Pack your bags! Come with us on a journey of the mind…to destinations both near and far-flung, the familiar and the unexpected… in search of what the tourist never sees. An armchair travel show that scratches the surface of the world around us.
S2 07 | Timbuktu — a true story
Its name is a byword for remote obscurity and intrepid adventure, a medieval trade centre and cradle of African scholarship perched on the edge of the Sahara. But those historical perceptions are so far removed from the reality of the Malian city's current predicament. A place worn down by a decade of conflict, desertification, and sheer isolation. So, what's the truth about Timbuktu?
S2 06 | Hollywood — boulevard of broken onions
It was Columbia Pictures President Harry Cohn who once said, "If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont" — and trouble they had.
In uncovering the razzle-dazzle of Hollywood, we track the 95-year history of the Chateau, from its beginnings as onion fields, to its rise as a place of decadence, scandal, fame and murder.
Plus, how did the palm tree become an emblem of LA, and could Marilyn Monroe really act?
S2 05 | Tasmania — it's a terrible place
Tasmanian residents and cartoonists First Dog on the Moon and Jon Kudelka tell everyone they know that Tasmania is awful. The snakes. The weather. The people. But in truth, why does half of Australia want to live there?
S2 04 | Slow death in Venice
Venice is the anti-tabula rasa. Here, residents and visitors alike must rise up to meet its demands. But you can't help but feel this old and adored city is being crushed under the weight of history, the literal weight of tourists, and the twin pressures of having too much water and then, not enough. So, is the Venice we know slowly dying by a thousand cuts?
S2 03 | Kuala Lumpur — would you like rubber with that?
The story of the Malaysian capital is a story of resources, from tin, petrol, and palm oil. But if there's one resource to understand the metropolis that is Kuala Lumpur today it's rubber.
It's responsible for the city's art deco architecture, modern multiculturalism, and a roaring global trade. It's no wonder Malaysia still supplies half of the world's natural rubber.
S2 02 | Las Vegas by numbers
In a city where every flip of the card and roll of the dice could cost you, are the odds ever really in your favour?
Exploring the maths of chance, we ponder: what are the odds of running out of water in Las Vegas? What are the odds of getting married by an Elvis impersonator? And what are the odds of coming home with more than you started with?
Card sharks and the King may have the answers.
Chad Collins, Elvis impersonator and wedding celebrant at the Little Chapel of Hearts, Las Vegas
Michael Shackleford aka The Wizard of Odds, a former professional actuary who has made a career of analysing casino games
Giulio Boccaletti, a physicist and climate scientist. He is the author of Water: A Biography
Jonathan Green, presenter
Hayley Crane, producer
Alan Weedon, producer
Rhiannon Brown, executive producer
Brendan O'Neill, sound engineer