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

wiggopromo
0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 36 Second

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.

Like this story? Donate!

There is nothing hinting at potential major plot points such as the near-end of coal mining and the fatal avalanche last Dec. 19 – or “invented” ones such as a polar bear invading town this spring.

And one thing that is clear is Wiggo Antonsen is about to become a far more famous local cab driver than The Man Many Believe Is Rod Stewart.

bbcmaryann
Mary-Ann Dahle’s famous fur coat stars as the lead character in an advertisement now airing in Norway for the new 10-episode “docu-soap” about Svalbard. She also appears likely to be among the “characters” who will get the most screen time if the full show reflects the promotional material. Screenshot from BBC Earth

Antonsen is getting “first among equals” billing in the initial promotional material for the ten-part series “Svalbard: Live On The Edge (outside Norway the title is “Ice Town: Life on the Edge” – although some references are still using the apparently discontinued name of “Ice People: Life on the Edge”), scheduled to begin airing Aug. 29 on BBC Earth. A multisecond shot of him lighting his pipe opens the ads, and he stands front and center in a print ad that features some of the nine other “characters” in the background to varying degrees.

He was also chosen to promote the show during a media event in Oslo last week, where a show producer said the decision to “cast” Antonsen was an easy one.

“Just look at him,” said Wendy Rattray, a producer with Hello-Helo TV, which filmed the series from last October until the end of May, in an interview with Dagbladet. “He looks fantastic! I loved him from the beginning. He was an amazing character.”

Antonsen, in preview footage released to the media, is seen discussing his impressions of the Northern Lights when he arrived in Longyearbyen and entertaining tourists on a bus with lines like “auroral borealis…it’s unpredictable as women” in his thick Scottish accent.
His thick white beard, pipe and chaffer’s cap reinforce the emphasis on eccentric folks who, in the show’s words, “live an extreme life ‘off-the-grid.'” Antonsen told Aftenposten the show might end up overplaying that element.

“For them, the snow on the road is extreme,” he said. “It’s not exactly extreme for Svalbard when we have snow on the roads throughout the year except during the three summer months.”

But Antonsen, whose wife Claudia is also a “character” in the show, said he enjoyed the experience and is optimistic about how the show will affect Svalbard.

“I hope it will be well received and that people take it for what it is,” he said. “Also, I hope for more tourists. We live by driving tourists, so it will help if more come here.”

 

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

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

  1. I’m watching Svalbard Life on the Edge on BBCHD in Oslo. I’m intrigued by Wiggo’s accent. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure it’s not Scottish. It sounds more like Birmingham meets South Africa via the West Country. Or something. Can you tell me where Wiggo did pick his accent(s) up?

Comments are closed.