Transcript: Michael Palin: Tracking the HMS Erebus | Oct 26, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checkered purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Tracking the H.M.S. Erebus. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says THE HMS EREBUS SET
SAIL FROM ENGLAND IN THE
NINETEENTH CENTURY IN SEARCH OF
THE FABLED NORTHWEST PASSAGE.
ALL SOULS ON BOARD PERISHED, BUT
THEY WERE BY NO MEANS FORGOTTEN.
THE SEARCH FOR THEIR SHIP
WRAPPED UP JUST FOUR YEARS AGO.
IT'S A GRIPPING TALE, TOLD
AFRESH BY NONE OTHER THAN
MICHAEL PALIN.

Michael is in his seventies, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing a black suit and blue shirt.

Steve continues HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED "EREBUS:
ONE SHIP, TWO EPIC VOYAGES, AND
THE GREATEST NAVAL MYSTERY OF
ALL TIME," AND IT BRINGS THIS
DOCUMENTARIAN, AUTHOR AND
FOUNDING MEMBER, OF COURSE, OF
MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS
BACK TO OUR STUDIO
AFTER A FIVE-YEAR ABSENCE.

A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover features an ancient world map and a portion of a painting of a sail-ship navigating rough waters.

Steve continues IT'S SO GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

Michael says I'VE MISSED
YOU STEVE.
I'VE MISSED YOU SO MUCH.
I'VE BEEN WAITING OUTSIDE.
I WAVE AS YOU COME IN IN THE
MORNING.

Steve says THIS DOVETAILS
NICELY TO MY FIRST QUESTION.
FOR A GUY WHO HAS MADE HIS
LIVING FOR SUCH A LONG TIME
BEING FUNNY, IN ISN'T FUNNY.
YOU'VE CHOSEN TO TELL ONE OF THE
MOST TRAGIC NAVAL TALES EVER.
HOW COME?

The caption changes to "Michael Palin. Author, 'Erebus.'"
Then, it changes again to "A whole new world."

Michael says I LIKE THE OTHER SIDE THAT
MAKES A TENSION IN A STORY, AND
ACTUALLY, THE DECISION TO... I
MADE A DECISION TO TELL THE
STORY OF THE SHIP BECAUSE PART
OF IT WAS THE CATASTROPHIC
DISASTER THAT WAS THE FRANKLIN
EXPEDITION.
THE OTHER PART WAS A HIGHLY
SUCCESSFUL FOUR-YEAR EXPEDITION
TO THE ANTARCTIC PARTICULAR JUST
BEFORE THAT.

An old black and white drawing shows two large sail-ships in a port.

Steve says WE'LL TALK ABOUT BOTH.

Michael says SO I WAS SEEING THE LIGHTER
SIDE AND THE DARKER SIDE, AND
ALSO I WAS KIND OF... YOU KNOW,
I LOOK FOR HUMOUR BECAUSE HUMOUR
IS WHAT KEEPS PEOPLE GOING IN
ADVERSITY IN A LOT OF THESE
INSTANCES.
SO I WAS LOOKING THROUGH LETTERS
WHEN I WAS DOING MY RESEARCH,
TRYING TO FIND ANYTHING, A
LITTLE GLIMPSE OF HUMOUR OR
LIGHTNESS OF TOUCH, AND OF
COURSE THERE WAS QUITE A LOT OF THAT.

Steve says THERE WAS INDEED.
LET'S TELL SOME OF THE STORY.
SINCE YOU POINT OUT THAT THIS
SHIP HAS BEEN ALMOST EVERYWHERE,
SHELDON, DO YOU WANT TO BRING
THIS GRAPHIC UP?

A world map pops up with dotted lines showing the trips of the ship. The lines connect Europe with Greenland and Northern Canada, South America, South Africa the Southern Atlantic Islands, Australia and Antarctica.

Steve continues YOU CAN SEE FROM THE MONITOR, I
MEAN, THIS IS FROM YOUR BOOK, SO
YOU KNOW IT, IT ALL STARTED IN
THE U.K. AND LOOK AT THE VOYAGE
THIS VESSEL TOOK.
WE'RE TALKING IN THE 1820s, 30s, '40S.
IT WENT ABSOLUTELY ALL OVER THE PLACE.
WHAT WAS ITS ORIGINAL MISSION, THOUGH?

Michael says THE SHIP WAS BUILT IN 1826 IN
WALES AS A BOMB SHIP.
IT WAS A NAVAL WAR SHIP, MADE...
DIAGONAL PLANKING, VERY STRONG
HULL, AND THEY USED TO BRING
MORTARS ONTO THAT SHIP AND
BOMBARD TOWNS, A LOT OF NOISE
AND FLAMES AND SMOKE AND ALL OF
THAT.
ONE OF THE BOMB SHIPS ACTUALLY,
I THINK IT WAS AT THE SIEGE OF
BALTIMORE, SOMETHING LIKE THAT,
STAR SPANGLED BANNER HAS A
REFERENCE TO BRITISH BOMB SHIPS.

Steve says BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR.
I REMEMBER FROM READING YOUR BOOK.
WHY DID THAT MISSION CHANGE?

Michael says BECAUSE THERE WERE NO WARS TO
FIGHT, REALLY.
1826, THE NAPOLEONIC WARS HAD
ENDED AND IT WAS ONE OF THOSE
LONG... WELL, "LONG,"
COMPARATIVELY, 30 YEARS OF
PEACE.
AND THE SHIPS WERE... THERE WAS
THEN A REAL ATTEMPT TO TRY TO
UNDERSTAND THE EARTH AND HOW IT
WORKED AND THE SCIENCE OF HOW IT
WORKED AND ITS MAGNETIC FORCES
AND ALL THAT.
ALL THESE THINGS THAT PEOPLE
FELT AFTER THE ENLIGHTENMENT
COULD TELL US ABOUT HOW TO LEAD
BETTER LIVES, HOW TO CIVILIZE
THE WORLD.
THIS WAS THE BIG THING AT THE
TIME.
AND SO EREBUS WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE
IT WAS A TOUGH FRANKLIN SHIP TO
GO, TO BE THE FIRST SHIP TO GO
TO THE ANTARCTIC ON A MAJOR
EXPEDITION.

Steve says FIRST OF ALL, IT WAS
THE EREBUS AND ITS COMPANION
SHIP TERROR AND THEY WENT
TOGETHER TO THE ANTARCTIC. HOW COME?

The caption changes to "Discovering Antarctica."

Michael says THE ADMIRAL THOUGHT THEY
SHOULD GO AND INVESTIGATE THE
ARCTIC AND THERE WERE VARIOUS
UNKNOWNS.
AT THAT POINT OF TIME, THEY
DIDN'T LIKE UNKNOWNS ANYMORE.
THEY WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE
EARTH.
THEY DIDN'T KNOW IF THE
ANTARCTIC EXISTED.

An oil painting features a dark-haired young man in formal military attire and furs, holding a sabre.

Michael continues BUT THE EREBUS EXPEDITION UNDER
ROSS WAS CHARGED WITH FINDING
OUT EVERYTHING THEY COULD, NOT
JUST ABOUT THE ANTARCTIC BUT ALL
ABOUT THE ISLANDS AROUND IT AND
THEY FOUND OUT AMAZING THINGS.
THEY FOUND OUT THE ANTARCTIC WAS
A CONTINENT.
THEY FOUND OUT THERE WAS THIS
100-FOOT-HIGH ICE BARRIER, WHICH
THEY CALLED THE SOUTHERN ICE
BARRIER, NOW THE ROSS ICE SHELF.
THEY DISCOVERED A VOLCANO IN THE
MIDDLE OF ANTARCTIC AND THEY
CIRCUMNAVIGATED THE CONTINENT,
IT WAS AN INTREPID EXPEDITION.
IT WAS A SMALL SHIP, 35 METRES
LONG, AND...

Steve says WHAT SIZE CREW?

Michael says IT WAS ABOUT 67 PEOPLE.

Steve says I WANT TO ASK ABOUT THAT.
BECAUSE 67 PEOPLE ON BOARD A
SHIP FOR MISSIONS THAT
OCCASIONALLY LASTED FOR YEARS.

Michael says YES.

Steve says YOU TALK ABOUT THE
BOREDOM.
YOU TALK ABOUT THE LACK OF HUMAN
CONTACT.
CLAUSTROPHOBIC QUARTERS, WITH
ONE EXCEPTION IN THE BOOK WHERE
YOU TALK ABOUT A TRIP TO RIO, NO
CONTACT WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX
PRETTY MUCH AT ALL.
EATING THE SAME FOOD.
HOW DID THEY MANAGE TO SURVIVE
UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS?

The caption changes to "All aboard."

Michael says I REALLY DON'T KNOW.
YOU'D HAVE TO USE A BIT OF ONE'S
IMAGINATION OR YOU CAN READ
THEIR LETTERS.
BUT THERE ARE NOT MANY LETTERS
FROM THE CREW.
THE OFFICERS... YOU KNOW HOW THE
OFFICERS SURVIVED?
THEY HAD A COMFORTABLE TIME.
THEY COULD BRING THEIR OWN FOOD.
THEY COULD BRING FORNUM AND
MASON HAMPERS.
BUT THOSE IN THE HAMMOCKS AT
NIGHT, IT WAS WORKED ALL THE
TIME.
THEY WERE ALWAYS AT WORK,
FURLING AND UNFURLING THE SAILS.
THE IDEA WAS THEY WORKED ALL THE
TIME.
BUT THERE WERE MOMENTS THEY WERE
STUCK COMPLETELY IN THE ICE,
LIKE ON NEW YEAR'S DAY 1842,
THEY WEREN'T GOING ANYWHERE.
THE TWO SHIPS WERE STUCK FAST.
AND YOU THINK IT MUST HAVE BEEN
THE MOST HORRENDOUS SITUATION TO
BE IN.
INSTEAD THEY HAD A PARTY.
AND THEN THEY GO OUT AND CARVE
AN 8-FOOT-LONG WOMAN OUT OF THE
ICE.
I LOVE THAT.
OBVIOUSLY THEY WERE MISSING
SOMETHING AFTER SO MANY YEARS
AWAY.
AND THEN THEY CUT OUT A DANCE
FLOOR.
THEY HAD A LITTLE... THEY GOT
SOME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
THEY HAD A BAND.
THEY MADE A PUB.
AND THEY JUST HAD... YOU KNOW,
THEY WERE IN EXTREME CONDITIONS
BUT THEY HAD FUN.
THEY SERVED ICE CREAM.
THAT'S WHAT I LOVE.

Steve says BUT THEY GOT FLOGGED
OTHER TIMES, RIGHT?
THIS WAS A NASTY BUSINESS.

Michael says YEAH.
THERE WAS NOT TOO MUCH
FLOGGING... ROSS AND FRANKLIN,
THE TWO CAPTAINS OF EREBUS, WERE
NOT GREAT FLOGGERS.
THERE WERE OTHERS THAT USED...
LIBERAL IS THE WRONG WORD, BUT
REGULARLY.

Steve says AND SURPRISINGLY, I
THINK YOU TELL US, THEY WERE
NOT... SAILORS WERE NOT TAUGHT
HOW TO SWIM ON PURPOSE.
WHY WOULD THAT BE?

Michael says BECAUSE I THINK THE IDEA WAS
THAT IF YOU LEARNED TO SWIM,
THAT WAS A SIGN THAT YOU MAY
NEED TO SWIM AND THIS WAS A SIGN
OF LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN GOING
TO SEA AND THE SHIP ITSELF.
IT WAS A SIGN THERE MIGHT BE
FAILURE.
AND THIS WAS A BIG THING AT THE
TIME.
THE WHOLE FRANKLIN EXPEDITION
WAS, YOU COULD SAY IN MANY WAYS,
DIDN'T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT IT
COULD FAIL.
SWIMMING WAS ONE THING.
OTHER THINGS THEY DID LIKE, YOU
KNOW, THERE WOULD BE UNFURLING
THE SAILS AND CLIMBING THIS
RIGGING IN A TEMPERATURE OF -30 degrees
AND THEY WOULDN'T USE GLOVES
BECAUSE THEY MIGHT SLIP SO THEY
HAD TO USE THEIR BARE HANDS.
WHY THEY DIDN'T SUFFER SERIOUS
FROSTBITE, I HONESTLY DON'T
KNOW.
SOMETHING MUST HAVE BEEN RUN
WELL ON THOSE SHIPS.

Steve says WHY WOULD SOMEBODY
SIGN UP FOR THAT KIND OF MISSION
IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Michael says IT WAS GLAMOROUS AT THE TIME,
IN A WAY.
YOU'D GET DOUBLE PAY.
YOU WERE PART OF SOMETHING THAT
WAS QUITE EXCITING.
IT WAS LIKE, I SUPPOSE, THE
SPACE RACE OR SOMETHING LIKE
THAT, BEING INVOLVED IN SENDING
A ROCKET UP INTO SPACE.
AND YOU ARE CHOSEN.
IT USED TO BE GANGS THAT GOT
PEOPLE OFF THE STREETS AND PUT
THEM ON THE WAR SHIPS.
AFTER THE NAPOLEONIC WARS, YOU
WERE CHOSEN.
THEY WERE ALL VOLUNTEERS.
SOME HAD A GREAT SPIRIT OF
ADVENTURE.
THEY KNOW THEY WERE SAILING WITH
A GREAT CAPTAIN, HAD A GREAT
RECORD.
SOME PEOPLE FELT LET'S GO WITH
THIS.
THIS IS AN ADVENTURE.
I WANT AN ADVENTURE.

Steve says I HAVE TO ASSUME AT
SOME POINT DURING THE COURSE OF
YOUR WRITING THIS BOOK, YOU PUT
YOURSELF IN THE PLACE AND ASKED
YOURSELF, "HOW WOULD I HAVE
HACKED ALL OF THAT?"

Michael says YES.

Steve says AND WHAT ANSWER DID
YOU COME UP WITH?

Michael says I WOULDN'T.
I JUST WOULDN'T.
I CAN UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW, THE
GOOD DAYS, I LOVE TO BE ON THE
DECK, I LOVE THE IDEA BEING ON
BOARD SHIP, EVEN ROUGH SEAS, I
DON'T MIND THE ROUGH SEAS.
BUT THE INTENSE COLD AND CRAMPED
QUARTERS FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS,
I DON'T KNOW HOW I'D HAVE DEALT
WITH IT.
I'M A BIT OF A SOFTIE.
MEN IN THEIR HAMMOCKS HAVING A
HARD TIME, C'MON, JOIN US, HAVE
A GLASS OF WINE.
NO!
NO WAY!
NOT THE WAY WE DO IT.
I THINK I WOULD HAVE BEEN A BIT
OF A SUCKER.

Steve says HERE'S A QUOTE FROM
THE BOOK...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Colonial fuel." The quote reads "These were men of intelligence and intellectual curiosity, stimulated by the spirit of the Enlightenment to search and discover, to push back the boundaries of knowledge, convinced that the more they measured and traced and calculated and recorded, the more beneficial it would be to mankind. But this sense of purpose also contained within it an implicit sense of superiority, which, when misused, fed the dark side of Britain's increasing self-confidence."
Quoted from Michael Palin, "Erebus." 2018.

Steve says WHAT'S THAT DARK
SIDE YOU'RE REFERRING TO THERE?

The caption changes to "A floating laboratory."

Michael says I THINK IT
WAS JUST AN ARROGANCE, A FEELING
THAT YOU HAD WON THE SORT OF
DEBATE ABOUT HOW THE WORLD
SHOULD BE RUN, THAT CIVILIZATION
IS SOMETHING THAT THE BRITISH...
AND NOT JUST BRITISH... I THINK
EUROPE AND THE WEST GENERALLY
BESTOWED ON THE REST OF THE
WORLD.
IT IGNORED THE RIGHTS OF LOCAL
PEOPLE, TRIBAL PEOPLE VERY
OFTEN.
JUST A SENSE OF BEING RIGHT,
WHICH I THINK IS ALWAYS... I
DON'T KNOW IF IT'S A GOOD THING,
REALLY.
YOU CAN HAVE A SENSE OF BELIEF
IN WHAT YOU'RE DOING, BUT I
THINK YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ALL
SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT.
THEY WEREN'T DOING THAT AT THE TIME.

Steve says WELL, THE SUN NEVER
DID SET ON HER MAJESTY'S EMPIRE
ONCE UPON A TIME.

Michael says IT DIDN'T ONCE UPON A TIME.
WHEN IT DID SET...

Steve says IT REALLY DID.

Michael says A LONG PERIOD OF DARKNESS.
BUT, NO.

Steve says THESE SHIPS WERE NOT
JUST LOOKING FOR LAND.
THERE WAS ALSO A LOT OF
SCIENTIFIC WORK BEING DONE.

Michael says YEAH.

Steve says FOR EXAMPLE...

Michael says WELL, IT WAS A VERY
FASCINATING TIME.
BY UNDERSTANDING THE MAGNETIC
FORCES UNDERNEATH THE EARTH'S
SURFACE.
IT WAS A SCIENCE THAT PEOPLE
KNEW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT.
JAMES ROSS, WHO WAS THE CAPTAIN
OF EREBUS IN THE ANTARCTIC AND
ACTUALLY REACHED THE NORTH
MAGNETIC POLE IN 1831, HE WANTED
TO FIND THE SOUTH MAGNETIC POLE.
THERE WERE LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO
FELT, IF THEY COULD MAP THE
TERRESTRIAL MAGNETISM OF THE
EARTH, THEY WOULD HAVE A VIRTUAL
GPS SYSTEM FOR THE VICTORIAN
PERIOD.
IT WOULD BE EASIER TO NAVIGATE.
IT WOULD BE MORE PRECISE.
THIS WAS A BIG MOTIVE FOR THE
ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION.
THE OTHER WAS CHARTING THE FLORA
AND FAUNA.
THERE WERE NO MAPS.
NOWADAYS WE'RE JUST SO USED TO
HAVING CHARTS EVERYWHERE OR MAPS
OR WHATEVER, GOOGLE SEARCHES.
BUT THEN THEY WERE GOING PLACES
WHERE THEY HAD TO MAKE THE MAPS
THEMSELVES AS THEY WENT ALONG.
QUITE EXCITING.
BUT ALSO I WOULD IMAGINE
DISORIENTING AND A BIT
TERRIFYING AT TIMES.

Steve says AS YOU POINT OUT
THEY WENT TO THE BOTTOM OF THE
GLOBE AND THEN THEY WENT TO THE
TOP OF THE GLOBE, AND THAT'S THE
CANADIAN PART OF THE STORY.
THEY DID WANT TO FIND THE
NORTHWEST PASSAGE THROUGH
CANADA'S HIGH ARCTIC.
WHAT WAS THE IMPERATIVE OF DOING
THAT?

The caption changes to "To make a Northwest passage to the sea."

Michael says THERE WAS A COMMERCIAL
IMPERATIVE WHICH HAD BEEN
FOLLOWED FOR 200 OR 300 YEARS, I
UNDERSTAND.
YOU COULD GET TO CHINA, INDIA,
ALL THE FABLED SORT OF WEALTH OF
THOSE AREAS, IT WOULD BE MUCH
EASIER TO TRANSPORT BACK.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO GO AROUND
THE CAPE OF GREAT HORN.
IT WAS A COMMERCIAL MOTIVE, THAT
THIS COULD BRING UNTOLD BENEFITS
IF YOU WERE ABLE TO GET THROUGH.
AT THE TIME I THINK IT WAS JUST
THEY FELT THEY COULD DO IT AND
THEY TRIED FOR MANY, MANY YEARS.
NO ONE HAD CRACKED IT.
THEY GOT WITHIN 150, 200 MILES
OF GOING THROUGH THE PASSAGE BUT
NO ONE HAD BEEN ABLE TO CRACK
IT.
AND THERE WAS A CERTAIN
CONFIDENCE THERE AFTER THE
ANTARCTIC JOURNEY.
WE'RE GOING TO DO IT BEFORE THE
AMERICANS AND RUSSIANS WHO WERE
VERY ACTIVE UP THERE, OF COURSE.

Steve says WE'RE GOING TO DO IT
WITH A 59-YEAR-OLD CAPTAIN NAMED
JOHN FRANKLIN.
WHY HIM?

A grainy and old black and white picture shows a full-bodied man in military attire, wearing a tall hat.

Michael says BECAUSE HIS WIFE WAS
EXTREMELY AMBITIOUS FOR HIM.
JOHN FRANKLIN HAD, YOU KNOW, TO
HIS CREDIT, HE HAD BEEN A
SUCCESSFUL ARCTIC EXPLORER AND
HE WAS KNOWN PROPERLY IN THE
ENGLISH PRESS AS THE MAN WHO ATE
HIS BOOTS BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN ON
A LAND EXPEDITION, HE HAD RUN
OUT OF FOOD AND ATE HIS
CLOTHING.
HE WAS A MAN WHO ATE HIS BOOTS.
HE HADN'T HAD A DISTINGUISHED
NAVAL CAREER SINCE THEN, BUT
JOHN CLARK ROSS, THE MAN WHO
TOOK HIM TO THE ANTARCTIC, HAD
DECIDED HE HAD ENOUGH OF SAILING
IN DIFFERENT AND DANGEROUS
WATERS.
THEY DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT.
AND LADY JANE FRANKLIN SAID MY
HUSBAND IS HERE, HE'S SAILED A
LOT, HE MAY BE 59 YEARS OLD BUT
HE'S EXPERIENCED.

Steve says 59 IS GETTING UP
THERE FOR THIS KIND OF EXPEDITION.

A black and white drawing shows a young woman with curly hair.

Michael says THE NEXT OLDEST MAN ON THE
CREW WAS 58.
THE AVERAGE AGE WAS 28 YEARS
OLD.
YES, HE WAS WELL, WELL ABOVE THE
LIMIT.

Steve says DID HE MANAGE TO
FIND THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE?

Michael says A HA.
WELL, LADY JANE FRANKLIN WOULD
SAY, YES, HE DID.
HE DIDN'T, IN FACT, BECAUSE HE
DIED... WE KNOW HE DIED, WE KNOW
PRETTY MUCH THE EXACT DATE HE
DIED IN 1847, WHEN THE SHIPS HAD
BEEN STUCK IN THE ICE FOR 18
MONTHS, UNABLE TO MOVE, AND THEY
ABANDONED THE SHIPS.

Close-ups show the northern Canadian part of the route, through the Victoria Strait.

Michael continues FRANKLIN DIED ON BOARD THE SHIP.
SOME OF THE MEN CROSSED THE
SIMPSON STRAIT AND DIED ON THE
OTHER SHORE, ON THE CANADIAN
SHORE, AND SO THE SIMPSON STRAIT
WAS ONE WAY OF GETTING THROUGH
THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE.
SO SHE MANAGED TO SAY THAT HER
HUSBAND'S EXPEDITION HAD
DISCOVERED THE NORTHWEST
PASSAGE, WHICH IS QUITE
DIFFERENT FROM SAILING THROUGH
IT, WHICH IS WHAT THEY INTENDED
TO DO.
IT WASN'T... NO ONE SAILED
THROUGH IT UNTIL 1904.

Steve says ONE OF THE TRULY
HARROWING PARTS OF READING THE
BOOK, IS YOU PUT US THERE.
YOU PUT US IN THE HEADS OF THESE
GUYS WHO ARE STUCK IN THIS ICE
MONTH AFTER MONTH AFTER MONTH
AND WHO MUST SURELY KNOW THEY'RE
ALL GOING TO DIE.
THEY MUST SURELY KNOW THEY'RE
NOT GOING TO MAKE IT.
HELP US UNDERSTAND ALL THAT.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Michael says WELL, YOU SEE, I DON'T REALLY
KNOW.
I MEAN, ONCE THEY WERE IN THE
ICE, THERE'S NOT A LOT OF
INFORMATION.
THERE ARE NO DIARIES, NO PAPERS.
ONE JUST HAD TO SPECULATE ON
WHAT HAPPENED.
I MEAN, THEY... THE THING WAS
THAT THE SHIPS WERE VERY, VERY
WELL-EQUIPPED.
THEY HAD EVERYTHING.
THEY HAD 2,000 BOOKS.
THEY HAD SORT OF CARPENTERS
TOOLS FOR PEOPLE TO APPRENTICE
CARPENTRY, THEY HAD MUSICAL
INSTRUMENTS, THEY HAD... YOU
KNOW, AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT THAT
WERE SUPPOSED TO KEEP THEM
OCCUPIED DURING THOSE DARK
WINTERS.
AND SO IN MY HEAD I WONDER AT
WHAT POINT DID ALL THAT BECOME
USELESS?
DID THEY SAY, THIS IS, YOU KNOW,
NOT GETTING US ANYWHERE?
I THINK THERE WAS A LOT OF
OPTIMISM?
THE OFFICERS CERTAINLY HAD A LOT
OF OPTIMISM WHEN THEY STARTED.
THERE WAS A FEELING THAT AS THE
SUMMER BROKE, THE ICE WAS GOING
TO BREAK UP, AS IT USUALLY DID,
AND THEY'D BE ABLE TO FIND THEIR
WAY THROUGH.
AND THE FIRST SUMMER, THE ICE
DIDN'T BREAK UP.
THE SECOND TIME, THE SECOND
SUMMER COMES ALONG, THE ICE
DOESN'T BREAK UP AGAIN.
AT THAT POINT I'M SURE PEOPLE
MUST HAVE BEEN TERRIFIED AND
BEEN FEARING FOR THEIR LIVES.

Steve says ANY SENSE OF HOW THE
CAPTAIN WOULD HAVE COME TO TERMS
WITH THE REALITY OF THIS
SITUATION GIVEN HE WAS A GREAT
GOD-FEARING MAN, SERMONS ON THE
SHIP, NO SWEARING ALLOWED ON THE BOAT.

Michael says YEAH, YEAH.
THE GOD-FEARING MAN IS THE KEY
PHRASE.
I THINK HE WOULD HAVE SAID WE
MUST KEEP PRAYING.
GOD WILL DELIVER US.
VICTORIANS HAVE VERY STRONG
RELIGIOUS BELIEFS FOSTERED BY
THE CAPTAIN.
SO I'M SURE THEY WERE SORT OF
PRAYING A LOT AND BELIEVING THAT
GOD WOULD DELIVER THEM, YEAH.
THAT MUST HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE
WAYS THAT KEPT THEM GOING.

Steve says AT A CERTAIN POINT,
ENGLAND REALIZES THIS SHIP IS
MISSING, AND THEY SEND, IN
TOTAL, I THINK, 36 MISSIONS, YOU
TELL US.

Michael says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says TO GO FIND THE
FRANKLIN EXPEDITION.
AND OBVIOUSLY THEY NEVER DID.
BUT THEY DID FIND SOME THINGS.
WHAT DID THEY FIND?

A picture shows an old frayed poster titled "20000 pounds sterling, 100000 dollars reward!"
The caption changes to "Rescues without results."

Michael says WELL, THEY FOUND A NUMBER
OF... WELL, THEY FOUND EVIDENCE
THAT THE INUIT, THE LOCAL
PEOPLE, HAD BEEN IN CONTACT WITH
EITHER SURVIVORS OR PEOPLE FROM
THE EXPEDITION.
THEY FOUND A MEDAL WHICH
FRANKLIN HAD...

Steve says WE'RE SHOWING IT
RIGHT HERE.

A picture appears showing a clock, a pair of glasses, a medal, a book and a small wooden box containing medical supplies.

Michael says OH, GREAT.
THERE WE ARE.
A MEDAL.
THERE WAS A PRAYER BOOK.
THERE WAS A MEDICAL KIT.
A CHRONOMETER.
SO THE INUIT HAD DISCOVERED SOME
OF THE MEN.
WHAT THE INUIT ALSO SAID THEY
DISCOVERED IS THERE HAD BEEN
CANNIBALISM.
THE MEN HAD SORT OF... HAD TO
EAT THEIR COMRADES TO STAY
ALIVE.
THEY FOUND MUTILATED BODIES.
THEY FOUND POTS WITH BONES IN.
THEY FOUND MARKS ON THE BONES
WHICH SEEMED TO INDICATE THERE
HAD BEEN CANNIBALISM.
SO THIS WAS THE BIG NEWS THAT
CAME BACK TO LONDON IN 1854,
WHICH WAS NINE YEARS AFTER THE
EXPEDITION DISAPPEARED.

Steve says HOW DID FRANKLIN'S
WIFE TAKE THOSE IDEAS OF CANNIBALISM.

Michael says ABSOLUTE SHOCK, HORROR.
TOTAL DENIAL.
SHE THOUGHT CHARLES DICKENS WAS
A FRIEND.
SHE LOBBIED THE AMERICAN
PRESIDENT.
SHE LOBBIED THE CZAR OF RUSSIA.
ANYBODY WHO COULD HELP.
SHE GOT CHARLES DICKENS TO REACT
TO THIS AWFUL NEWS ABOUT
CANNIBALISM.
HOW COULD THESE BRAVE MEN, THESE
BRITISH SAILORS, BE DISCREDITED
BY PEOPLE, A LOVE OF BLOOD AND
BLUBBER.
IT WAS A HORRIBLE OUTBURST
AGAINST THE INUIT, SAYING THESE
ARE SAVAGES.
THAT WAS THE DENIAL.
THEY HAD BEEN PROVEN RIGHT LATER
ON THROUGH HISTORY AS THEY WERE
AT MANY TIMES IN HISTORY, THE
INUIT WERE NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY,
IT WAS AN ORAL TRADITION RATHER
THAN A WRITTEN TRADITION.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Steve says SHE SOUNDS THOUGH,
LADY FRANKLIN SOUNDS LIKE AN
INCREDIBLY STRONG WOMAN.
YOU TELL US SHE REFUSED TO WEAR
BLACK.
SHE DID NOT TAKE A WIDOW'S
PENSION BECAUSE SHE REFUSED TO
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HER HUSBAND WAS
DEAD.
SO SHE WAS A FORCE.

Michael says SHE WAS A FORCE.
SHE'S A VERY KEY FIGURE IN THIS
WHOLE THING.
WITHOUT HER, I DON'T BELIEVE
FRANKLIN WOULD HAVE LED THE
EXPEDITION.
THEY WOULD HAVE GOT A YOUNGER MAN.
THINGS MIGHT HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT.
IRONICALLY, SHE WAS THE FIRST TO
WORRY ABOUT THE FACT THEY AREN'T
HEARD FROM THEM IN TWO YEARS.
SHE HAD THE FIRST INTIMATION OF
DISASTER, AND PROBABLY GUILT
BECAUSE SHE PUSHED HIM INTO IT.
BUT AT THE END, YES, SHE RAISED
STATUES IN LONDON.
SHE MADE SURE BY SUBSCRIPTION,
THERE WAS A BUST IN WESTMINSTER
ABBEY.
A VERSE WAS WRITTEN AND ALL
THAT.
SHE MADE SURE HER HUSBAND TOOK
THE FULL CREDIT.
AND I THINK IT VERY UNFAIR TO
ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE ON THE
EXPEDITION, REALLY.
THEY GOT VERY LITTLE CREDIT, THE
PEOPLE WHO WORKED HARD JUST TO
KEEP THOSE SHIPS GOING.

Steve says SHE HAD A LITTLE
ARTISTIC LICENCE TAKEN WITH HIS
STATUE, I GATHER?

Michael says YES.

Steve says IT DOESN'T QUITE
LOOK LIKE HIM.

Michael says IT LOOKS A BIT LIKE BRAD
PITT, YOU KNOW, IN HIS YOUNGER
YEARS, INSTEAD OF A 60-YEAR-OLD
MAN WITH BAD...

Steve says A BIG PAUNCH.

Michael says BIG PAUNCH.
HE LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT,
CERTAINLY.

Steve says TO THE EXTENT OF THE
PUBLIC REMEMBERING THIS STORY,
THEY WILL REMEMBER THIS IMAGE,
THIS IS QUITE A HARROWING IMAGE,
JOHN TORINGTON, BURIED IN WHAT
IS PRESENT DAY NUNAVUT.

A picture shows a mummified corpse inside a coffin in snow and rocks.

Steve continues ALL THESE YEARS LATER WE'RE TALK
TALKING... WHAT IS IT NOW... 107
YEARS SINCE THE SHIP
DISAPPEARED.
ARE YOU CLOSER TO ANY
UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THEY
ACTUALLY DIED?

The caption changes to "Solving the mystery."
A picture shows tombstones in a vast, barren plain.

Michael says WELL, THERE WERE MANY, MANY
THEORIES.
I'VE GOT A FEELING IT WAS
REASONABLY SIMPLE TO DESCRIBE
HOW THEY DIED, WHICH WAS THAT
THEY WERE IN THE WRONG PLACE AT
THE WRONG TIME.
THERE WERE TWO VERY, VERY FIERCE
WINTERS.
I MEAN, THE WORST WEATHER THEY
HAD HAD IN DECADES, WHICH IS WHY
THE ICE NEVER MELTED IN THE
SUMMER.
AND I THINK BY THE END, PROBABLY
SCURVY HAD SET IN.
BUT YOU JUST SHOWED THE PICTURE
OF JOHN TORRINGTON.
THERE WERE THREE GRAVES EXHUMED.
AND THEY FOUND HIGH LEVELS OF
LEAD IN THE BLOOD OF THESE
PEOPLE.
FOR A LONG TIME PEOPLE FELT IT
WAS THE LEAD CEILING IN THE CANS
OF FOOD IN THESE THREE AND
PROBABLY THE REST OF THE CREW,
YET IT DOESN'T ADD UP.
EVERYONE IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND
WOULD HAVE HAD HIGH LEVELS OF
LEAD IN THEIR BONES AND BLOOD
BECAUSE ALL THE PLUMBING AND
PIPES WERE LEAD.
AND ALSO THEY DIED IN THE FIRST
SIX MONTHS OF THE EXPEDITION,
AND NO ONE ELSE DIED FOR THE
NEXT TWO YEARS.
SO IT DOESN'T FOUND AS THOUGH
THE FOOD WAS NECESSARILY THE
CULPRIT.

Steve says THE MYSTERY PERSISTS.

Michael says THE MYSTERY PERSISTS.
THAT'S WHY IT'S SUCH A GREAT STORY.
PEOPLE ARE OUT THERE EVEN NOW,
FORENSIC SCIENTISTS ANALYSING
BONE FRAGMENTS.

Steve says WHEN THIS HAPPENED,
CANADA WASN'T YET CANADA.

Michael says NO.

Steve says BUT THIS IS A... YOU
SAID IT IN THE BOOK.
THIS IS VERY MUCH A CANADIAN
STORY TODAY.
HOW COME?

Michael says I THINK REALLY THE BRITISH
INTEREST LASTED THROUGHOUT THE
SEARCH UNTIL ABOUT 1870, AND
THEN THEY JUST GAVE UP, ACCEPTED
IT WAS A FAILURE, A DISASTER,
FORGET IT, MOVE ON.
I THINK FOR CANADIANS, IT WAS A
CANADIAN ARCHAEOLOGIST WHO DID
EXHUME THESE BODIES, DISCOVERED
JOHN TORRINGTON, BROUGHT THE
THEORY OF THE LEAD LEVELS.
AND FROM THAT MOMENT ON, AND
ACTUALLY FOR A FEW YEARS BEFORE,
IT WAS CANADIANS WHO WERE
LEADING THE SEARCH.
THEY WERE FASCINATED BY WHAT HAD
HAPPENED ON THEIR TERRITORY.
AND I THINK THE GREAT THING WAS
IN 2008, WHEN YOUR PRIME
MINISTER DECIDED TO MAKE IT A
MAJOR PRIORITY FOR THE COUNTRY.

Steve says THIS WAS STEPHEN HARPER.

Michael says STEPHEN HARPER.
TO TRY TO FIND THE SHIPS, IF
THEY WERE THERE.
I MEAN, I'M TOLD THERE WERE
POLITICAL REASONS AS WELL ABOUT
SOVEREIGNTY AND THOSE ISLANDS
RIGHT UP IN THE NORTH, WHO OWNS
THE SEA IN THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE.

Steve says WE DID WANT TO TELL
THE RUSSIANS AND AMERICANS TO
KEEP THEIR NOSE OUT OF OUR BUSINESS.

Michael says IT WAS AFTER THEY PLANTED A
FLAG ON THE SEABED AT THE NORTH POLE.
EVERYONE GOT A LITTLE BIT TENSE.
HEY, C'MON, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?
I THINK THAT WAS THE CANADIAN
GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE.
AND THEY DID... YOU KNOW, YOUR
GOVERNMENT DID PUT A LOT OF
MONEY INTO THE SEARCH, BUT
NOTHING WAS FOUND FOR SIX YEARS,
YOU KNOW, WITH ALL THE BEST
EQUIPMENT IN THE WORLD.
IN THE END, THE WAY THEY FOUND
THE SHIP WAS JUST BY ACCIDENT.
THERE JUST HAPPENED TO BE
SOMEBODY...

Steve says LET'S TELL THAT STORY.
PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER
WENT ON TELEVISION, SURPRISE
ANNOUNCEMENT, "WE FOUND IT."

Michael says YEAH.

Steve says WHO DO YOU GIVE THE
ACTUAL CREDIT TO FOR FINDING THE
EREBUS DOWN THERE?

The caption changes to "Wreck ahoy."

Michael says WELL, IT'S A... THAT'S A VERY
GOOD ONE.
I HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT
I'M SAYING BECAUSE I KNOW A LOT
OF THESE GUYS, I KNOW HARRIS AND
MOORE WHO ARE THE TWO WHO FIRST
SAW IT ON THE SCREEN.
ANDREW STERLING, A HELICOPTER
PILOT.
HE HAPPENED TO BE WORKING ON AN
ISLAND NEARBY.
HE DROPPED OFF THE ARCHAEOLOGIST
WHO WAS LOOKING AROUND.
HE WALKED ROUND THE SHORE, FOUND
A BIG, BIG PIECE OF IRON
EQUIPMENT.
DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS.
SHOWED IT TO THE ARCHAEOLOGIST.
HE SAID THIS HAS COME OFF A SHIP
AND IT'S A HEAVY PIECE OF
MATERIAL.
A SHIP MUST BE VERY NEARBY.
AND IN TWO DAYS THEY FOUND THE
SHIP ON THE OCEAN FLOOR.
SO ANDREW STERLING, THE GUY WHO
PICKED UP, NOTICED THIS PIECE OF
EQUIPMENT, I THINK DESERVES A
BIT OF CREDIT.

Steve says AND OF COURSE THE
GUY WHO FOUNDED... CO-FOUNDED
BLACKBERRY, JIM BALSILLIE HAD A
PIECE IN THIS, PARKS CANADA HAD
A PIECE IN THIS.
THIS BECAME REALLY QUITE A
QUEST, IF YOU LIKE.

A picture shows a diver approaching a sunken wooden ship.

Michael says YEAH.

A picture shows a metal bell surrounded by corals and algae.

Steve says THERE'S THE BELL.

Michael says THERE'S THE BELL.
AND ONCE THEY HAD FOUND EREBUS
AND TWO YEARS LATER THEY FOUND
TERROR, WHICH IS, AGAIN,
PROVIDES AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF
POTENTIAL MATERIAL TO UNRAVEL THE MYSTERY.
IT'S NEVER BEEN SO EXCITING AS I
THINK NOW, TO BE HONEST.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO GET
DOWN THERE?

Michael says I DO.

Steve says YOU WANT TO PUT A
WET SUIT ON AND GET DOWN THERE.

Michael says YES, AND CARESS THE HULL OF
THIS SHIP I KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT
AND I KNEW WHERE THE OAK BEAMS
WERE MADE, FROM THE FOREST OF
DEAN IN THE 1820s, THE FACT
THEY'RE STILL THERE AND THEY'RE
STILL INTACT I THINK IS JUST
WONDERFUL.
I'D LOVE TO GO DOWN THERE.
BUT I PROBABLY WOULD... I'D
PROBABLY PUT MY FOOT THROUGH THE
WRONG BIT OR SOMETHING LIKE
THAT.
HEY, MICHAEL, NO, NO, DON'T
TOUCH THAT.
OH, MY GOD.
HE'S DONE IT AGAIN.
I WOULDN'T TAKE A MONTY PYTHON
DOWN TO A SHIP LIKE THAT.

Steve says HOW FAR DOWN IS IT?

Michael says NOT FAR.
IT'S, YOU KNOW, ABOUT 36 FEET,
WHATEVER THAT'S IN METRES HERE.
IT'S ON THE SEABED.
IT'S NOT VERY LOW.
IN FACT THE MAST WOULD HAVE
STUCK UP ABOVE THE WATER AND THE
INUIT KNEW THIS AND HAD TOLD
PEOPLE THAT THEY HAD SEEN THREE
MASTS STICKING OUT AT A CERTAIN
POINT AND FOR A LONG TIME THEY
WEREN'T BELIEVED.
NOW THEY'RE FOUND TO HAVE BEEN
ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE.

Steve says NOW, YOU HAVE
TRAVELLED TO MANY OF THE PORTS
ALL OVER THE WORLD THAT THE
EREBUS WOULD HAVE DOCKED IN
THROUGHOUT THE 1800s.
YOU'VE BEEN TO THE FALKLAND
ISLANDS, TASMANIA, NUNAVUT, OF
COURSE.
ARE THERE ANY TRACES OF THE
VESSEL'S VOYAGE THAT REMAIN IN
THOSE LOCATIONS?

The caption changes to "On its tail."

Michael says YEAH, THERE ARE TRACES.
IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS, I COULD
SEE THEY HAD BUILT TRENCHES...
THE SHIPS HAD TO BE DRAGGED OUT
OF THE WATER AND RE-TARRED,
RECORKED, AND THEY DUG TRENCHES
INTO WHICH THEY PUT EVERYTHING
ON BOARD SHIP, PULLED THE SHIPS
OUT OF THE WATER, RE-TARRED THEIR
BOTTOMS, AS IT WERE, PUT THEM
BACK IN THE WATER.
YOU COULD SEE THAT TREAD.
MOVING THINGS, THERE'S A
LIGHTHOUSE IN TASMANIA CALLED
TINPOT LIGHTHOUSE, AND IT'S DOWN
THE RIVER AS YOU GO SOUTH TO
ANTARCTIC, YOU WOULD PASS TINPOT
LIGHTHOUSE.
THEY TALK ABOUT IT IN THEIR
JOURNALS.
IT'S STILL THERE.
I STOOD THERE AND ONE NIGHT IT
WAS A DARK NIGHT AND I COULD SEE
TINPOT LIGHTHOUSE STILL FLASHING,
160 YEARS ON.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says YOU WANT THAT
CONNECTION TO THAT STORY, DON'T YOU?

Michael says I FEEL VERY SORT OF CLOSE TO
IT, ODDLY ENOUGH.
I MEAN, THE BOOK'S BEEN OUT IN
ENGLAND FOR A WHILE.
IT'S BEEN QUITE SUCCESSFUL.
AND I FOUND MYSELF BECOMING
VERY... SLIGHTLY EMOTIONAL ABOUT IT.
ONCE YOU FOUND THE GUYS ON THE
SHIP, YOUR STORY'S BEEN TOLD.
PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED.

Steve says HERE'S WHAT YOU SAID
IN THE BOOK: THEY MUST NOT HAVE
DIED IN VAIN.
WHY DO YOU THINK YOU FEEL SO
STRONGLY ABOUT THIS?

Michael says BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN
ADMIRABLE WORK, THESE GUYS,
ESPECIALLY ON THE FIRST
EXPEDITION.
I'M INTERESTED IN THE SHIP
ITSELF.
THE SHIP NEEDS PEOPLE TO RUN IT,
PEOPLE TO SAIL IT, AND THEY'RE
THE QUIET HEROS, THE PEOPLE ON
BOARD KEEPING THESE SHIPS GOING
IN INTOLERABLE WEATHER AND
STORMS, ATLANTIC STORMS AND THE
BITTER ICE IN THE NORTH AND
SOUTH POLE AREAS, AND HOW THEY
SURVIVED, I JUST DON'T KNOW.
BUT THEY DID AND I THINK IT'S
ADMIRABLE AND I THINK THEY
SHOULD BE REMEMBERED.

Steve says GOOD FOR YOU FOR
TELLING THEIR STORY.
I WANT TO DO A BIT OF A HARD
TURN HERE BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE
WILL BE VERY DISAPPOINTED IN ME
IF I DON'T AT LEAST ASK YOU ONE
THING...

Michael says OH, GOD.

Steve says ABOUT THAT FORMER
CAREER OF YOURS.

Michael says WHICH ONE WAS THAT?
I WONDER?
JOHN CLEESE.

Steve says SHALL I PUT THE PICTURE UP?
I'M REFERRING TO THE CAREER
WHERE YOU WOULD PUT PLAID ON AND
DREAM ABOUT BEING A LUMBERJACK
IN CANADA AND CUT DOWN TREES AND
DRESS IN WOMEN'S CLOTHING AND
THAT KIND OF THING.
ANY DESIRE TO DO ANY OF THAT AGAIN?

In a picture, in a forest, a young Michael wears red plaid and a fur hat as he hugs a young blond woman. In the background, a group of nine mounted police officers watches.

The caption changes to "Time for something completely different."

Michael says WELL, IT'S ALWAYS AN
AMBITION.
I THINK THAT WOULD BE SLIGHTLY
MORE DANGEROUS THAN GOING DOWN
AND TOUCHING EREBUS, QUITE
HONESTLY.
I THINK THEY'VE BEEN VERY KIND
TO ME ABOUT THAT.
IN FACT WHEN WE WENT TO BRITISH
COLUMBIA AND I SANG THE SONG,
PEOPLE THREW ALL SORTS OF
MOUNTIE EQUIPMENT ON STAGE AND
THAT SORT OF THING.

Steve says I THINK NEXT YEAR IS
50 YEARS FOR MONTY PYTHON, ISN'T IT?

Michael says IT IS, YEAH.

Steve says THERE'S GOING TO BE
INTENSE PRESSURE ON YOU GUYS TO
GET TOGETHER TO DO SOMETHING.
DO YOU THINK YOU WILL?

Michael says THE CAMERAS WILL BE IN THE
CARE HOME AS WE HAVE OUR FIRST
MORNING WALK AND WE WILL
PROBABLY SORT OF, YOU KNOW,
FISHES WILL BE SLAPPED.

Steve says WHAT DID YOU SAY IN
THE SHOW YOU DID?
ONE DOWN, FIVE TO GO?

Michael says THAT WAS IT, YEAH.

Steve says YOU HAVE A DARK
SENSE OF HUMOUR SOMETIMES,
MICHAEL PALIN.

Michael says I HAVE TO SAY, THIS WAS VERY
MUCH IN THE SPIRIT OF GRAHAM
CHAPMAN HIMSELF, THE DARKEST
HUMOUR I KNOW, AND HE WAS THE
ONE DOWN.
HE WOULD HAVE LOVED IT,
ACTUALLY.
BUT WE DO HAVE A DARK SENSE OF
HUMOUR.
THAT'S THE WAY PYTHON WORKS,
REALLY.
WE'RE ALWAYS KIND OF JOKING
ABOUT EACH OTHER AND BEING RUDE
ABOUT EACH OTHER.
WE'RE ACTUALLY QUITE GOOD
FRIENDS.
WE GET ON VERY, VERY WELL.
THE PYTHON THING IS NEVER TO BE
TOO NICE.

Steve says YOU'RE ONLY 75 NOW?

Michael says ONLY 75.

Steve says YOU HAVE A LONG WAY
TO GO.

Michael says REALLY?
HOW LONG?

Steve says ABSOLUTELY.

Michael says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Steve says YOU'RE IN GOOD
HEALTH, STILL PRODIGIOUSLY
PRODUCING MATERIAL.

Michael says I HAVE A PASSPORT, 1943.
HANG ON.
SOMETHING WRONG HERE.
EXACTLY THE SAME SPIRIT AS WHEN
WE DID PYTHONS.
IT'S BEEN NICE.
I'VE BEEN LUCKY.
I'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO SO-CALLED
SERIOUS THINGS AND COMIC THINGS
AS WELL.
THE MAIN THING IS TO KEEP YOUR
BRAIN WORKING AND KEEP
PHYSICALLY BUSY.
THAT'S WHY I ENJOY WALKING AND
TRAVELLING AND RUNNING AND THAT
SORT OF THING AND I WILL DO THAT
UNTIL I FALL OVER.

Steve says I DON'T THINK
THERE'S ANY SAD ABOUT IT.
I THINK IT'S FABULOUS.
KEEP GOING, OKAY?

Michael says WE'VE GOT TO MEET IN ANOTHER
FIVE YEARS.

Steve says I WAS ABOUT TO SAY
THAT.
FIVE YEARS AGO.
WE'LL SEE YOU AT AGE 80, OKAY?

Michael says 80.
WHAT'S THE NAME OF YOUR NURSE?

Steve says WHAT'S THE NAME OF
YOUR NEW BOOK, I'LL SAY, OR NEW
DOCUMENTARY OR SHOW.
IT'S SO GOOD OF YOU TO MAKE TIME
FOR US AT TVO.

Michael says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The caption changes to "Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Steve says WE ARE HAPPY TO
RECOMMEND "EREBUS: ONE SHIP, TWO
EPIC VOYAGES, AND THE GREATEST
NAVAL MYSTERY OF ALL TIME."
MICHAEL PALIN, THANKS SO MUCH.

Michael says THANK YOU, STEVE.

Watch: Michael Palin: Tracking the HMS Erebus