The Michael Palin Collection (Box Set) (DVD)

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The Michael Palin Collection (Box Set) (DVD)

Featuring 'Around The World In 80 Days', 'Pole To Pole', 'Full Circle', 'Sahara', 'Himalaya', 'Great Railway Journeys' and 'Michael Palin's Hemingway ...

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Review of "The Michael Palin Collection (Box Set) (DVD)"

published 25/01/2005 | Clara
Member since : 30/11/-0001
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Pro Hours of fun for all the family
Cons not as funny as Monty Python
very helpful
Value for Money

"Around the world in 80 DVDs*"

First of all apologies for the title, the small print should read *product may contain less than 80 DVDs.
But I just had to!

What you do get with this amazing boxed set is all seven of Michael Palin's globe trotting travel experiences, namely: Around the World in 80 days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Great Railway Journeys, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara and Himalaya. You actually get 16discs, containing around 40 hours of televisual viewing pleasure.

If you've never heard of Michael Palin, essentially he is a very pleasant, easy going chap, who was asked back in 1988 if he would like to recreate Phileas Fogg's fictional journey around the world in 80 days. Following the success of that series, someone at the BBC must have decided that his relaxed presentation, mild bewilderment and genuine amazement at the foreign places and customs he encountered, and his success in talking to complete strangers on trains, boats and camels and making good tv out of it, was worth repeating. Michael Palin is now an established BBC travelogue presenter, with 7 such series under his belt. You may also remember him appearing in something called Monty Python's Flying Circus, dressed up as a lumberack or a pet shop owner. That's another story, but there is at least one episode per programme of some random foreign person wandering up to Michael as he's being filmed, who says "Aaaaaaah Monty Python! " which completely breaks his concentration.

All the programmes, despite the differences in the journeys Michael makes, are very relaxing viewing, but interesting and informative. Eash episode is an hour long so its the perfect thing to keep near your tv for those occasions when there's nothing on, but you don't want to commit yourself to watching a whole movie.

Michael Palin is excellent as a presenter because he's essentially an ordinary bloke, not a historian or an anthopologist. He does things we'd do on holiday, such as speaking loudly and slowly in English to people who clearly don't understand, looking worriedly at the odd food then getting tummy upsets, and bouncing on hotel beds the minute he enters the room. He doesn't confuse the viewer with too much cultural detail, but he shows real enjoyment of the places he goes and the people he meets, and while he leaves you with a desire to know more about the places he has visited, he also gives you the feeling that in a way you have been there with him. You get to share his frustrations when travel plans go awry, and you wish you'd been on telly so that people would want you to join in their festivals and family feasts. Travelling with Michael you climb mountains, cross deserts and seas, eat snake, wear silly hats and meet the Dalai Llama.

The boxed set cost us £60 from WHSmith, It is also available direct from the BBC website, and from Amazon. Ours is a region 2 version for the UK. It's a lot of money up front but even if you watched one show a night that's 5 weeks of really good tv, and 'Himalaya' on its own costs £20+.
There aren't a lot of 'extras' but some of the programmes contain extra footage that they couldn't fit into the original tv programmes.

This boxed set should be bought by people who like travel, Michael Palin or both, and people who are fed up with the reality and house buying rubbish that are on every channel. If you want some inspiration for a trip, or you're planning a holiday to some far flung destination and you're after some background info, you could refer to the appropriate episode to see what you might get. We're now thinking about a trip to Nepal with exodus for next year's holiday. The programmes are however no less enjoyable for the armchair traveller.

Highly recommended, very enjoyable and good value for money. And no dead parrots.

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Comments on this review

  • nickyct published 26/10/2005
    I love Palin!!!!!!!!!! We have all the DVDs, albeit seperately. They are fabuolous! Nicky x
  • n13roy published 30/05/2005
    For £60 I think this is an absolute bargain, all those DVDs full of Mr Palins own brand of humour and travel trips. Great review from start to finish, I enjoyed reading this one......Roy
  • gardenguru1 published 12/02/2005
    I loved the TV programmes as they are so watchable and he is such a natural presenter. The DVDs sound wonderful too. Nancy
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Product Information : The Michael Palin Collection (Box Set) (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Featuring 'Around The World In 80 Days', 'Pole To Pole', 'Full Circle', 'Sahara', 'Himalaya', 'Great Railway Journeys' and 'Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure'.


Listed on Ciao since: 25/01/2005