Ice gets rave reviews

On yesterday’s Nine to Noon on Radio New Zealand National (podcast):

Sarah Daniell says Marcus Lush is the only TV presenter worth watching on TV right now and discusses TV ONE’s Sunday 7pm show Ice. She said he’s perfect for the job, he’s “nicely feral” and “the real deal”, spontaneous and irreverant. She praised the simplicity of the show and said it reminded her of the pure storytelling of Country Calendar.

I’m enjoying the show, and like the fact that it’s only half an hour long. If you haven’t seen the show, check it out 🙂

Ice Sunday 29 July, 7pm

This week on ‘Ice’, Marcus Lush encounters some animals living in Antarctica, including seals, penguins, dogs and skuas. Plus, he discovers how to find your boots at Scott Base.

Ice Sunday 15 July, 7pm

‘Off The Rails’ is a hard act to follow, so where do you send Marcus Lush when he has travelled the length of New Zealand in search of great people, places and stories? Antarctica.

‘Ice’, tonight at 7pm on TV ONE, is a new series about Antartica’s explorers, history, environment and animals – and the reality of life there. Lush and a crew from Jam TV, the company behind ‘Intrepid Journeys’ and ‘Off The Rails’, threw themselves at the continent for one summer and a fascinating five-part television series is the result.
“The documentary team’s attitude was to do everything, go everywhere, ask the hard questions and make the best show possible,” explains Lush, who co-produced the series with Melanie Rakena (producer of ‘Off The Rails’).

‘Ice’ delivers more than just pretty pictures of penguins and whales, although they definitely make an appearance. There’s a pinch of history, a dash of environmental awareness and stories of survival and courage. It’s not all about Scott Base – plenty of time is spent in the field, which presented its own challenges.

Rakena says the crew worked outside for hours in high wind-chill, they slept in ice caves and tents, and were protected by the best of outdoor technology. “We had hi-tech boots to elevate our feet off the ice and stop frostbite. I don’t know how the early explorers did it in their tweed jackets and wellies. Well, when you think about it, they didn’t do it – a number of them died,” she explains, reinforcing the very real threat posed by working in this harsh environment.

The series celebrates New Zealand’s personal connections with the ice, particularly those forged by early explorers, like Robert Falcon Scott. “I hadn’t quite realised the depth of the connection. Scott had a cousin from Lyttleton and that’s what led him to push off from here and then other expeditions followed,” Rakena says.

The combination of historical footage, background information from New Zealand and New Zealanders associated with Antarctica, and Marcus Lush’s sheer enthusiasm, makes for a chance to understand a continent that is truly unique.

Lush says the experience was not what he expected. “Everything surprised me, I knew the history would be fascinating, but what really stunned me was the landscape and the wildlife.”

“When I was originally asked if I wanted to go to Antarctica and make a documentary, I was ambivalent, I thought it would be bleak and monotonous,” admits Lush. “What it turned out to be was the most stunning month of my life. If I could, I would be back like a shot.”

Rakena agrees it was the shoot of a life-time but thinks being able to return would spell trouble for Antarctica. “It was astonishing, so pristine, epic and untouched.”

Impressed by the environmental commitment of the New Zealand base, Rakena commends the practical steps taken to keep the landscape intact. “Everything you take in has to come out. When you are away from the base, if you need to answer the call of nature, it goes into a plastic bag or bottle and you carry it. “They don’t let anything slide,” she explains. “New Zealand looks after its patch down there and I just hope the other countries do too.”

‘Ice’ is a chance for New Zealanders to experience some of the magic of this frozen continent without damaging it. Lush hopes it will weave the same spell on the nation that it did on him. “The series turned out better than everyone could have possibly hoped for,” he says. “The continent looks absolutely stunning.”

If you thought you didn’t like trains but loved ‘Off The Rails’, then forget any reservations about the cold and watch ‘Ice’, starting Sunday July 15, at 7pm on TV ONE.


Ice promo

What do you think of the promo for Marcus Lush’s new show, Ice?

Watch it here »