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Two hundred years ago vast expanses of the Arctic, Australian desert and central African jungle were virtually unknown to European explorers - literally great blanks on the map, their wildernesses places of unimaginable fear. But explorers were to change that. Some brave, some learned, many greedy, most ill-prepared for what they were to face, they embarked on expeditions to test their mettle, seek riches, and to discover and lay claim to whole uncharted territories. Wilderness Explored three-part documentary series telling the stories of early European explorers who reached the wildernesses of the Arctic Australia and the Congo.
|S01E01||The Arctic||08/10/2008||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.|
|S01E02||Australia's Red Heart||15/10/2008||Australia's stark and beautiful red centre is now seen as part of the country's national identity, with Uluru, or Ayres Rock, a national symbol. But this vast desert centre was originally seen as a place of death and silence by the first white explorers. It has taken 200 years for a new perception to emerge, one that recognises it as a place of life and creation - the way it has always been seen by the continent's original inhabitants, the Aborigines.|
|S01E03||The Congo||22/10/2008||The first Europeans to penetrate the vast forests of central Africa encountered an exuberance of animals, plants and minerals. Their accounts created a sensation back in their own countries, none more so than that of the gorilla, yet has this abundance of wildlife and resources been at the expense of the region's indigenous populations?|