Michael Palin in North Korea

Special Edition

Special Edition



Michael Palin’s fascinating North Korea travelogue was the jewel in Channel 5’s 2018 crown. As you’d expect from Palin, it unveiled a more human side to the country than previous docs have managed. Whether this intimacy was down to looser restrictions on foreign media, or the potency of Palin’s charisma, it’s hard to tell. Likely a bit of both.

This extended remix is essentially both episodes spliced together, with some bonus footage lobbed in. Highlights include an eerie, dystopian wake-up call that “sounds like Brian Eno”; a schoolgirl’s poignant poetry recital; and the spring festival where the locals lose their inhibitions — with help from some rice wine.


The actor documents life for many of the millions who live and work in North Korea. Michael's arrival coincides with the historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-In, as he embarks on a journey of some 1,300 miles of the reclusive nation south to north visiting sites and locations rarely, if ever, explored by Westerners, determined to spend time with everyday Korean citizens from all walks of life.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Will Smith
Series Director Neil Ferguson
Series Producer Neil Ferguson