Tag Archives: liveblog

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Ten from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg


9:30 p.m.: And this is it. Welcome the gripping finale of this very spooky show on a dark Halloween evening, where all sorts of strange creatures will be gathering to cackle at the sight of their spirits wandering the Earth. OK, I think that’s enough obligatory Halloween references so, unless someone shows up in costume or anything else pertinent happens. The creature reference is the expectation that a majority of the “stars” in the show will be here tonight as sort of a “wrap party.” So far Benjamin V., Wiggo and Claudia, Chris the avalanche guy, Lara from Green Dog Svalbard, and of course Mary-Ann should be here.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Nine from Coal Miners Cabins


9:30 p.m.: Two episodes to go and, based on the number of characters in this one, I wonder if they’ll do sort of a reverse of the opening two episodes, where they cram half the characters into each show. Best I can tell Chris will be doing the Svalbard Skimaraton (yes, that’s the proper spelling…and nice to have him doing something besides avalanche stuff), Wiggo (and maybe Claudia) will be doing something, Alex will be doing more outdoor recreation, Mary Ann is doing some kind of outdoor project for her lodge and Martin (the doctor who visited last week) will be doing more hospital stuff. So maybe the “theme,” if one exists, will largely be outdoor life/recreation? Which would be really, really repetitive and chiche given that it’s been a dominent thing in every episode so far. But since my guesses are usually at least partially off…

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,” Episode Eight, from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg


9:30 p.m.: Three episodes to go and it seems I’m not the only one who feels monotony has been setting in the past few episodes. Tonight’s episode looks like it might break from some of the usual, thanks to a doctor who’s appearing as a guest star (and going on an emergency rescue drill at sea), and finally the return of Wiggo AND Claudia for the first time since Episode Two. They were a huge hit then and it’s baffling the show hasn’t been featuring more of the character (Wiggo) who’s literally the show’s poster boy. Also, Christine will be doing the two-day Trappers’ Trail and, while a dogsledding trip is one of those things that now seems to be obligatory every episode, this is a continuation of a storyline from a few episodes ago when she did the qualifying race.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Seven from Coal Miners Cabins


9:30 p.m.: I walk into the restaurant/pub at Coal Miners Cabins and experience a moment of panic since it looks like the show’s already in progress on the big-screen TV, rather than the usual weekly show about villages near the Arctic Circle that precedes the series. A couple of minutes pass and I realize it’s actually a long infomercial for the company that owns this place and lots of other tourism businesses in town (the audio is muted and I realize there’s no subtitles). The fact it’s hard to tell the difference due to the similar editing styles (a few minutes each of dogsledding/snowmobiling, a scene in a restaurant/pub, a special event, etc.) highlights something I emphasized in last week’s coverage: a lack of overall focus and direction.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Six from Polar Permaculture


10 p.m.: No long preamble. Ben, founder of Polar Permaculture, is not here yet, but I’m guessing we’ll have a lot to say about our appearances this week. As always, I’ll fix typos and add details after the show’s over.

10:03 p.m.: Woo-hoo! Ben walks in just as show starts. He was one of the nain characters last week and this episode will definitely feature a follow-up of a tragic situation he was in. I’m guessing my stuff will consist mostly of interviewing him.

10:04 p.m.: Title: “On Thin Ice.” Not quite sure if there’s a theme to this one, given the previews, although I’m guessing there might be some kind of breakthrough involving a snowmobile as the main drama.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode 5 from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg


9:30 p.m.: Welcome to the show that will bring us to the halfway point in the series, although in the timeline of the show (late October until the end of May, we’re already in mid-March). Judging from the preview, it looks like this might be an episode that focuses on a topic rather than a progressive narrative, which is something the producers indicated during filming they were planning to do all along.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode 4 (‘Into the Light’), from Coal Miners Cabins


9:30 p.m.: This week should be an interesting gauge of the show’s popularity with the local population. This liveblog is occuring at a quasi-rustic restaurant/pub that seems to be the most popular of four places hosting public screenings so far. The first three episodes all had standout factors making them of heightened interest – the first two introduced the characters and the third was the make-or-break avalanche episode – and were all featured at preview screeenings at the main theater in town. This week: no preview and an ordinary episode that – if the “next week” snippets are any indication – will feature the annual return-of-the sun ceremony, a lighthearted approach to characters doing tourist-oriented work and (educated guess) a character participating in an annual two-day dogsledding race.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Three (‘Out of Darkness’) at Polar Permaculture


9:30 p.m.: Saw an advance screeing of this “make-or-break” episode two days ago (almost certainly the last time locals will get the opportunity during the 10-episode series) and it certainly was for the best as I prepare to do this tonight. Not because of the jolt of reliving last December’s avalanche – hard as that is at times – but because of a far more dismal shock I never would have imagined would be shown tonight (BTW, that shock isn’t what may seem overwhelmingly obvious, as you’ll learn by the end).

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Two (‘Life is Fragile’) from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg


9:20 p.m.: Since there’s lots of talk about death early in this episode, welcome to the overkill liveblog of Episode Two, since I’ve already published a spoiler-free one during a cast-only preview nine days ago and one with spoilers at a locals-only preview a day later.

This one, from the bar of one of show’s most colorful characters, will hopefully follow a pattern for the rest of the ten-episode series where I blog from various places in Longyearbyen offering public screenings, which will allow comments from other residents (either overheard or voluntarily offered) to be included. The emphasis, rather than a comprehensive plot summary (look to my episode recaps for that), will be on memories I and others have of scenes being filmed, and how “real” the portrayal of Svalbard and the creatures living here is. And, of course, doing this in real-time means the text will be a bit rough until I clean it up the next morning.

Standard disclaimer: The show, titled “Ice Town: Life on the Edge” in most countries, airs in Norway at 10 p.m. on BBC Earth and this liveblog contains spoilers.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ episode two (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)


9:15 p.m.: Welcome to the third liveblog about “Svalbard: Life on the Edge” in the past 26 hours (and first three of my life, so if they seem rough and not what’d you expect sorry about that). Definitely going to be another full house…in fact, seats are almost gone already.

9:18 p.m.: And, of course, the usual reminder from the headline this will contain spoilers, so if you don’t want to know details of the episode before it airs at 10 p.m. Sept. 5 on BBC Earth (day/time may be different outside Norway) smash in your computer/tablet/phone screen immediatly (or come up with some other way of not reading this before then).