Wilderness Explored: Arctic
Original BBC4 broadcast date: Oct. 8, 2008
John Geiger is featured in the first installment of a three-part BBC documentary series telling the stories of early European explorers who reached the wildernesses of Arctic Canada, the Congo and Australia.
Two hundred years ago, the Arctic was largely a great blank on the map for would-be explorers. It captured their imagination as a place of sublime beauty and yet also as a desolate frozen landscape, home to the deadly polar bear. It was a place where heroes attempted to find the North-West passage and where whole expeditions disappeared without trace.
In the last century, the polar sea has become a region of vital strategic significance where the great powers built secret bases, transforming the lifestyle of the Inuit. Now, as the Arctic ice melts, the polar bear has become an emblem for the fragility of our planet.
According to The Guardian, Wilderness Explored: Arctic is "genuinely captivating (and) visually arresting ... this isn't just an exploration of one of earth's last great wildernesses. It's also a charting of humanity's charting of the Arctic as well as an intelligent discussion of what the area has represented and what it has come to represent - from a region of ferocious wildness to a fragile place on which our future is contingent."