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The Last Place on Earth 

Scott vs. Amundsen. It wasn't meant to be a race, but race it becomes, as the world awaits news of the first to reach the Pole. What follows is a tale of heroism, foolhardiness, ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
Martin Shaw ...  Captain R. F. Scott 7 episodes, 1985
Sverre Anker Ousdal ...  Roald Amundsen 7 episodes, 1985
Stephen Moore Stephen Moore ...  Dr. 'Bill' Wilson 7 episodes, 1985
Ståle Bjørnhaug Ståle Bjørnhaug ...  Olav Bjaaland 6 episodes, 1985
Tom Georgeson Tom Georgeson ...  P.O. Lashly 6 episodes, 1985
Hugh Grant ...  Cherry Garrard 6 episodes, 1985
Michael Maloney ...  Lt. 'Teddy' Evans 6 episodes, 1985
Richard Morant ...  Capt. 'Titus' Oates 6 episodes, 1985
Sylvester McCoy ...  Lt. 'Birdie' Bowers 6 episodes, 1985
Robin Soans ...  Surgeon Atkinson 6 episodes, 1985
Tom Gerrard Tom Gerrard ...  P.O. Keohane 5 episodes, 1985
Jan Hårstad ...  Helmer Hanssen 5 episodes, 1985
Erik Hivju Erik Hivju ...  Sverre Hassel 5 episodes, 1985
Ivar Nørve Ivar Nørve ...  Oscar Wisting 5 episodes, 1985
Daragh O'Malley ...  P.O. Crean 5 episodes, 1985
Paul Rothery Paul Rothery ...  'Silas' Wright 5 episodes, 1985
Pat Roach ...  P.O. Evans 5 episodes, 1985
Susan Wooldridge ...  Kathleen Bruce - Mrs. Scott / ... 4 episodes, 1985
Jon Eikemo Jon Eikemo ...  Adolf Lindström 4 episodes, 1985
Bill Nighy ...  Cecil Meares 4 episodes, 1985
Sven Nordin Sven Nordin ...  Gran 4 episodes, 1985
Jirí Stanislav Jirí Stanislav ...  Dimitri 4 episodes, 1985
Hans Ola Sørlie Hans Ola Sørlie ...  Jorgen Stubberud 4 episodes, 1985
Max von Sydow ...  Fridtjof Nansen 3 episodes, 1985
Lawrence Douglas ...  Bernard Day 3 episodes, 1985
Per Theodor Haugen Per Theodor Haugen ...  Leon Amundsen 3 episodes, 1985
Alexander Knox ...  Sir Clements Markham 3 episodes, 1985
Toralv Maurstad Toralv Maurstad ...  Hjalmar Johansen 3 episodes, 1985
Peter Jeffrey ...  Lord Curzon 3 episodes, 1985
Nils Ole Oftebro Nils Ole Oftebro ...  Lt. Nilsen 3 episodes, 1985
Sue Robinson Sue Robinson ...  Mrs. Ory Wilson 3 episodes, 1985
Bjørn Skagestad Bjørn Skagestad ...  Kristian Prestrud 3 episodes, 1985
Robin Summers Robin Summers ...  P.O. Clissold 3 episodes, 1985
Erik Bye Erik Bye ...  Andreas Beck 2 episodes, 1985
Cliff Burnett Cliff Burnett ...  Reg Skelton 2 episodes, 1985
Brian Dennehy ...  Frederick Cook 2 episodes, 1985
Julian Fox Julian Fox ...  Lt. Campbell 2 episodes, 1985
Astrid Folstad Astrid Folstad ...  Betty 2 episodes, 1985
Anthony Hyde Anthony Hyde ...  Dr. Simpson 2 episodes, 1985
Terry Kingley Terry Kingley ...  Griffith Taylor 2 episodes, 1985
Jane Laurie Jane Laurie ...  Hilda Evans 2 episodes, 1985
Peter Sands ...  Lt. Pennell 2 episodes, 1985
Nickolas Grace Nickolas Grace ...  Lord Howard De Walden 2 episodes, 1985
Richard Todd ...  Mr. Barnes 2 episodes, 1985
Richard Wilson ...  Scott Keltie 2 episodes, 1985


Scott vs. Amundsen. It wasn't meant to be a race, but race it becomes, as the world awaits news of the first to reach the Pole. What follows is a tale of heroism, foolhardiness, selflessness and self-delusion, in a land where victory must be secondary to survival. Written by Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Scott and Amundsen both wanted to be first to the Pole. One of them was. The other became a hero.









Release Date:

1985 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Place on Earth See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The song that Olav Bjaaland (Ståle Bjørnhaug) sings when the Norwegian team breaks the "farthest south" record is "Nordmannen", also called "Millom Bakkar og Berg". The lyrics are by the Norwegian poet and linguist, Ivar Aasen (1813-1896), best known for developing the "landsmaal" written language from rural Norwegian dialects. The music is by Ludvig Lindeman (1812-1887). See more »


In the series, Amundsen visits Dr Frederick Cook in Leavenworth Prison shortly after the publication of Scott's journal. In reality, the meeting took place more than a decade later, in 1926, when Cook was serving a sentence for his part in an alleged oil fraud. See more »

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User Reviews

A gripping contest at the South Pole
16 July 1999 | by RosabelSee all my reviews

This series was a great revelation to me: I'd heard of "Scott of the Antarctic" but never of Roald Amundsen, the man who beat Scott to the South Pole. It is a fine adaptation of the book by Roland Huntford, and does a great job of poking a hole in the romantic illusion that this adventure was some landmark episode of English heroism. It is instead an illustration of a truth that no one at the time could admit: that by 1912 "Britain was forgetting how to think", and too long a period at the top as the world's pre-eminent power had bred arrogance, inflexibility and an inability to learn. The contrast between the pompous incompetence of the British and the intelligence and adaptability of the underdog Norwegians is highlighted throughout the series. As Amundsen says in the first episode, "Experience teaches them only one thing: that they are British, and therefore pre-eminent. But Nature is deaf to such things; she cannot hear the tunes of glory." Even to a person who does not already know the historical outcome of this story, the British from the beginning seem to be marching to their doom. The whole expedition, despite the money and materiel lavished upon it, is a story of shoddiness, second-rate decision-making, and slovenly improvisation. The blame for most of this is laid squarely upon Scott himself, who is shown as a thoroughly mediocre leader. Martin Shaw gives a wonderful performance as Scott, and even manages the considerable feat of creating some sympathy for this stupid man, pushed out of his depth and driven by ambition to attempt something he is incapable of achieving. There was some outrage, especially in Britain, both at the book and the series, which were seen as unfairly kicking Scott, who had at least paid with his life for any mistakes he might have made. The makers of this series are to be complimented for not yielding to such sentimentality. They never let us forget that 4 other men died with Scott as a result of his stupidity, and the horror of their slow death by starvation, scurvy, exposure and infection is presented unflinchingly. The end of the series gives us a cynical scene with Scott's widow and the responsible officers of the Admiralty busy concocting the myth of "Scott of the Antarctic" which was to beguile the public until Huntford's book came along to shine the light of truth into this corner of history. Hopefully, as a result of the book and the series, there can be no going back to the comfortable lies of the past.

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