After watching Charley Boorman, partnered with Ewan McGregor, travel around the world in the television series Long Way Round, and from the tip of Scotland to the tip of Africa in Long Way Down, I wasn’t sure what to expect from By Any Means, where a McGregorless Boorman makes his way from Ireland to Australia using a wide variety of means of transport.
And after watching the first episode, where Boorman, his director Russ Malkin and camera operator Paul Mungeam, make their way from Wicklow to the English Channel, I was prepared to give the series a pass: Boorman without McGregor was a little bit like Hardy without Laurel, and I found myself missing the partnership. Something that wasn’t made any better by a cameo by McGregor early in the episode just as the team heads out.
But I decided to give another episode a go, and they’ve managed to bring me around. While billed as a three-man trip, By Any Means is really a solo adventure with a smaller support team: Malkin and Mungeam make occasional appearances, but they’re a supporting cast at best with the focus strongly on Boorman.
And perhaps it just took an episode for Boorman to get the confidence needed to host alone; while the first episode was scattered and Boorman appeared distracted, once things got seriously underway he seemed to perk up, and the trip, and the program, became far more compelling.
I’ll have more to say once they’ve made it all the way to Australia, but if you’re interested in journey-oriented travel television, you might want to check out By Any Means for yourself.