TV Crush

National Geographic Channel: Class Act at TCA

7/09/2008 12:15 PM

National Geographic Channel is definitely putting on a show for the television critics, setting out cool swag - very handy rolling backpacks.  And enough press packets to go around.  (Thank you, Nat. Geo.!) 

To unveil their first annual Expedition Week - seven nights and seven premieres, starting November 16 - the channel organized a panel that included Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11 astronaut and second man to set foot on the moon) .

In HD, National Geographic’s Expedition Week will take viewers into the Amazon to look for lost cities, on underwater dives to an untouched Caribbean shipwreck, into the Egyptian desert to hunt for clues to Alexander the Great’s lost tomb, and even over the moon - literally - via high def footage from the Japanese lunar orbiter Kaguya.

World’s Toughest Fixes goes inside some of the most daunting repair jobs imaginable.  The ten-part series debuts on September 28.   It’s the high tech, brawny engineering answer to Discovery’s Dangerous Catch

Sean Riley, a scarlet-haired master rigger and suspension expert, hosts.  Riley and his crew tackle some mighty big projects every week, often in dangerous conditions.

These type of jobs are euphemistically called "high consequence" environments.  In one hair-raising shot, Riley is seen hanging off a helicopter to repair high voltage lines - and I mean high, like half a million volts. 

Other projects featured in the series: the repair of a rupture in a jetliner’s pressure dome and the replacement of a nuclear power plant turbine.

And finally, not for the faint of heart: Solo: Lost At Sea is the harrowing video diary of extreme kayaker Andrew McAuley’s final voyage.  His journey ends badly and the footage is both wrenching and compelling.

McAuley’s body was never found, but the video diaries were retrieved from his upside down kayak.  It’s a moving testament to the 39-year-old McAuley who set out to be the first person to kayak solo across the 1,000 treacherous miles from Australia to New Zealand.

September