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Sahara [DVD]

Michael Palin    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: £7.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Sahara [DVD] + Michael Palin - Himalaya [DVD] + Michael Palin - Pole to Pole [DVD] [1992]
Price For All Three: £27.54

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Palin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Oct 2002
  • Run Time: 280 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000071IYP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,244 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



If the mere sight of Michael Palin striding purposefully towards the camera across some foreign terrain is enough to send you into fits of delight, then Sahara is just for you. Following on from his three pan-global expeditions, Palin is back on the exploration trail. This time it's traversing the Sahara desert; travelling from Gibraltar through Tangiers and the Arab world down through Africa and some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet. The formula that Palin established in Around The World In Eighty Days has hardly been tampered with, but Sahara is proof that there are few better exponents of the travelogue. Palin is an engaging host, far more attractive than the extreme survival merchants, walking the fine line between experienced traveller and slightly eccentric Englishman abroad. The programme also strikes a perfect balance between grand visual gestures (the camerawork is simply stunning) and focusing on the individual lives that characterise the region, all underpinned by Palin's unique brand of humour. This is one to return to again and again.

On the DVD: Sahara comes in at a mere four one-hour episodes and the producers were left with a huge amount of unused footage. Thus the DVD features a large selection of deleted scenes, all linked by Palin. The excellent set of extras also includes a collection of rough video diaries--mainly featuring Palin being pummelled by the elements--and an extensive interview with the presenter. The picture quality is fantastic (particularly compared to Palin's earlier series), as is the digital sound. There is a subtitle option and scene selection and the whole package is thoroughly recommended. --Phil Udell

Product Description

Starring: Michael Palin Crossing the Sahara is one of the greatest challenges in world travel. Encountering the difficulties travellers have faces for centuries, Michael Palin is guided by the fascinating people he meets along the way. His astonishing journey reveals not only the emptiness of endless sand, but a diverse range of cultures, landscapes and a long history of civilisation. Extras include: Commentary by Michael Palin. Deleted scenes. Behind the scenes footage. Interview with Michael Palin. This DVD does not include Subtitles

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Palin The Legend 9 Jan 2003
This is one of the best DVD's I've ever seen.
As a DVD it has loads of extra's, interviews and is packed with Michaels unique style of humour.
It's one of those DVD's what you can watch over and over again without getting bored with it.
It's encouraged me to take a trip to the Sahara this year.
This is a Classic, a must own DVD.
Worth every penny and more.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bijou Travelogue 18 Aug 2006
Shorter than the normal Palin epics, but perfectly formed none the less. Given that his previous journeys have covered vast tracts of geographically and politically inhospitable territory it's somewhat of a suprise that travelling round a barren sandpit in North Africa presents so many problems, there are an inordinate number of missing "hops" as he travels round. None the less, Palin exhibits his usual unique brand of wide eyed Englishness and his team displays it's almost mythical ability to get him into places even Lonely Planet doesn't know exist. Of all his journeys this is the one I'd least like to emulate,not enough beer drinkers in that part of the world. This is however a fascinating insight into this little known corner of the world, somehow Palin still manages to make such a journey appear little more trouble than two weeks in Marbellla!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So close (to Europe) and yet so unknown 30 Jan 2006
"Sahara" is a travelogue made for the BBC in 2001. Michael Palin and a camera crew traveled around the Sahara Desert and recorded their experiences. This resulted in four one-hour episodes that were shown on TV, and are now available on DVD.
The trip started at Gibraltar and went all the way around, and sometimes into, the Sahara Desert, through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria again, Ceuta, and back to Gibraltar. Some of these countries are huge, for example, Algeria is four times the size of France or three times the size of Texas. The Sahara Desert is roughly the same size as the United States, and the trip covered 10,000 miles and took three months.
The Sahara Desert is so close to well-known Europe (just on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea) and is yet almost totally unknown to most of us in the West. In "Sahara" this veil of ignorance is lifted.
All of the Michael Palin travelogue programs feature his wit and charm and exuberance, and "Sahara" is no exception. It was a very impressive trip, with many special Palin-style encounters with interesting people. And, of course, beautiful pictures from the desert and the picturesque ancient cities like Fez and Timbuktu.
Still, I'm giving only four stars to "Sahara" instead of the five stars I've given to most of the other Michael Palin travelogue programs.
My reduced enthusiasm for "Sahara" is related to the fact that most of the countries he visited this time are ones that represent many problems. Heat, drought, poverty, begging, sickness, cultures in decline, refusal to accept the modern world, political instability, even barbaric traditions (female circumcision).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a rush job!!!!! 30 Jun 2004
By A Customer
Whilst it could be argued that the countries that Michael visits throughout the Sahara region are some of the least well known to the layman, each country is passed through suprisingly rapidly. Whole swaths of the region are crossed in mere minutes, areas that when shown on film are fascinating but ultimately a region as geographically wide as the United States is not covered in enough detail. Worth buying but don't expect as much insight into cultures as Michael's other programmes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rough travel 20 July 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've been of the opinion that Michael Palin's roughest travel was through Central Africa in Pole to Pole. Glad that he's making that trip "so you don't have to." But I think some of parts of his Sahara journey--especially when he suffers from a terrible bout of dysentery and treks through the deep desert with a camel train--are just as tough. Regarding complaints about the show being too much about the ex-Python and not enough about the Saharan locales... Well, I would suggest we're all watching these DVDs pretty much because Mr. Palin is traveling through these regions and applying his gentle and eccentric perspectives to them--cracking wise and cavorting a bit along his merry way. No Palin and I wouldn't be very much interested. In other words, he's always the star of his own travels. And that's as it should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars michael palin SAHARA 12 Aug 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
this documentary is absolutely wonderful. it's like after watching this you feel like you've been in the sahara yourself. and the picture is perfect. well done Michael.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but interesting 12 Jan 2010
This short BBC documentary series by the excellent Michael Palin takes in the desolate beauty of the Sahara Desert and its surroundings. Throughout the series Palin travels through the region meeting interesting people and seeing wonderful sights along the way. The series is done in Palin's usual relaxed style and remains fascinating and informative throughout.

If the series has a flaw it is that it is too short consisting of only four hour long episodes. As such this means that some places are covered a bit more briefly than I would have liked and some the series does seem somewhat rushed in places. Despite this the series definitely lives up to the other documentaries that Michael Palin has done and any fan of Palin's journeys shouldn't be disappointed in this series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Wayne Sanders
1.0 out of 5 stars Be Aware !
Maybe my fault, but warning on website when ordering didn't stand out to me - it can only be played in the USA, or on specialist equipment.
Published 8 months ago by MR KEITH M BOND
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Have started to build a collection of the above mans travel and find them really interesting shall be buying more as you can enjoy
his travels
Published 8 months ago by Peter Rocket
4.0 out of 5 stars ok
Bought it for a friend who resides in the Caribbean and so far he said that he like the documentary.
Published 9 months ago by NPEngLeic
5.0 out of 5 stars Product Review
Fascinating 4 part DVD. Would love more shots of the Sahara. Very interesting interviews with various Desert tribes. DVD should be extended. Truly an insightful DVD.
Published 9 months ago by Fruit Tea Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Sahara DVD
Very enjoyable - a fan of all the pythons. sometimes, however, Michael spends too much time chin wagging with locals rather than showing more of the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Steve Mead
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't even manage to be superficial
I have to say I dislike Palin - part of Monty Python, and therefore recipient of public money at a time when the BBC was a quarter of a monopoly of British TV. Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2010 by Rerevisionist
4.0 out of 5 stars Sahara - good resource
Bought this to add to resources for new section on Deserts - OCR A scheme.
Published on 28 Dec 2009 by Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Palin is always excellent
If planning a trip to Morocco, Michael Palins Sahara is an excellent source for the kind of detail that makes a trip to a different culture more meaningful. Read more
Published on 20 Oct 2009 by William F. Hill
2.0 out of 5 stars Non Documentary
I normally do not have pre expectations but in this case I did as this documentary is also one of many exceptional documentaries done by the BBC but in this case it is a personal... Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2009 by Kenneth Edwin Vogstad
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