Updated January 18, 2004.
SYNOPSIS In 1911 Captain R. F. Scott (Martin Shaw) of England and Captain Roald Amundsen (Sverre Anker Ousdal) of Norway raced each other to the South Pole. This 7 part miniseries was based on the biographical book of the same title (well, re-named) by Roland Huntford. During the miniseries, the viewer discovers that Scott and Amundsen were men with the same strengths and weaknesses as the rest of us. Scott is shown to be a leader who doesn't listen to the advice of his experts. While Amundsen had to actually sneak to the South Pole (his backers all thought he was returning to the North). The tragedy of the story arises when Scott and his men fail to return from the South Pole alive.
REVIEW I know what you're thinking... *Seven hours*? But honestly, the miniseries keeps moving and you can watch the whole thing in one go. (Well, I've only done it once. On a night with a particularly bad case of insomnia. And the miniseries didn't put me to sleep.) I must admit, before I watched Last Place on Earth, my whole knowledge of Captain Scott came from Monty Python. So yes, I was a little disappointed when Oates wasn't attacked by a giant electric penguin. Um, yes, as I was saying...
I was under the opinion that Captain Scott was some fabulous explorer who conquered the South Pole. What I discovered was that he was a man under a lot of stress, with a wife who had grand designs for him, and who didn't always listen to reason. I had never heard of Amundsen until I saw the miniseries, and when it was done, I had a less than positive opinion of him. But of course, the main reason I wanted to see this miniseries was for Sylvester McCoy.
Sylv plays the part of Lt. "Birdie" Bowers, an unctious underling to Scott. It's quite apparent that Bowers was smitten with Mrs. Scott (see the first scene with him and Mrs. Scott), and it's possible he was equally smitten with Mr. Scott. McCoy does a great job in this miniseries, as does the rest of the cast. And he looks *fine* in uniform. (Alas, Bowers was one of the men in Scott's party that continues to the Pole, but doesn't make it back.)
PRODUCTION INFO Produced by Central Productions in association with Renegade Films in 1985.
AVAILABILITY Available in NTSC VHS and Region 0 DVD.
SOUNDS As with all my wavs, I have compressed and uncompressed versions.
For the regular 11,025 Hz, 8 bit, Mono sounds, click on the button. For the compressed MPEG Layer-3 sounds, click on the button.