Of Ice and Men


Episode Info

"Time Shift" reveals the history of Antarctica, finding out why the most inhospitable place on the planet has exerted such a powerful hold on the imagination of explorers, scientists, writers and photographers. From the logbooks of Captain Cook to the diaries of Scott and Shackleton, from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner to HP Lovecraft, it is a film about real and imaginary tales of adventure, romance and tragedy that have played out against a stark white backdrop. It relives the race to the Pole; finds out what it takes to survive the cold and 'polar madness'; shows how Herbert Ponting's photographs of the Scott expedition helped define our image of the continent; finds out why it witnessed a thaw in Russian and American relations during the Cold War; reveals who actually owns Antarctica; and shows how science is helping us re-imagine a frozen wasteland as something more precious. Interviewees include Ranulph Fiennes, Francis Spufford, Huw Lewis-Jones, Sara Wheeler and Henry Worsley.