The travel documentary series Michael Palin: Into Iraq will visit the former python for the first time in the Middle Eastern country
Michael Palin’s Channel 5 documentary series Into Iraq will follow his travels across the Middle East country. The series will air shortly after the release of his travel book of the same name, which chronicles his experiences in a country ravaged by decades of conflict.
Filmed over three weeks, Palin follows the Tigris River from eastern Turkey for more than 1,000 miles across Iraq. The country is associated in the West with the war that lasted from the US invasion in 2003 to the 2011 troop withdrawal.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was defeated in 2017, but low-level ISIL threats persist in the country. However, Iraq is also known as the cradle of civilization and has an ancient and rich culture that Palin will track down in his travels.
What is Michael Palin: Into Iraq about?
The travel series follows Palin as he travels to Iraq and sees the country for the first time, as most viewers will. In the first episode, Palin travels by train from the snowy mountains of eastern Turkey to Iraq for the first time and begins his epic journey.
In the second episode he gains access to the oil fields in the capital Baghdad. He will visit a shrine along the Tigris River honoring the victims of the Camp Speicher massacre in which 1,700 Iraqi cadets were executed by ISIL.
Palin told The Express: “I’m not going into those experiences and expect to be scared. I cater to them and expect them to be absolutely fine as if they were just headlines in the papers.
“But you get there and you realize it’s a different matter, you realize there’s a lot of trouble and that could be dangerous.
“I was told not to go out at night because we would be a target, but my favorite thing to do is go for a walk and have a coffee or a beer.”
When is Michael Palin: Into Iraq on TV?
The first episode of Michael Palin: Into Iraq airs on Tuesday 20 September at 9pm on Channel 5.
The series consists of three hour-long episodes that are released weekly at the same time. Episodes can also be viewed on My5 shortly after they first air.
Where is Iraq?
Iraq is a country in the Middle East about 3,000 miles from the UK. The country borders Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Syria, which is still in civil war.
The British government advises against all travel to Iraq, citing the risk of terrorism and kidnapping.
Iraq is a fairly large country at 170,000 square miles compared to the UK which is approximately 94,000 square miles. Iraq has 40 million inhabitants making it the 36th largest country in the world.
Who is Michael Palin?
Michael Palin is a 79-year-old comedian, actor, host and author. He is best known for being a member of the pioneering British comedy troupe Monty Python.
Alongside fellow pythons Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and Terry Jones, he starred in the sketch series Monty Python’s Flying Circus and in the films Holy Grail, Life of Brian, and Purpose “.
He has presented several travel shows including Himalaya, Brazil, New Europe and North Korea. He has also written several travel books based on his experiences making the documentaries. Palin married Helen Gibbins in 1966 and the couple have three children together.
Is there a trailer
Yes, there is, and you can watch it right here: