Robert Falcon Scott was, arguably, one of the greatest British explorers.
In 1911, Scott led a British team on the ultimate adventure and challenge at the time: to reach the South Pole. They were soon joined by Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian team and the race to be first to get to the South Pole began.
By the spring of 1912, the race was over: Scott was dead and Amundsen was the victor.
Blizzard: Race To The Pole reconstructs their incredible feat with contemporary explorers using the original resources available to Scott and Amundsen.
The six-part series follows the two modern-day teams to see how they are coping with the equipment and conditions. It also features interviews with historians, explorers and biographers who help bring Scott's original expedition to life.
At the beginning of the last century, reaching the South Pole was the greatest terrestrial journey left to man. To get to the bottom of the earth, traversing the very worst of what the natural world had to offer, would be an achievement that would symbolise humanity's ultimate domination of nature.
The stakes couldn't have been higher.
Nearly a century later the stories of Scott and Amundsen continue to grip the public imagination and have inspired countless men and women to follow in their footsteps.
Controversy continues to rage about whether Scott was a great hero or a poor leader who lead his men to certain death.
Many questions are central to this debate:
What if Scott had set off for the pole three weeks earlier and experienced the same benign conditions that were to favour Amundsen?
- Would Amundsen have succeeded if he had had to endure the conditions that ultimately killed Scott?
- Was Amundsen really the enlightened explorer that so many claim him to be? Were his tactics so much better?
- And does modern man have the determination, strength and endurance of the early polar explorers?
Blizzard: Race To The Pole
Blizzard: Race To The Pole brings history to life by re-creating Scott and Amundsen's epic journey to the South Pole.
Two modern day teams of explorers have been set the challenge of travelling across a route identical in length to that covered by Scott and Amundsen.
The journey is a staggering 2,500 km long in sub-zero conditions using only the equipment, clothing and food that were available to the original teams. The members of this expedition will experience first hand, in terrifying detail, the chilling truth behind the race to the South Pole.
Because dogs are now prohibited from use in Antarctica, the journey took place in Greenland in the spring/summer of 2005.
Blizzard: Race To The Pole was produced by Keo Films for BBC TWO.
The executive producers are Zam Baring and Andrew Palmer; the series producer is Helen Hawken; and the directors/cameramen are Sean Smith and Wayne Derrick.
Notes to Editors
The accompanying book Blizzard: Race to the Pole by Jasper Rees is published
on 27 July 2006, priced £16.99.