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Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow

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Series 1-Episode 1

Series 1-Episode 1

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Review

This is one of those immersive expedition documentaries full of folksy machismo and the whiff of woodsmoke. Dan Snow and a team of hardy blokes navigate the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon in replica 19th-century rowing boats.

The idea is to re-create the original 1869 expedition through the canyon, led by John Wesley Powell, which mapped the area for the first time. Watching the boats being tossed around on the rapids is fun (there are a lot of white-water-plus-rock-music sequences). But it’s the staggering scenery that the programme captures best, with the kind of photography that makes the hairs on your neck stand up. One puzzle the team must figure out: how do you fix your position in the world if all you’ve got are sextants, empty charts, and you can never see the horizon?

Summary

Part one of two. The broadcaster joins a team of historians and geologists to recreate a pioneering 280-mile journey through the natural wonder that was led by explorer John Wesley Powell in 1869. Following in Powell's footsteps in the stunning yet challenging north Arizona landscape, Snow and the crew take on the area's rapids in antique wooden boats as they learn about the region's geological and Native American past.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Dan Snow
Director Ben Duncan
Director Martin Johnson
Producer Ben Duncan
Producer Martin Johnson

Documentary

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