Takuya Kimura to star in Antarctic research expedition team’s drama

By Tenkaijapan - Last updated: 水曜日, 1月 19, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


TBS has announced that Takuya Kimura (木村拓哉),38, will star in a new drama series next fall, tentatively titled “Nankyoku Tairiku ~Kami no Ryouiki ni Idonda Otoko to Inu no Monogatari~.” The show is being produced in commemoration of TBS’s 60th anniversary, and it is said that it will have the biggest budget of any TBS drama series in history.

The series will focus on Japan’s first Antarctic research expedition team, which consisted of 11 members and 19 Sakhalin Huskies. The team stayed at the Showa Base in Antarctica for over a year until 1958 when a second team came to take over, but extreme weather conditions forced the teams to completely retreat from the base, unfortunately leaving behind 15 of the Huskies. When one of the dog handlers returned in 1959 with a third team, it was discovered that two of the dogs, Taro and Jiro, had somehow managed to survive.
That expedition team was also the subject of the 1983 film “Nankyoku Monogatari,” starring Ken Takakura (高倉健),79,. That movie earned approximately 11 billion yen, making it the second highest grossing live-action Japanese film in history after “Odoru Daisousasen: The Movie 2.”
The drama will not be a remake of the film. Instead, it will be an original script inspired by the book “Nankyoku Ettoutai Taro Jiro no Shinjitsu” by Taiichi Kitamura.

Kimura plays the researcher Takeshi Kuramochi, the vice-leader of the team. His rival, the head weather observer Himuro, will be played by Masato Sakai (37). Teruyuki Kagawa (45) is playing the team leader, while Kyohei Shibata (59) is playing the overall person in charge of the expedition. Other team members will be played by Yusuke Yamamoto (23), Susumu Terajima (47), and Naoto Ogata (43).

Filming will start in February and last more than half a year. Scenes will be shot in Hokkaido, though TBS is also considering doing some filming in Antarctica. The series will begin airing in October in the Sunday 9:00pm time slot.

Hollywood's Eight Below is a remake of Nankyoku Monogatari

Hollywood's Eight Below is a remake of Nankyoku Monogatari

In February 1958, the Second Cross-Winter Expedition for the Japanese Antarctic Surveying Team rode on the icebreaker The Sōya to take over from the 11-man First Cross-Winter Expedition. Due to the extreme weather conditions in Antarctica, Sōya could not get near enough to the Shouwa Base and they decided not to proceed with the stay-over.

The First Cross-Winter Expedition retreated by helicopter, but they had to leave 15 Sakhalin Huskies at the unmanned Shouwa Base. The dogs were left chained at the base, as the team thought that they would be returning, but they did not due to fuel shortages. The team was worried about the dogs, as the weather was extremely cold and only one week of food was available.

Nearly a year later, on 14 January 1959, Kitagawa, one of the dog handlers in the first expedition, returned with the Third Cross-Winter Expedition, wanting to bury his beloved dogs. To everyone’s surprise, they were greeted warmly at the base by two dogs, Taro and Jiro, brothers who were born in Antarctica.

It is still unknown how and why the brothers survived, because an average husky can only live in such conditions for about one month.

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