0 Love It
Save it

Words of Everest

Tue May 28, 10.35-11.35pm, ITV

It’s easy to see why this occasional series, using the words of journals and letters to tell a famous story, has won awards. Although tonight it’s stories, really, as two expeditions to the summit of Everest – 29 years apart and with very different outcomes – are recounted side by side. The words of adventurers Edmund Hillary (whose success is celebrated here 60 years on) and the doomed George Mallory, and of those around them, are delivered by actors including John Hannah, Jason Flemyng and Toby Jones.

It’s part documentary, part spoken word piece, and the leaps from steady documentary voiceover to intense, eyes-to-the-camera actors are jarringly effective. And seeing the words brought to such vivid life is more than just a novelty, it’s an enhancement to these already dramatic tales. The addition of original archive footage is a worthwhile bonus, but it’s the actors that steal the show here. Worth catching if you have even a passing interest.