Timeshift: Of Ice and Men

Timeshift: Of Ice and Men

Series 11



Yorkshiremen need not apply for a trip to Antarctica since they don’t possess the right qualities, according to Ranulph Fiennes, who says the ideal visitors are placid and docile. It’s typical of the unexpected insights of Robert Murphy’s excellent film, which traces the impact of the polar continent on our imaginations.

It starts with Captain Cook’s first sighting of the savage region and a journal entry that inspired Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. The unpopulated continent has
been fertile ground both for our imaginations and for science. The film is beautifully put together, combining history and nature to reveal human traits.


Mankind's fascination with the frozen continent of Antarctica, from the early 20th-century race to be the first to reach the South Pole to modern scientific research into the region's geological properties. The programme reveals the story behind the photographs taken by Herbert Ponting on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated 1912 polar expedition, explores the South Pole's role in famous literature by HP Lovecraft and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and examines the continent's complicated political history. With contributions by Ranulph Fiennes, Sara Wheeler and Francis Spufford.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Robert Gwilym
Contributor Ranulph Fiennes
Contributor Francis Spufford
Contributor Huw Lewis-Jones
Contributor Sara Wheeler
Contributor Henry Worsley
Contributor Martin Hartley
Contributor David Walton
Director Robert Murphy
Executive Producer Michael Poole
Producer Robert Murphy
Series Producer Ben Southwell
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