Reality television shows and adventure stories have come to the History Channel in the form of ”Expedition: Africa,” complete with the normal array of real-life difficulties and semi-scripted drama.
The mix is nothing new, and it’s been pretty successful on the Discovery Channel with “Deadliest Catch,” “Everest Beyond the Limit” and “The Alaska Experiment.”
If you’ve seen the show, I’d love to know what you think. Here’s a basic rundown of the show, its main cast and a few thoughts of my own.
The show takes four people with various skills and has them retrace Henry Morton Stanley’s 1871 search for Dr. Stanley Livingstone. The 970-mile journey takes place in Tanzania.
The characters, and a few thoughts on them:
Pasquale Scaturro. He’s a navigator, meaning he’s good with maps, compasses, route-finding and all-around outdoor travel. He’s a take-charge, Type-A guy who is unafraid to ruffle a few feathers. Not a team player and pretty annoying. Not a guy I’d want to be around on any sort of trek.
Mireya Mayor. She’s the only female in the group. She’s a wildlife expert. In my opinion, the most solid member of the cast. Tough, level-headed, able to make peace between bickering parties in the group. She seems like she’d be great on any adventure in wild places.
Benedict Allen. He’s a survivalist. I like how knowledgeable he is about operating in the wilderness. He knows his stuff. He’s a polar opposite of Pasquale, and the two often disagree. I wish he had more of a backbone to stand up to Pasquale’s bullying, which at times puts the group at risk.
Kevin Sites. A journalist who has the least wilderness experience. I don’t have much to say about him other than he seems to be a bit of a liability to the team in terms of what he brings to the table and how he handles wilderness stress.
Reality shows are often about conflict, and this cast has plenty of it. Like I said, Pasquale is a bully and is pretty set in his ways. The other three have a hard time dissuading him when his ideas appear to be going wrong. It’s good there is a peacemaker with wilderness cred like Mireya to smooth things out.
Their treks are fascinating and difficult. I like the fact that the porters and guides are also a major part of the show. And they’re also invaluable helpers to the cast.
Have you seen the show? If you have thoughts, reply here or send me an e-mail. Here’s a link to the show: