'The cracked and fissured ice-pack offers no comfortable reassurance - no glimmer of any reward to the traveller who has made his way to the top of the world. The Arctic Ocean, known to the Victorians as the Sea of Ancient Ice, stares balefully back as we descend towards it, reflecting nothing but the question: Why?' Michael Palin's adventure begins when he is enrolled in the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society. .. Travelling by train, truck, raft, Ski-Doo, barge, balloon and bicycle, Michael Palin experiences every extreme the world has to offer. Braving the cold grip of the Arctic Circle, and the swirling snowstorms of Spitsbergen, Palin has to cope with friendly locals, occasional gunfire and his own unruly digestive system before he can finally stand in Scott's shoes at the South Pole, in the Land of the Midnight Sun.