- EXPEDITION: AFRICA (DVD MOVIE)
From Executive Producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) Expedition: Africa takes viewers on an adventure of epic proportions as four renowned explorers attempt to follow the historic journey of Henry Morton Stanley and his search for the lost Dr. David Livingstone in the heart of Africa. HISTORYTM is bringing this adventure back to life in the 21st century. The twist? These modern-day explorers will have to complete the mission with only a compass, maps and Stanley s journals from the original undertaking. Can these modern-day adventurers survive the harsh and unforgiving African environment and succeed with nothing more than tools from the past? The explorers face dehydration, deadly animals, disease and each other, knowing that any step could be their last.
This 3-DVD set includes all eight heart-pounding episodes of the phenomenal adventure series.Amazon.com
Mark Burnett, I presume? The executive producer of Survivor puts his inimitable stamp on this compelling History Channel series that follows four explorers as they endeavor to re-create one of history’s greatest adventures, journalist Henry Morton Stanley’s 1871 trek into Africa to find missing explorer David Livingstone. Using only a compass and basic maps, navigator Pasquale, survivalist Benedict, journalist Kevin, and wildlife expert Mireya embark on their 970-mile odyssey through jungles and swamps, over mountains (that Stanley had the good sense to go around), across deserts, and along wild rivers. They face killer snakes and ferocious crocs and harsh, brutal conditions. As Mireya states at one point, “You plan and plan and plan and Africa happens.” Expedition: Africa is not a contest, but the quartet has a self-imposed a deadline of completing in 30 days what took Stanley nine months. This would be reality enough for anyone, but as with Burnett’s Survivor and The Apprentice, the real drama is in the personality clashes that are heightened in interview segments. Pasquale, who has led expeditions up Everest, takes charge of the group and sets a punishing pace. Where Mireya is apt to stop to impart fascinating facts about the flora and fauna, Pasquale is more “Pick the frickin’ flower … and let’s talk about it down in the bottom.” The resourceful Benedict, an “I don’t take orders well” type, also clashes with Pasquale. The challenge at the heart of the series is for the individuals to come together as a team. Armchair Indiana Joneses and vicarious travelers will find themselves enthralled by Africa’s magnificent landscapes. This series could also inspire a drinking game: raise your glass each time someone says “twende” (which means “let’s go”) or “expedition,” as in “we have to take control of the expedition as expeditionists.” Bonus feature segments about the making of the series, Stanley’s original expedition, the native Masai, Africa’s dangers, and survival strategies further immerse viewers in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Mireya opens the door for a sequel when she says at journey’s end that she hopes there will be other expeditions. “Twende.” –Donald Liebenson
Stills from Expedition: Africa (Click for larger image)