Which episode in Michael Palin's travelogues?

I’m looking for a specific incident that was filmed in one of Michael Palin’s travelogue films back in the 80’s and 90’s. I’ve googled around a bit but can’t find a site with enough detail to nail this down for me.

First, it could be in Full Circle, the one where he’s traveling around the Pacific. At some point, one of his film crew develops some medical condition where they need to see a doctor. They go to a local doctor who treats the condition by use electric shocks delivered through his hand. When pressed to give demonstrable proof, the doctor holds his hand over a balled-up newspaper and you can see sparks which set the newspaper on fire.

Maybe real, maybe not…but I’d like to find the exact series and episode.

Can anyone help?

Hmmmmm… I recently marathoned my way through every single episode of each of Palin’s travel series and I don’t recall the sequence you have described. I could be wrong though, my lids may have drooped here and there.

Like the other comment, I’ve been on a kick lately, and I’ve watched the one in the Himalayas and the Around the World in 80 Days and I don’t recall that. I haven’t yet gotten to Full Circle, though.

I remember him visiting fake doctors, including the ones that pull “goo” out of you. I never have seen the electricity doctor, however.

I suppose that it’s possible that I’m misremembering the setting. :frowning:

Maybe it was someone else traveling through the Indonesian part of the work with a film crew?

Have you read the wikipedia entries? They have pretty good summaries. I just checked out Full Circle and there’s a reference to “psychic surgery” which doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for, but that’s about it. I didn’t have time to read all the rest, but if you’re curious, you might devote the time to it.


Yes, I looked at that before I posted here. As you say, it doesn’t sound like what I remember…but then maybe the Wikipedia description isn’t accurate. I plan to hunt down a copy of that episode, just in case.

I can’t help but think that if Michael Palin had stumbled across a man who could shoot death rays from his hands, British TV would have made more of a fuss over it.

I’ve got no memory of this either and I’ve seen all three of his travel series… :confused:

He’s done seven travel serieseseses.

Around the World In 80 Days
Pole to Pole
Full Circle
Hemingway Adventure
New Europe

I’ve seen the demonstration in question, but I’m not sure if Michael Palin was involved, or if it was even one of his series. You might be confusing it with something else.

I found this Chi Fire Demonstration on youtube, and I believe this is the same guy, however I also remember seeing this guy (or another) do the same thing in the 90’s on another more contemporary documentary style film (Maybe one of Palin’s series?). This is probably the same guy, but this seems like older footage.

I believe this is the footage in question, and the Chi Master’s name is John Chang.

A truly amazing New John Chang video

Sorry, I’m not amazed in the least, but I did find it almost Pythonesque that of the two brothers treated for an eye infection, one wears an eye patch and the other is dead.

I wonder how he did it? It seemed as if the paper ignited from the bottom, and not from his hands. Maybe some glycerine and potassium permanganate (on different hands) that got mixed in the paper? (But then, it would be mixed on his hands as well…)

See, to me it appears as if the fire is starting at the contact point with his hand. If he is arcing enough electricity or chi through his body, he wouldn’t need an accelerant or any type of chemical.

If eels can transmit bio-electrical current at will, why not humans? Perhaps, he has just been able to tap into that bio-potential?

Electric eels can generate a charge because they have large, highly specialized organs for that purpose.

Only electric eels have organs for generating electricity.

Not only eels… I believe there are some other species that do as well. But if you want to get technical, all life produces electricity, even you.