Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Survivor: Ujiji

Couldn't stop laughing as I read this . . .

From The New York Times, 24 April:
"If we can presume that David Livingstone — he of the 19th-century expedition to find the source of the Nile — was the original survivor of popular imagination, then why shouldn’t Mark Burnett — he of the television phenomenon Survivor — find common ground with him?

"In an intriguing new example of unscripted television, Mr. Burnett will recreate the expedition of Henry Morton Stanley to find the missing Dr. Livingstone [shown here] in a series he will produce for the History Channel.

"'This is really a return to my roots,' said Mr. Burnett, who first broke through in television producing the nature race Eco-Challenge. 'This is taking the element of nature in the raw and adding the truth of history.'

"Abbe Raven, president of A&E Television Networks, which includes the History Channel, will announce the Stanley-Livingstone show next week when her company presents its programming plans for next season.

"The plan, as Mr. Burnett described it in a telephone interview, is to take five accomplished adventurers and set them off in Stanley’s footsteps, using only the technology available in the 1870s. 'That means old compasses, old maps,' Mr. Burnett said.

"But the team will otherwise be contemporary. 'They’re not dressing up in the clothes of the old days,' Mr. Burnett said. The adventurers will not be named for a while, though Mr. Burnett did disclose that one will be 'a well-known, serious journalist.' That replicates Stanley, who Mr. Burnett noted, 'was a newspaper guy looking for the big score.' He said he would try to document lesser-known facts about the journey, including 'whether their motives were pure or whether it was partly about ego.'

"And, of course, 'Did Stanley really use the words ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume?'

"The expedition will start, as Stanley’s did, in Zanzibar, where the team will take on supplies and probably include the typical scene with 'the local African guide warning these interlopers,' Mr. Burnett said.

"The team will trek 700 miles into territory that Mr. Burnett said 'has not really changed that much' and where lions and Cape buffalo roam.

"'I think one of the big questions will be: Are we as tough as they used to be?' Mr. Burnett said. If we are, he intends to come back with further expeditions. 'I’d love to do Ghengis Khan,” he said. “Or Hannibal. Imagine crossing the Alps today with elephants.'"

4 comments:

disORDERed said...

How bizzare! Television seems to get more desperate for ratings with every passing year. No wonder we're all looking for something else to do instead.

Sid Leavitt said...

Ghengis Khan . . . Hannibal? I'll bet there are Mongolian hordes and elephant wranglers sending resumes right now to the intrepid Mr. Burnett.

Laura said...

Oh dear...

historylover said...

I think it will be pretty interesting. Maybe even comical and amusing to see if these "explorers" are tough enough to handle the trip.

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