WGBH Openvault

NOVA; Arctic Passage: Prisoners Of The Ice

WGBH/NOVA Green Label Master #3306 “Arctic Passage; Prisoners of the Ice” Ch 1/2: Full Mix Ch 3/4: MED 16x9 Anamorphic 56:46

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Arctic Passage: Prisoners Of The Ice
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

In this two-hour mini-series, NOVA dramatizes two extraordinary sagas in the quest for the Northwest Passage, the legendary Arctic sea route between the Atlantic and the Pacific that was the prize objective of merchants and adventurers for centuries.

First, we probe the Arctic's most enduring exploration enigmas. In 1845, two Royal Navy ships and 129 men led by Sir John Franklin set sail from London on an elaborately prepared expedition to conquer the elusive Arctic route, and were never heard from again. Poignant clues suggest the expedition became icebound, short of food, and that the stronger members resorted to murder and cannibalism. Or did their own provisions poison them? Now, 150 years later, a team of historians and forensic scientists journey to a bleak wilderness on a quest for the truth behind the Franklin mystery.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Arctic Passage: Prisoners Of The Ice,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed March 26, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_42E8F47223FC4BCF92876ABABC61417D.
MLA: “NOVA; Arctic Passage: Prisoners Of The Ice.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. March 26, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_42E8F47223FC4BCF92876ABABC61417D>.
APA: NOVA; Arctic Passage: Prisoners Of The Ice. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_42E8F47223FC4BCF92876ABABC61417D
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.