National Geographic Channel gears up for Expedition Week

by Karl J. Paloucek

Among many other things, Oscar Wilde once quipped, “Nothing succeeds like excess.” Inherently, Wilde may not have anything to do with National Geographic Channel, but the network is putting both the wild and the excess in its lineup this month when it brings the first of two premiere-filled Expedition Week events airing in 2011. (The second Expedition Week will air in fall.)
For seven nights spanning April 3-9, major expeditions and groundbreaking discoveries will dominate National Geographic Channel. From the desert of Syria to the Jurassic Period, the Iceland volcano to Victorian London, Expedition Week heads into the distant past and to far-flung reaches of the Earth to take viewers beyond their imaginations.
The week begins on a grisly note, venturing into the Papua New Guinea rainforest to meet with elders of a tribe known for consuming their own, inEating With Cannibals, followed immediately by a current forensic examination of the evidence from 19th-century London’s Whitechapel murders in Finding Jack the Ripper. From there, viewers will stop north of Jerusalem, where archaeologists decipher the clues to a pivotal battle during the Crusades in Last Stand of the Templars, before being whisked off later in the week to Syria for Egypt’s Lost Rival, about another landmark archaeological find, the ancient super-city of Qatna.
The trek continues throughout the week, plumbing the depths of volcanoes in Iceland and in the Congo, tracking tigers in the remote Himalayan region of Bhutan and in South Africa. It even takes viewers underwater to explore a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea and another in the Irish Sea thought to be of a pirate ship hired by Ben Franklin to capture British sailors.
For the curious mind, it’s a feast of exploration – almost too much to take in. But those buying the ticket and taking this particular ride, so to speak, have a lot to look forward to.
Expedition Week
National Geographic Channel, April 3-9
Eating With Cannibals (April 3)
Finding Jack the Ripper (April 3)
Hunt for the Abominable Snowman (April 4)
Last Stand of the Templars (April 4)
Gladiators Back From the Dead (April 5)
Egypt’s Lost Rival (April 5)
Return of the Ghost Ship (April 6)
Ben Franklin’s Pirate Fleet (April 6)
Into Iceland’s Volcano (April 7)
Man vs. Volcano (April 7)
Lost Land of the Tiger (April 8)
Tiger Man Of Africa: The Mating Game (April 8)
Death of a Sea Monster (April 9)