite. I don't envy them one bit and I admire their bravery for traversing the crevasse fields, in terror of the ground simply opening up beneath their feet and swallowing them, ski's, pulks, beards and all.

But at the same time, I do have to laugh. Because this is a TV program. They set off at a rapid pace in front of the other teams, constantly exulting the fact that there is no form of life between them and the pole. They marvel at the isolation and the great danger of carking it unseen.

Except they won't be unseen because they have a professional camera crew following them, giving us the beautiful, long range views of the immense barren wilderness with the three of them trekking along the horizon. After ten days, all of the teams have to make a 24 hour stop at a medical camp. So where did that spring up from and how did all of the doctors get there?

Using the pfm protocol, obviously. (An old IT term, 'p' stands for pure and 'm' stands for magic...)

The presence of all of these other people just makes it seem a bit less life-threatening, if you ask me. It's hardly Scott, is it? At minimum they need to lose at least two toes and a finger (or maybe half a nose) each to convince me that they are genuinely on a dangerous mission.

And what will they do next? They've already rowed across the Atlantic, and Ben has recently returned from South America (risking his life by being infected with flesh-eating parasites). 20,000 leagues under the sea??

I think I'll stick to water-slides and Yoga.


  1. Yes, you always get the impression that once they are off-camera they come around with warming mugs of tea and chocolate cakes. Nice to come visiting, I'll call back again.

  2. Thanks for visiting! I look forward to reading what happens after your five week wait - you have a great blog.