Tag Archives: Svalbard: Life on the Edge

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).

Rant: I have seen the avalanche episode of ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’ and…they nailed it


It shows the pain and destruction. It shows the community in recovery. And it moves on to a whole lot of other storylines in the lives of the people here.

For me and many others, the third episode of the BBC Earth docu-soap “Svalbard: Life on the Edge” (“Ice Town: Life on the Edge” outside Norway) was the one we were most uneasy about and the one that would be the make-or-break moment in how favorably we’d feel about the 10-episode series. As anybody reading my coverage of the show knows, I’ve been something less than its biggest cheerleader at times due to my experiences as one of the 11 main “characters.”

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.

Show far, show good: Locals praise first two episodes of BBC ‘docu-soap,’ worry about the next showing avalanche


Many people said it was better than they expected. Nobody hated it – although some found the ending of Episode Two unsettling. And there is considerable anxiety about what the world will see in Episode Three.

Rant: Ranking the ‘characters’ of ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’ from least to most interesting (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)


The verdict from the cast seems near-unanimous: the character they like least is themselves.

The first two episodes of the docu-soap “Svalbard: Live on the Edge” served to introduce the 11 “characters” that were followed around by camera crews for much of the past year. Some received dominent amounts of screen time, others made scant appearances with large gaps between them. And in talking to numerous locals following advance screenings of the episodes Sunday at Kulturhuset, there were a few clear top favorites.

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).

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


(Editor’s note: this was written in real-time as the debut episode aired at a preview screening, then updated to fix inaccuracies and add essential details after viewing a recording of the show several times. Future liveblogs will follow a similar path.)

2:52 p.m.: Kulturhuset is nearly full for the advance screening of the debut episode, which airs in Norway at 10 p.m. Monday on BBC Earth. Those who don’t want specific details of the show revealed should read my previous cast-only liveblog of the first two episodes.

Liveblogging ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’: Spoiler-free cast-only preview


Many of the ten Longyearbyen residents cast as the “stars” of the BBC Earth reality TV series “Svalbard: Life on the Edge” (“Ice Town: Life on the Edge” outside Norway) are gathering at 7 p.m. Saturday at Kulturhuset for a preview screening of the debut episode. As one of the “characters” I’ll be liveblogging some general impressions and reactions from other locals without revealing the “plot.” I’ll also be liveblogging both public previews – with spoilers – at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday.

Highlands hype: The first TV promos for the BBC docu-soap ‘Svalbard’ are out – here’s what they tell us to expect


The 30-second ad features a polar bear pelt as the main character, while the humans tend to flash by in one-second snippets. The main impressions are we’re quirky (a word used in the TV listing), cold and carry guns.