Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Long Way Off

I was looking forward to the new Long Way Down series. I quite enjoyed Long Way Round, and was settling in to watch Ewan McGegor and his fairly likeable oaf of a mate as they travel from Jon O'Groats to Cape Town.

I'm a little confused now though. It actually appears as if it's a documentary about making a documentary. With the supporting film crew given equal billing, and their adventures tracked as well. I appreciate that motorcycling through Africa is something of a challenge and requires some logistical help, but they have a full support crew, including a doctor. I wonder if this is an insurance requirement to protect a Hollywood asset?

I was more than a little perturbed about Charlie's 'hilarious' fart-lighting antics. I wasn't that amused when I first saw someone do this at school, twenty-five years ago.

What was funny was Ewan's reaction to his visit to the original Star Wars set in Tunisia. " I thought I'd get mobbed", he smiled ruefully at the (lack of) attention paid to him. Penny not yet dropped about the public's (lack of) affection for Mr Lucas' prequels?

14 comments:

cerebusboy said...

Yeah, apparently MacGregor said that he wished he hadn't made the Star Wars prequels. Kids love them, though.

Jon Peacey said...

I'd not seen the previous series for various reasons (mainly forgetting to watch) and so I thought I'd give this one a try. The first episode, all the preparation and things, was very interesting but when they actually got going it seemed to lose all the interesting bits... the travelogue through Africa bit has been done very well and far more intelligently by Palin (twice) but here it was all side-lined by general motorbiking about...

...and the 'doing insane things in Africa' got trumped last week by Jezza, the Hamster and Captain Slow trying to be the first cars to cross a African salt flat that bore more than a passing resemblance to dripping!

Gwen said...

Ooh sounds like Ewan is one of these "I'm a celebrity don't you know - everyone look at me" types. Very sad. As for his friend. Apparently he's an actor too. What has he acted in?

Jon Peacey said...

I don't get the impression Ewan is very like that... I was surprised he didn't get mobbed before he said anything. After all he's in a place where only die-hard obsessed fans would make pilgrimage so you'd have thought he'd have been recognized by a few people.

Charley Boorman has mainly been in his daddy's films. And Serpent's Kiss or something.

Gwen said...

Thanks Jon. I'm glad that Ewan isn't as bad as all that. As for his friend, I'll look out for him.

Valentine Suicide said...

Actually, I also thinks Ewan's alright. Comes across as very down to earth, when so many in his position (and so many z-listers and reality tv slebs) appear to be right up 'emselves. The dig was aimed more at the prequels (sorry CBB) than the man.

I think Charley stopped acting and became a motorcycle adventurer in 2004 when Long Way Round took off.

Andrew Collins said...

I've met Ewan McGregor on a couple of occasions, and both times (one just after the release of Trainspotting, the other after Episode One and before Moulin Rouge), he seemed extremely down to earth and unaffected. I took his "mobbed" line to be ironic, and not sad at all. He seemed to be laughing a lot.

I don't think it's very fair to have a go at Charley Boorman just because he isn't a famous actor. Most actors aren't famous. They just get on with it. The reason he's in the programme is that he's Ewan's motorbiking mate. What more of a qualification does he need?

By the way, I share your reservations about the format of this series, VS. Way too much about getting visas for the crew. As some columnist/critic suggested at the weekend, perhaps it's a response to the "fakery" scandals. Nobody can say the audience is being conned into thinking it's just two men on two bikes. Let's hope all this overcompensation calms down soon.

Five-Centres said...

What would Charley do if it wasn't for Ewan?

Jon Peacey said...

I'd just like to mention that I wasn't having a go at Charley Boorman for his CV being less than Ewan MacGregor's... after all MacGregor's is pretty spectacular by modern standards and considering his comparative youth! However, off-the-top of my head, I couldn't recall anything of Boorman's other than the under-rated Emerald Forest, Excalibur (I think) and Serpent's Kiss. Now I've come to think about it I'm sure he was in The Bunker (which I believe was cruelly over-looked in favour of Deathwatch- I seem to recall this one as having the far harder edge on an economy of means combined with a stronger point). I'd like to have just half Boorman's success!

The self-laceration that the fakery scandals have caused are becoming a 'little' laboured. However, before the scandals hit big-time, the Top Gear team (sorry, another Top Gear reference!) did their drive to the North Pole and it was refreshing to see them pointing out the support team every now and again because they'd obviously done as much of a job as the on-screen talent.

What was irritating about this Polar episode was the credit cropping at the end which meant that, effectively, a lot of people who'd worked extremely hard were denied their moment in the (Arctic) sun!

Valentine Suicide said...

I watched again last night and thought it was much more enjoyable, with the focus being on the two of them travelling and visiting places.

As for Charley, he's probably found a niche for himself. Didn't he enter the Dakar on his own and get a DVD out on that? I've a feeling he's the type who always lands on his feet. I just don't want to see him (or anyone else) lighting farts.

Jon Peacey said...

...when lighting an aerosol if you stop the spray before removing the flame there's a danger of explosion... wonder whether the same problem exists for flatulence? ;-)

Valentine Suicide said...

An experiment beckons Jon? I don't wanna see it on Youtube though!

piqued said...

http://watchwithmothers.wordpress.com/2007/11/06/long-way-down/

Afternoon

You may be interested to know that this very programme has been discussed in the world famous Watch With Mothers

Look, I done a link up yonder

P

Jon Peacey said...

I've finally worked out what my issue with this programme is: it doesn't show enough sights or have enough facts or seem to have much purpose beyond just concentrating on two blokes on bikes telling me how far they've gone, how far they need to go and how desperate they are to cover that distance because they need to catch a boat, train or polar bear ride. It's the lack of deeper reflexion in it's journey: the journey is solely physical and not spiritual.

Quick pull out, I nearly got deep there myself!

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