27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
More poignant then LWR,
This review is from: Long Way Down - Special Edition (3 Discs, 10 Episodes) [DVD]  (DVD)
I felt the need to write a review, for the first time, as this DVD in its original form got so badly panned by a lot of people. I have watched Long Way Round, the Dakar DVD and now this extended edition and this is the most gratifying one yet, in my opinion.
If LWR was like a show about chefs putting everything into preparing a big meal and then not being able to appreciate what they had created, then LWD was about throwing a big meal together quickly, leaving time to taste everything and finding some of it bad and a lot of it good.
In Long Way Round the whole experience was new for everyone and it was more a document about Charley, Ewan and the team vs. the World and the trip itself. The Dakar video got more interesting for me AFTER Charley's 'wee-off' and so with Long Way Down the interest for me was that they got the 'old-gang' back together (and we sort of know what Claudio, Russ and Dave are like by now) and started off with maybe some complacency but were soon and repeatedly brought up short by their own lack of planning, assumed but insufficient communication, and Africa itself. It became a good reality show because we know these guys now and were interested to see them up against the unexpected. So it came across to me as a more poignant journey because what unstuck the members of the team were just what might unstick any of us at any time - unrealistic planning, a mate bringing his wife to your bachelor party, discrimination (against the Americans), really ambiguous encounters(President of Rwanda ~ saviour or murderer?), bad weather and big animals.
I must also add my voice in support of Charley, as he does get slagged off a bit in some reviews. I salute the directors and the guys for having the bravery to let their warts show and in that sense Charley must be the bravest of the lot! I can't wait for 'By Any Means' this autumn.