Last night saw a real TV first when veteran travel broadcaster (and former Monty Python member) Michael Palin travelled to North Korea for a new Channel 5 documentary, his first time in the self-sealed state and a rare chance for viewers to see what life is like in the country.
- Michael Palin on his journey through North Korea: “once we got there the anxieties fell away”
- Michael Palin reveals first trailer for North Korea travel series: “This will be the most revealing journey of my life”
- Everything you need to know about Michael Palin in North Korea
And it’s fair to say that viewers were pretty excited to see Palin back in travel mode.
— Ben Fogle (@Benfogle) September 20, 2018
— Jonathan Fryer (@jonathanfryer) September 20, 2018
Michael Palin in North Korea on C5 now. Proper telly.
— Andy Dawson (@profanityswan) September 20, 2018
— Michael ?️? (@MichaelM238) September 20, 2018
Just remembered Michael Palin in North Korea is on tonight at 9pm! pic.twitter.com/Krqnks9mee
— Stephen Graham (@PlopGazette) September 20, 2018
When there's so much crap on tele now you can still find the odd golden nugget. Michael Palin in North Korea on channel 5 is absolute quality TV its definitely one not to miss pic.twitter.com/oU0Rn01IBe
— Steven Johnson (@Sj71Steven) September 20, 2018
Made it home in time for Michael Palin in North Korea yasssssssss
— Lisa-Marie Ferla (@lastyearsgirl_) September 20, 2018
Always been fascinated by N Korea and watched tones of docs on the “hermit kingdom” (mainly BBC) but Michael Palin in North Korea on @channel5_tv is hands down the best I’ve seen. Fair, Impartial and Different… you feel like your really in Pyongyang. Well worth a watch! ??
— Jordan James (@politicalite) September 21, 2018
In this first episode Palin went to the country’s capital, Pyongyang, where the streets are serenaded by propaganda songs. During his time there, he visits statues of former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il that are said to live on today and even pops into a North Korean school, where he throws a globe around with some children to see how much of the world they know about while one child recites a patriotic poem.
Michael Palin in North Korea. "Someday, son, all this will be yours." pic.twitter.com/a2dzwNX9sN
— Shadowplay (@dcairns) September 20, 2018
Michael Palin is a true gift from God.
Allowing us to see in his own inimitable, unique style just what its like in North Korea. Truth is, these people are beautiful, normal people, just a little scared & uncertain of the outside world.
— smtm_lfc (@smtm_LFC) September 20, 2018
And while there are serious questions asked about the country, Palin joining in the dancing during a mass May Day celebration captured the imagination of many viewers.
Michael Palin getting hammered and dancing with North Koreans ? #MichaelPalinInNorthKorea
— Ian T (@Officially_IT) September 20, 2018
Glad to report that Michael Palin in North Korea is a searing and impassioned piece of investigative journalism. pic.twitter.com/B8iGujlU7r
— Chris Blohm (@chrisblohm) September 20, 2018
Of course, Palin was aware that he was being presented with quite a sanitised view of the country – and it’s a fact that wasn’t left on people watching at home.
This Michael Palin documentary is free propaganda for the North Korean dictatorship if he doesn’t even touch on the atrocities and human rights violations North Korea is responsible for. They have internment camps for Christ sake.
— Pete (@cityonfyah) September 20, 2018
People mad because Michael Palin went to North Korea & didn't just say "wow this place is horrible & evil," calling it propaganda just cos he had some nice things to say about a country? Get a grip. If he goes to the US does he have to spend the entire time criticising Trump?
— Genie Luxemburg (@Sprachstudentin) September 21, 2018
Michael Palin`s visit to North Korea will have been restricted, by the military, to the Capital Pyongyang. They would not have wanted him to see, or the Channel 5 Camera Crew to capture footage of the impoverished & malnourished people existing in the rural areas of the country.
— Michael Turner (@michael2011) September 21, 2018
Enjoying people tweeting about Michael Palin in North Korea and feeling the need to ‘remind’ everyone about how the country is presenting its own propaganda. Yes. Clearly. Thanks for that…
— Andy Phipps (@AndyJPhipps) September 20, 2018
But overall, people were still impressed at the groundbreaking film and all it represented – to the point that there was an extreme overkill of people saying “fascinating” on Twitter….
Michael Palin in North Korea doc on Channel 5 is fascinating. The colours of the Soviet-style apartment blocks in Pyongyang. And the robotic traffic control women. Amazing.
— Justyn Barnes (@justynbarnes) September 20, 2018
Just watching 'Michael Palin in North Korea'. Something fascinating about a country cut off from the rest of civilisation. Can't wait for 'Michael Palin in Brexit Britain'.
— Keith Hursthouse (@KeithHursthouse) September 20, 2018
This Michael Palin in North Korea documentary on Channel 5 is fascinating
— Colin Runcie (@colin_runcie) September 20, 2018
Michael Palin in North Korea. Fascinating normality and joy. Not whole picture of course. But a true part of the reality surely. Do watch it.
— Feynman fan #fbpe (@jim_henderson60) September 21, 2018
Fascinating insight into North Korea with Michael Palin. I loved Around the World in 80 days. #MichaelPalinInNorthKorea
— Sara Moore (@saramoore_utv) September 20, 2018
Michael Palin in North Korea is fascinating to watch #michaelpalininnorthkorea
— Lina Williams (@LinaWilliams7) September 20, 2018
Never has the word 'fascinating' been used more on Twitter than about this Michael Palin in North Korea documentary.#fascinating
— Justyn Barnes (@justynbarnes) September 20, 2018
Michael Palin in North Korea continues on Channel 5 next Thursday at 9pm