This is a dramatic reenactment of the epic true story of Ernest Shackleton’s doomed Antarctic expedition. It’s October, 1914, and under the command of Capt. Frank Worsley, the Endurance sets sail for Antarctica. But when the ship becomes trapped in the ice and is crushed, the fate of the crew seems sealed, except for the exceptional skills of their captain. Shackleton’s Captain tells—for the first time ever—the story of this fateful expedition across Antarctica, from Worsley’s own perspective (thanks to some real-life interviews). Beautifully photographed, emotional and moving … you’ll never get in a lifeboat again. Continue Reading →
Captain Lawrence Oates.
A Brief Video Biography.
On March 17th 1912, the day of his 32nd birthday, Lawrence Oates walked to his death, from the tent of the returning Polar Party, and into the realm of Antarctic heroes. Oates was among a group of five men, who were on their return march from the South Pole, which they had reached on January 17th 1912. Led by Captain Scott, the group had discovered, to their dismay, that Roald Amundsen‘s Norwegian team, had been to the pole before them.
Defeated they turned for home, and their journey gradually descended into a desperate battle for survival. Edgar Evans died at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier on February 17th, and one month later, Lawrence Oates also met his untimely demise. Oates took matters into his own hands and gallantly walked to his death, deeming his afflicted presence a burden upon the survival chances of his comrades. Continue Reading →
The Last Place On Earth
A Central Television Production, 1985
The story itself is long over a century old, and this television production has notched three decades since its first airing. This is the story of Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition, which was well under way, and southward bound, before Roald Amundsen announced his intention to beat them to the prize, and Scott suddenly found himself a contender, as well as an expedition leader. But most of all it is the tale of two groups of brave men who had ventured into the realm of the unknown, to claim the last place unknown to man – the South Pole.
The Last Place on Earth is a 1985 Central Television seven part serial, written by Trevor Griffiths based on the book Scott and Amundsen by Roland Huntford. The book is an exploration of the expeditions of Captain Robert F. Scott (played by Martin Shaw) and his Norwegian rival in polar exploration, Roald Amundsen (played by Sverre Anker Ousdal) in their attempts to reach the South Pole.
The series ran for seven episodes and starred a wide range of UK and Norwegian character actors as well as featuring some famous names, such as Max von Sydow, Richard Wilson, Sylvester McCoy, Brian Dennehy, and Pat Roach. It also featured performances early in their careers by Bill Nighy and Hugh Grant.
Subsequently Huntford’s book was republished under the same name. The book put forth the point of view that Amundsen’s success in reaching the South Pole was abetted by much superior planning, whereas errors by Scott (notably including the reliance on man-hauling instead of sled dogs) ultimately resulted in the death of him and his companions.
Tom Crean – Kerry Through and Through
By Shane O’Connor – Peanut Productions
I just received a Tweet from Shane O’Connor of Peanut Productions, with a link to this wonderful piece on Tom Crean. Shane works as a Freelancer for BBC Radio 5 Live.
In his own words – “A short promo about the Kerry explorer and legend Tom Crean.
He was a member of three major expeditions to Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, including Captain Scott’s 1911–13 Terra Nova Expedition, during this expedition, Crean’s 56 km solo walk across the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans led to him receiving the Albert Medal for Lifesaving.”
It is a wonderfully poignant and almost haunting reminder of the most heroic and courageous act ever played out on the ice of Antarctica – Tom Crean’s epic 36 mile solo march, to save the life of Lt. Edward Evans, and that of Bill Lashly who had remained behind to care for him.
Kerry Tom Crean Airport Presentation
This was the video presentation which was delivered to the Board of Directors, at this years AGM of Kerry Airport, which took place on June 22nd. The presentation was made by the Kerry Airport Should Be Renamed Tom Crean Airport, campaign group.
The Ever Changing Continent
If you have ever wondered as to how the crew of the Endurance, suddenly found themselves completely ensnared in the ice of the Weddell Sea, before they had even made landfall on the Antarctic continent, bearing in mind the prior experience of men like Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean, to mention but two, then take a look at this fascinating video, on the amazing and rapid formation of the regions sea ice.
“The Shackleton Epic began in 2008, when Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest, approached Tim Jarvis with the idea of an expedition to honour one of the greatest leadership and survival stories of all time.
A crew of five British and Australian adventurers joined expedition leader Tim Jarvis AM FRGS, and on 11 February 2013 became the first to authentically re-enact Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia and the dangerous crossing of its mountainous interior.
The Shackleton Epic were the first to successfully re-enact Shackleton’s complete ‘double’ journey across sea and land using traditional gear. British/Australian adventurer Jarvis, 47, a veteran of multiple polar expeditions, believes it was the most challenging expedition of his life.”
From The Shackleton Epic
From The Terra Nova Expedition
An excellent collection of 14 videos from the Natural History Museum, giving a great insight into Scott’s tragic Terra Nova expedition. Originally made to coincide with the museums exhibition in 2012, the videos are none the less, a must watch collection. The Terra Nova expedition sailed to Antarctica with the objectives of both scientific research, and of being the first to stand at the South Pole.
Much has been written about the Polar Party reaching the Pole to find they had been beaten to the accolade by Roald Amundsen, and subsequently dying on their return march. But the men of the Terra Nova also completed an extraordinary amount of scientific work, and undertook several perilous expeditions across the ice to do so.
The Lure Of Antarctica
Have you ever wondered, as to why men like Tom Crean, Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton repeatedly returned to the hardships of exploring the frozen continent? All three men served together and first visited Antarctica on Scott’s Discovery Expedition (1901-1904), and a new furthest south record was established.
Shackleton would next lead his own British Imperial Antarctic Expedition (Nimrod 1907-1909) and got as close as 97 miles to the South Pole – yet another furthest south record.
Then Scott and Crean returned on the Terra Nova (1910-1913) in an effort to reach the Pole ahead of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team. Amundsen would win the race and Scott’s five man team did attain the Pole, but tragically all would die on the return march.
With the Pole now conquered Shackleton decided to attempt a trans-Antarctic crossing of the continent, from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea via the South Pole. Tom Crean would join Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antartic Expedition (Endurance, Aurora, 1914-1917), which became an epic battle for survival, after the Endurance was trapped and crushed by the ice of the Weddell Sea.
All of Shackleton’s crew would survive the ordeal, but three of the Ross Sea Party (Aurora) would lose their lives at the other end of the continent.
Tragedy At The Pole
Secrets of the Dead is an ongoing PBS television series produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which began in 2000. The show generally follows an investigator or team of investigators exploring what modern science can tell us about some of the great mysteries of history. Most programs incorporate primary source material, first hand accounts, dramatic reenactments, and computer-generated imagery (CGI) to tell the story.*
This episode entitled Tragedy At The Pole was first aired in the USA on 15th January 2003. It was Episode 5 in Season 3 (2002-2003) of the series.