Focusing on the often forgotten, but revealing stories of the individuals involved, this highly textured series, authoritatively presented by Sara Wheeler marks the centenary of Scott's ill fated polar expedition.
Scott's Terra Nova Expedition famously reached the South Pole on 17th January 1912. When they arrived they discovered that Amundsen had got there 33 days before them. They all perished on the return trip. The stated aim of the endeavour had been "to reach the South Pole and to secure for the British Empire the honour of this achievement".
This series of five programmes will focus on the individuals involved, drilling down into the minutiae of their lives and thoughts, analysing what they reveal. The expedition was so much more than simply Scott. The others - whose lives were lost or changed forever by the unfolding drama - reveal much about this ultimate moment of human endeavour, this key moment at the end of empire, this tragic catalogue of misjudgement.
In all there were sixty-five men involved in the ship and shore parties, This is the story of five of them. Key individuals, each with their own reasons for being there, their own fascinations and interests, their own Terra Nova Expedition.
These highly textured programmes weave together the thoughtful and informed script of Sara Wheeler, diary entries, and a specially commissioned sound design. There are also descriptions of Herbert Ponting's photographs courtesy of the Royal Collection.
Episode One focuses on Herbert Ponting.
Producer: Kevin Dawson
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 4.
Sara Wheeler studies the men on Captain Scott's Terra Nova Expedition: Herbert Ponting.