Tag Archives: Svalbard: Life on the Edge

Random Weirdness for the week of March 7, 2017


Maybe it’s because things are shaping up as a rerun of last year (devastating avalanche, dozens of people hastily forced to abandon their homes for good, Wiggo’s latest tourism scheme, etc.), but the BBC is bailing on a previously announced second season of “Svalbard; Life on the Edge.”

Rant: Yes, they’re really doing season two of that BBC docu-soap; that’s (gasp) a good thing


I have come not to praise, but to bury the show on many occasions during the past year. But since it’s clearly Not Dead Yet (sorry, I just discovered the existence of a Lego remake of “Monthy Python And The Quest For The Holy Grail”), I Assur (capital of Assyria, may Sir Robin rest in peace) you I will embrace the spawning of a second season with a shimmering soul.

You-know-poo: Ranking the characters of ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’ from least to most interesting – the final verdict


Kinda like our landslides here the past few weeks, there was a lot of moving and shaking. But as freezing temperatures set in (we desperately hope), things aren’t far from what was expected.

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.

Ranking the characters of ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’ from least to most interesting (sorta halftime edition)


Six down. Four to go. And it’s far from clear the current rankings will look anything like the final ones.

I’ve been at a loss as to how to rank the “stars” of the ten-episode BBC Earth docu-soap “Svalbard: Life on the Edge” (“Ice Town: Life on the Edge” outside Norway), mostly because I can’t figure out why the show is allocating scenes/storylines to everyone the way it is so far. But things have progressed far enough to say the initial rankings after the first “introductory” episodes were somewhat askew.

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.