North Pole Ice Airport (3 x 60′) – A new documentary series with exclusive access to one of mankind’s most ambitious, and most improbable, projects – and to the extraordinary cast of characters it attracts.
Every year, for one month only, a bizarre community springs up in the planet’s most hostile environment. Men and machinery, parachuted onto the barren polar wastes from Russian transport planes, sculpt an airport from scratch out of the ice itself.
For the next four weeks, before the ice drifts and melts, Ice Station Barneo becomes a magnet for people passionate about living on the edge: not just scientists and explorers, but skydivers trying to land on the roof of the world, a couple looking for the ultimate wedding venue, extreme golfers who think nothing of teeing off in -35, and the hardy souls whose idea of fun is the notorious Arctic Marathon.
This series takes us inside this world to tell stories of bravery, eccentricity and emotion. The pole changes the people who visit it, and our cameras are with them as they face up to themselves in this awe-inspiring, unforgiving landscape. It tells the story of Barneo’s short season, following the visitors whose arrival there is the fulfillment of a lifetime’s ambition, and the workers for whom freezing temperatures and cracking runways are everyday obstacles. And it shows how – 1000 miles from civilisation, they have to be ready for anything: from emergency medical rescue missions when expeditions to the Pole go badly wrong, to vital underwater experiments to see how much longer the ice-cap itself can survive.
Channel: Channel 5
Producer: Darlow Smithson Productions
TX: Autumn 2012
Source: Channel 5 press release