Series in which explorer Paul Rose celebrates the achievements of famous seamen and explorers.
Part 1: Circumnavigation
Paul Rose reveals the real story behind the first ever circumnavigation of the world. Ferdinand Magellan set out 500 years ago to find the westward route to the riches of the Spice Islands. But, contrary to popular perception, he never reached them. Rose explains the dramatic sequence of events that led his scurvy-riddled crew to continue around the world without him. The incredible expedition was laced with bloody mutiny and murder, but its achievement was to fundamentally change the lives of the generations that followed, influencing life even today.
Part 2: The Making of Captain Cook
Paul Rose tells the story of one of the greatest ever sea adventures, which transformed Captain James Cook into a national hero and dramatically changed the course of history. Two and a half centuries later, Captain Cook is still a household name, but his achievements are often misunderstood; contrary to popular perception, he did not discover New Zealand and Australia. Intrepid Rose follows his journey down under and uncovers the real story of Captain Cook.
Part 3: The Ice King
Paul Rose tells the story of his hero Fridjtof Nansen who, in 1892, announced a daring plan to be first to the North Pole, an idea considered so off-the-wall that no scientist would volunteer to join him on a venture they believed was nothing short of suicide. He allowed his ship to become stuck in the crushing pack ice, hoping it would drift to the Pole, and then set off on foot across the frozen wastes. Nansen became the forefather of polar exploration, inventing practical techniques that today allow people to survive, travel and work in the most hostile and forbidding places on our planet.
Part 4: The Figure of the Earth
Paul Rose tells the story of three Frenchmen who couldnt stand each other, yet set off on an eight-year scientific mission in one of the most hostile places on the planet. Their plan, to settle an international row by measuring the shape of the planet, took them to the disease-ridden rainforests and oxygen-starved peaks of the Ecuadorian Andes. Rose follows in the footsteps of the 18th-century explorers who were complete innocents abroad and had no idea of the horrors they were letting themselves in for. Despite disease, death and some highly disastrous sexual liaisons, the men made discoveries that fundamentally changed all our lives.
Part 5: Hanging by a Thread
Paul Rose tells the story of the USS Squalus submarine which became stranded on the bottom of the Atlantic in 1939. No one had ever been saved from a stricken sub beneath the ocean before, but maverick designer Charles Momsen, who had been ignored by the navy top brass, was suddenly called into action to bring up the crew. Rose meets the last living survivor from the sub and one of the men, now 103, who helped save him. The rescue kick-started a whole new era of technology, laying the foundation for modern deep sea diving.