TV tip: Antarctica – The frozen time | Polarjournal

Antarctica is a place of longing, a place where time seems to stand still. And yet life rages here. A television crew joined our friends from Heritage Expeditions on a trip to the Ross Sea and brings you right into the middle of it. Tune in, come along and be enchanted!

The footage about Antarctica aboard the Akademik Shokalskyi was shot as part of a “Slow TV” documentary. With a documentary like this, viewers will be immersed deeply in the film and are practically there in real time. The documentary was launched in New Zealand early on Good Friday morning last year and took viewers on a 12-hour journey to the Ross Sea and East Antarctica. “The documentary offers anyone who has ever dreamed of visiting Antarctica the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of legendary explorers and visit the historic sites and buildings; dive in the orderly chaos of some of the largest penguin colonies in the world, walk on the ice and enjoy the most beautiful views and scenery on our planet,” explains Heritage Expeditions. The film is available either now on the ARTE website or, for those who prefer to enjoy it on their home cinema, can be seen tomorrow at 20.15 on ARTE television. More airing dates are below.

Longing Antarctica! A click on the picture takes you to “Antarctica – The Frozen Time”. Spectacular, beautiful, sometimes poetic images show the viewer an Antarctica beyond BBC and animal documentaries. It takes the viewer directly to East Antarctica, a part of the white continent hardly known to tourists. Picture: Michael Wenger

The footage for the documentary was shot in spring 2020 on Heritage Expeditions’ 4-week “In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton” expedition voyage. The New Zealand-based shipping company has been offering true nature and expedition voyages in the New Zealand area, to the sub-Antarctic islands and to East Antarctica for over 30 years. The family-owned company prides itself on being one of the few operators to regularly call at this region of the white continent that is rarely visited by tourists. “Aboard our small expedition ships, we are a family and everyone knows everyone,” explains Aaron Russ, co-owner and son of company founder Rodney Russ. “With only a maximum of 50 passengers on board, we can go places no one else can, and we can give guests a truly intimate and up-close look at Antarctica.”

While standing on the pack ice, visits from penguins are not uncommon, but still an absolute highlight. Due to the calm and relaxed behaviour of the visitors, the birds are not disturbed and a unique experience is guaranteed. Picture: Michael Wenger

The New Zealand TV company Greenstone TV was responsible for the filming. They had already gained experience with a similar concept of a “Slow TV” documentary under the title Go South and caused quite a stir. Because instead of taking the viewer to Antarctica in just under 45 minutes, whether in one or several parts, the aim is to create a real “immersion” feeling. Just like on board the ship, the viewer should be able to tune in again and again and be right in the middle of experiencing Antarctica almost up close. Accordingly, the broadcast of the documentary was a success. Greenstone TV then created a three-hour version. However, both versions are only available on New Zealand TV and the New Zealand Sky Go variant. For the international market, various TV stations secured the rights and had versions specifically tailored. ARTE shows an 87-minute summary in the context of the Earth Day 2021but which is no less exciting, poetic and magical. The version can be viewed on the web via the link below from today until July 15. If you want to get comfortable in front of the TV, you can watch the documentary from tomorrow Saturday 17.04.2021 at 20.15 on ARTE, by the way also in French. Further broadcast dates are:

  • Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 2:25 pm
  • Wednesday, 28 April 2021 at 09.25 hrs

About the documentary

Dr Michael Wenger, PolarJournal

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