Now that the holidays are here, many of us are traveling by car to see family. Any road trip that ends in the company of loved ones (and plenty of food) is something worth celebrating. And, really, we’re in love with the road as much as the vehicles that get us there — from the desolate landscape of the American Southwest, to the Pacific Coast Highway, to all three Americas — North, Central, and South.
Even if you’re not road-tripping any time soon, you can still catch some of the excitement by watching bits and pieces of “the mother of all road trips,” undertaken by a crew that wanted to retrace Sir David Attenborough’s 19,000- mile overland journey from London to Singapore in a 1955 Land Rover Series I.
As Expedition Portal notes, the road trip depicted in both Attenborough’s documentary series, Travellers’ Tales and Tim Slessor’s book The First Overland inspired the filmmakers of the upcoming series to bring it full circle:
One such traveler was filmmaker Alex Bescoby. Watching a BBC tribute to mark the First Overland’s 50th anniversary in 2005, Sir David Attenborough regretfully remarked that the London to Singapore expedition was “a journey that I don’t think could be made again today.” The words sparked something in Alex, who contacted a then eighty-six-year-old Slessor to recreate the First Overland expedition, this time from Singapore to London in one of the original 1955 Land Rover station wagons, “Oxford.”
The legacy of the Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition continues with the release of a new multi-part series, The Last Overland, which chronicles the team’s trip across 13,000 miles and 23 countries, in which absolutely nothing went to plan from the start.
The travelers in the new series opted — either boldly or foolishly — to take the long drive in one of the same Land Rovers that originally carried Attenborough and his crew on their journey. You can imagine half the battle would be keeping the old Rover roadworthy, but, hey, that’s part of the romance of such a journey. The series hasn’t been released in full just yet, but reportedly it’s coming soon. That gives us enough time to catch up on the first overland, before taking on this last.