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4.7 out of 5 stars44
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 December 2005
This trip is just so long and unusual that you can't help being intrigued and fascinated by it all. Ten months and 50,000 miles traveling through 18 countries all the way around the Pacific Ocean!
What makes Michael Palin's trips so special is the enthusiasm, wit and charm he brings to the endeavor. Plus the ability of the crew to find extremely interesting people for Michael to talk to and very interesting activities for him to sample. And the whole thing is beautifully photographed, making you want to visit the various places yourself.
Among some of the most interesting points on the trip are a wedding ceremony in South Korea, the Russian Gulag in Siberia, the CaoDai religion in Vietnam, Philippine women learning how to be foreign workers, lassoing camels in Australia, a French shaman in the Amazon valley, narcotics problems in Bogotá, and illegal immigrants from Mexico to the USA.
My only criticism is that the west coast of the USA and Canada got glossed over. I'm guessing that Michael Palin, after nine months of traveling, just wanted to get home.
The DVD version of this TV program consists of three discs. These discs contain the ten 45-minute episodes (7 1/2 hours) plus some extra material:
- a very interesting interview with Michael Palin (28 minutes)
- some scenes that didn't make it into the TV program (almost 50 minutes)
- a funny meeting with Eric Idle, with lots of inside jokes for Monty Python fans (8 minutes)
Even without the extra material I'd give these DVDs a "highly recommended" rating. The extra material, especially the interview with Michael Palin, makes it even more wonderful.
Note that there is also a beautiful and well-written book available that covers this trip - also highly recommended.
Rennie Petersen
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VINE VOICEon 20 July 2004
If I were off globetrotting, this is how I would do it!
The third in the epic travel series undertaken by Michael Plain. Michael is off travelling through the countries along the Pacific Rim (18 countries and 50000 miles of it!). Starting from Diomede Island in the Bering straits making his way through Alaska, Russia, Asia Pacific, Australasia, South America, North America and back round to where he started. The difference between this series and the first two is there is no real sense of urgency or time factor involved, they simply set out to complete the whole journey in about a year, so that element of tension/pressure is missing.
As ever Michael and his excellent team make for a very colourful journey turning up many delights and surprises along the way. The series is filmed in similar fashion to the first two series in that we get to see the triumphs/tribulations of the journey, giving a much more authentic feel to it. Michael's usual demeanour prevails throughout making very avid viewing. Some of his interactions with bemused locals who don't understand English are almost like something out of a python sketch.
The series gives tantalising if somewhat brief glimpses into amazing cultures and places throughout the Pacific Rim countries, that few of us are ever likely to see. The wealth of cultures encountered are quite bewildering, again Michael goes out of his way in order to sample something of the local tradition, quite often attempting a little of the local language. The natural beauty of some of the places he goes to such as the Kamchatka national park which until recently was completely off limits to any foreigners is simply awe inspiring. The sheer diversity of South America from the southern glaciers through dry arid deserts up to the hot humid jungles of the north, each with their own unique landscapes and of course highlights such as Machu Pichu, Lake Titicaca etc.

The sheer scale of this series offers 10 x 50-minute programmes, which makes for over 8 hours of very entertaining viewing. The bonus features are a half-hour interview with Michael as well as about half an hour of additional deleted scenes. The picture and sound quality are both very good with the picture being presented in 4:3 format only. The pack is well presented containing 3 DVD discs with four episodes per disc, with interactive menus to aid programme/scene selection. I must note that the inside sleeve contents are somewhat inaccurately labelled, as it lists each DVD as having only three episodes per disc, which can lead to slight confusion as to which episode is on which disc.
Overall the package is excellent value for money with very entertaining/informative BBC series once more. This series it must be said is not quite up to the very high standards set by Around the world and Pole to Pole, but still an excellent endeavour and streets ahead of many travel series out there!
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on 29 August 2004
This is fantastic. I remember watching Pole To Pole in the 90's. Remembered vague bits, then the chance to buy this boxset came up.
I can honestly say i haven't enjoyed watching anything as much as this lately. I was compelled to buy his first outing 'Around The World In 80 Days' as a result. I promise you won't be disappointed.
It also has subtitles, outakes, deleted scenes and an interview with the man himself. Some engrossing armchair travel for a Sunday afternoon. Enjoy!
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on 6 December 2004
OK, you've been around the world in 80 days, and you've travelled from the North Pole to the South Pole. Is there anything else that you can do? Well, yes if your Michael Palin, you can go on a monumental journey around the largest ocean in the world visiting Russian goulags, Cow racing competitions and hidden Inca cities on the way. This really is travel on a grand scale, 18 countries, over 50,000 miles and still the mans spirits never seem to flag; how does he do it? His wit and enthusiasm are truely infectious and everytime, you wish you could see more. Here in lies the problem and the reason why I haven't given it 5 stars. It's so big an undertaking that some things, especially near the end just seem to be skimmed over which is a great shame. For instance at the end of episode 5 we see him having to abandon the boat he's on in Borneo as the weather conditions aren't right to take them to Australia, however at the start of the next episode, he's on a road train in Adelaide! It would have been nice to see or even hear some kind of explanation on how he did it. Also, his journey across the East Coast of America and Canada is barely touched on which seems a great shame. I know there is only so much footage you can fit into a ten part series but I think some things could have been explained a little clearer. Having said that, the footage that is in, from the stunning beauty of North Eastern Russia, the towering gauges of the Yangtze river which by now thanks to the damming will be under water, to the breathtaking scenery of the Amazon rainforest, is fantastic! Palins enthusiasm for everything that he see's and all the people he meets is wonderful; he's at ease with every situation that the journey throws at him although by the end, you can tell he's beginning to flag, but who can blame him after almost a year away from home.
On the whole, this is my favourite Palin adventure just because it's so damn big! You get to see so many different customs and traditions and some truley humbleing moments; I defy anyone not to feel moved when Michael visits a former Russian goulag death camp with one of it's survivors.
The DVD itself is great, 3 discs, deleted scenes, out takes and an interview with the great man himself, what more could you ask for? This is a must for anyone who's interested in travel even if it just from your own armchair, but it's a fantastic show in it's own right. Long may this man go on travelling and making brilliant television! Top Class
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on 28 August 2004
this is the most densly packed box set from palin's travels. he visits a plethora of fascinating places on the other side of the world. it's not quite got the storyline and charm of 'around the world', but it has so much more infromation about more countries and cultures, and this makes it just as good, and in many ways superior to the original series. essential for anyone who loves to travel, or indeed anyone who finds the world a fascinating place.
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on 31 August 2004
After the great 80 days and Pole to Pole, Palin come back again with the 3rd of his wonderful travel series. This one really does have you wondering what will happen next. He travels through contries so close, but yet so far in terms of culture and the people populating them. This one contains many surprises, even to those who think they can predict Palin by now, you are wrong! The DVD is also packed with extras, deleted scenes and an interview to name but afew. So if you enjoy Palin, and his tavels, and want a bit more than the other sereis, then i urge you to buy Full Circle.
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on 1 January 2011
I have always been a fan of Michael Palin,s work. I am a keen traveller myself,and whenever i am abroad i always try and get off the tourist trails and do my own exploring. This dvd along with his others is entertaining , informative,and comical.A collectors item to purchase alongside your normal travel guides, whether you have visited or about to visit the places on the dvd.
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on 29 April 2016
This is not as good as Pole to Pole or Around the World, but it has good moments. As Palin gets older his sense of comedy disappears from his videos. The last 3 (Brazil, Full Circle, New Europe) are completely devoid of comic relief. One recurring thing I've noticed with Palin is that he must not like the USA very much. He barely covers it in any of his travel videos. He devotes 15 minutes of 6 hours in Around the World, and only 10-15 minutes in this video. WTF? Is it because traveling thru the USA is a piece of cake and not like the third world countries? Is it because you're safe in the USA and don't need the 'drama' of bringing 3-4 security crew to travel thru our country? Or is it because he's a cheeky liberal who's made Millions in the free market but complains about capitalism it in the media? Probably the latter.
But you can look forward to 'Brazil' - which unfortunately is also lousy.
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on 10 February 2015
"Full Circle" is one of the most epic adventures in the Michael Palin series, which the series is 10 episodes long and Palin travels from the Little Diomede Island, Alaska and finishes off at the same place where he began, which he travels around the rim of the Pacific Ocean. Overall the journey took a staggering 10 months and Palin travelled an astounding 50,000 miles. What I love about this series is that Palin is entertaining to watch, which he has plenty of enthusiasm and there are a great variety of countries he visits, such as China, Australia, Peru, USA and Canada. Overall this is a wonderful series to watch and it's well worth buying on DVD.
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on 8 August 2010
by far the best of the michael palin series... once i pressed play on the first episode i had to watch at least 4 or 5 in a row to see where he goes next... very interesting indeed!
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