Horizon: Antarctica Ice Station Rescue

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Horizon: Antarctica Ice Station Rescue

Series 2017

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Review

Nobody has ever tried to move an ice station before. But the British Antarctic Survey base called Halley VI was designed – through some brilliant modular architecture – with exactly that possibility in mind. Each building in the Lego-ish structure has skis on, so it can be towed across the snow to somewhere else on the 130m-thick Brunt ice shelf. Just as well, because a huge fissure in the ice is threatening to cut the station adrift, so it needs to be relocated 23km away.

Film-maker Natalie Hewit follows the extraordinary process and captures some of the characters who live on the edge of the world. (“It’s like a beach holiday minus the beach,” muses one scientist.) People have been collecting data here every day for the past 60 years – we see the very machine that spotted the hole in the ozone layer in 1985. And while Hewit is filming, there’s an ugly development that imperils the whole operation.

Summary

BBC film-maker Natalie Hewit spent three months in Antarctica following the work of the everyday heroes who have been challenged to move a vital polar research station, Halley VI. Built on the Brunt Ice Shelf, it sits far beyond the Antarctic shoreline, but a crevasse in the surrounding ice threatens to send the station adrift.

Cast & Crew

Producer Natalie Hewit
Series Editor Steve Crabtree
Documentary Science