A series in which Michael Palin explores nine fascinating countries and their cultures during a trek across the Sahara Desert.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Sahara with Michael Palin - Sahara with Michael Palin - Netflix
Sahara with Michael Palin is a four-part BBC television series presented by British comedian and travel presenter Michael Palin, and first broadcast in 2002. In it, Palin travelled around the Sahara in Northern - and Western Africa, meeting people and visiting places. The journey route included the following countries and territories: Gibraltar, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. These countries and the entire Sahara area are vast. For example, Algeria is four times the size of France or three times the size of Texas. The Sahara is roughly the same size as the United States, and the trip covered 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) and lasted three months. A book by the same name written by Palin was published to accompany the series. This book contained both Palin's text and many pictures by Basil Pao, the stills photographer on the team. Basil Pao also produced a separate book of the photographs he took during the journey, Inside Sahara, a large coffee-table style book printed on glossy paper.
Sahara with Michael Palin - A Line in the Sand - Netflix
The programme starts in Gibraltar, shown to be a bit of Britain only a few miles from Africa. In Tangier, Morocco, Palin rides a camel on the beach, and then plays football with some youths and hurts himself. He's somewhat revived by visiting a hammam, a public bath house. He attends a church service at St. Andrews Anglican Church together with some Nigerians who are trying to gain access to Europe. He also visits Jonathan Dawson, an expatriate Englishman, and his pet cockerel Birdie. To get to the Sahara it is necessary to travel over the Atlas Mountains. Along the way Palin visits Fez and sees the old-fashioned way to dye leather. Then in Marrakesh, he visits the souk (market). In the mountains near Marrakesh Palin visits a Berber village, experiencing a “courtship dance”. Before leaving the mountains he passes through Ait Benhaddou, an old town used as the location for many movies. Finally having reached the Sahara, in Algeria, Palin visits the Smara refugee camp for people who fled from Western Sahara. A member of the Polisario Front shows him around and he sees their equipment, mainly old Russian tanks. After several days travel, Palin makes it to Mauritania, to the town of Zouerat. From there he takes the iron ore train south to Choûm, then by road on to Atar, where he encounters the Paris - Dakar rally and talks to Dave Hammond, the only remaining British entrant at that point. In the closing credits, Palin mentions that Hammond had moved up to twelfth position before suffering an injury, from which he slowly recovered.