At the time this made-for-TV historical drama first aired on ABC, critics praised the fact that it was more accurate than the 1939 Spencer Tracy
vehicle Stanley and Livingstone
; while this is generally true (unlike the earlier film, this one was lensed on location in England and Kenya), the pop-psychology sensibilities depicted in the TV movie smack more of the late 20th than the late 19th century. In 1871, young American reporter Henry Morton Stanley (Aidan Quinn
) sets out to prove that Scottish-born missionary David Livingstone (Nigel Hawthorne
), who years earlier had disappeared somewhere in Central Africa, was still alive, and not "cooked in a stew" as was generally believed. The film is divided into three parts: the search for Livingstone, Stanley's spiritual odyssey after finding his quarry, and Stanley's seemingly futile efforts to prove that he actually found Livingstone to the skeptical and downright hostile members of the Royal Geographic Society in London. Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone
debuted December 7, 1997.