The Last Explorers - BBC
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Neil Oliver presents this four-part BBC documentary series about the golden age of exploration. In each episode Neil traces the footsteps of a different explorer from Scotland, visiting locations including the Zambesi river, the Antarctica, Yosemite Valley and Japan, and discussing subjects such as slavery, science, conservation and war along the way. The episodes are: 'Livingstone', 'William Speirs Bruce', 'John Muir' and 'Thomas Blake Glover'.
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The documentary consists of four episodes, each consisting of the escapades of one of the individuals.
The first one is David Livingstone who felt it was his moral mission to end the slave trade in central Africa and used his fame to accomplish the task. He wanted to reshape British values, and bring commerce, Christianity, and civilisation to Africa. Though history records the noble side of Livingstone, Neil shows that he at times twisted the truth to get the funding he needed!
The second episode follows William Speirs Bruce, a scientific explorer, who set out to conquer Antarctica. The journey was most hazardous as they sailed the tempestuous Southern Ocean and this, in the early twentieth century, without the modern technology that we have at our disposal today.
The third episode is about John Muir who explored the natural world and devoted his life to convince others to see the beauty of his discoveries. He is acknowledged as one of the founders of America's National Parks. This episode is the one I enjoyed the most as it showcased the beautiful Yosemite Valley in California. This is a very beautiful park and the photography and scenery, as in the other episodes, is spectacular. It reminded me of a holiday I had there some years ago.
The fourth episode is about Thomas Blake Glover who was instrumental in modernising Japan, making it into one of the most aggressive and powerful economies in the world.
I can highly recommend this documentary. It is a BBC production, so professional and informative .
If you like documentaries, or Neil Oliver, or history, or biographies, you'll probably enjoy this excellent series. But if you're specifically looking for explorers, you may be disappointed.