2008, TV

Charley Boorman: Ireland to Sydney by Any Means (2008)

Without his Long Way Round/Long Way Down partner Ewan McGregor (who does have a cameo), Charley Boorman does his own thing, travelling from Ireland to Australia while trying to avoid commercial flights. It’s a smaller crew but, in many ways, just as ambitious.

Jenn and I have a real thing for these British celebrity travel shows, that seemingly don’t have American/Canadian equivalents. But this one is slightly too much Charley Boorman. One reason why the other shows of this ilk we’ve watched have succeeded is, in part, due to the dynamics of the relationship of the celebrities on screen, no matter how minor. And though Russ Malkin, producer of the Long Way series as well as Boorman’s other, future travel shows, is here, Boorman is the star. And it can grate after awhile. (By the way, somehow I didn’t know Charley Boorman is the son of British director John Boorman. It took something like 4 different TV series featuring him for me to realize this.)

But it’s a really cool trip, and the idea of not taking commercial flights is a neat gimmick that leads to a few pretty dangerous moments. It makes for a super interesting way to see the world, something considerably less remote than when the two of them were biking.

As with World’s Most Dangerous Roads, there’s not really enough show here. It’s 6 episodes but there are big gaps, seemingly inexplicably, Much like Most Dangerous Roads, it feels like they had a set number of episodes to deliver and they had to cut it down to fit. That’s too bad, because it feels like we miss parts of the journey.

This is a great idea for a show and it mostly works. My biggest quibble is Boorman’s constant performing. I wish he would tone it down just a bit. But I enjoyed the show and I will be watching its follow up soon since it’s on the same streaming service.


PS: What a life to have created for yourself that this is what you do. It’s like he’s Michael Palin but he didn’t have to have an earlier career in Britain’s greatest comedy troupe first.

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