I’ve been looking forward to this show since I first heard plans for it back in 2010. I couldn’t wait to see Palin’s take on my favourite country in the world (so far). I’m also a huge fan of Palin’s early travel series (Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle and Himalaya).
As the first two shows focus on the areas I’ve travelled in most in Brazil (Iguacu pops up in the final episode in two weeks time), I was eager to see these.
The first episode seemed, well, just that, episodic. It didn’t have a strong narrative thread linking it together. Having said that, I really enjoyed the section on Salvador: candomble, samba, Dada the famous local chef.
The Amazon episode seemed to have more sense of a journey…the riverboats and small planes…or maybe it was just edited better.
I’ve recently got the book which accompanies the show and I have to say, this time I prefer the book to the TV series. The photography from Basil Pao, Palin’s long-time companion on his trips, is sharp and striking, and Palin’s humour comes over better in the diary entries. Plus it includes all the locations that didn’t make the final cut on film.
I will be watching the final two episodes and I’m sure I’ll enjoy them. It’s just not quite the same as it used to be.