A fascinating new factual series has been announced by Channel 5.
Endurance: Race to the Pole will see adventurer Ben Fogle head to Antarctica to re-live the Edwardian expeditions of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen.
The three-part series is set to follow the New Lives in the Wild presenter as he returns to Antarctica following his previous trip, in which he skied over 750km to the South Pole.
We’re told that “this life changing experience left him with one big question: how did the first, legendary polar explorers conquer that savage landscape?”
“This is a dream project for me,” revealed Fogle. “I have held a lifelong fascination with this period of heroic polar exploration and now I get the chance to experience immersive, living history myself by wearing the same clothes, eating the same type of food, pulling the same style sled and sleeping in the same canvas tent.”
“This will give me a better understanding about the heroics and the sacrifices made by these brave men more than a hundred years ago in one of the harshest most unforgiving places on earth,” he said.
“Having raced to the pole myself in 2008 wearing modern equipment, now I get to experience the harsh Antarctic wilderness as they did.”
We’re told that Ben Fogle will be experiencing first-hand some of the extremes that his polar heroes endured in their quest to conquer the unknown.
“This ambitious adventure will really push him to his limits and open up our understanding of the real heroics behind polar exploration, past and present,” promised commissioning editor Denise Seneviratne.
The official synopsis for the series reads: “Whilst telling the extraordinary story of the race to the South Pole, Ben will re-live key moments of Scott’s, Shackleton’s and Amundsen’s contrasting expeditions in the early 1900s, using only their Edwardian equipment, food supplies and shelter.
“Immersing himself in their world, Ben will step back in time to bring the Channel 5 audience the most visceral and revealing insight into these exceptional men and their obsession with conquering the South Pole.
“There will also be a compelling dual narrative of Ben’s own experience alongside polar explorer Dwayne Fields who will accompany him on the journey.
“Facing the physical and psychological real-life experiences that Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen lived through, Ben will understand the underlying heroism and sacrifice that made these men exceptional, despite their character flaws, their bitter rivalries, and their fatal mistakes – ultimately, revealing why Amundsen triumphs, and why Shackleton and Scott fail, and Scott paid with his life.
“As Ben celebrates the bravery of his polar heroes, he will also draw attention to their most important and legacy: opening up Antarctica’s unique role in highlighting our perilous ambitions for sustainability, seeing today’s stark reminders of how delicate our planet is.”
When’s the release date?
Endurance: Race to the Pole will premiere on Channel 5 in the UK and on Paramount+ internationally later this year or in 2024.
Taboo star Tom Hardy was reportedly working on a movie about Sir Ernest Shackleton a few years ago, but it seems like this project is sadly no longer going ahead.
Titled Shackeleton, the biopic was being scripted by Peter Straughan, writer of 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy adaptation.
Ben Fogle’s Inspire: Life Lessons from the Wilderness book is available on Amazon.