I managed to find a way to view the entirety of this episode myself, and can’t help but agree with many of your sentiments.
As you suggest, the segment was more focused on the personal journey and experience of Fr Peter, the Anglican Vicar, than it was on Coptic monasticism or Abba Lazarus, the Coptic hermit. And, as you note, that was a rather ‘uninteresting’ focus. The only moment I was actually interested in anything Fr Peter did or said, was when, after what seemed like an unpleasant 1-2 weeks for him in solitary prayer on the mountain, he expressed that he was beginning to love it to the point that it scared him. Not only was he generally a rather unenlightening character, but, as you may recall, some of his remarks were just plain unwelcome e.g. his attempt to rationalise Orthodox demonology by asserting that demons are “something within all of us.” (Btw, I should point out that despite the translated transcript displayed on the screen, the head of the Bedouins never actually said “The demons are in our imagination”—he was talking about the effect of permitting negative thoughts to brew inside one’s head, he did not even mention the word ‘demon’)
The Bedouins were charming, and though a far world away from the average Egyptian life, they typify that gentle hospitality and light-heartedness that generally runs in the veins of the Egyptian people (Christian and Muslim). I did feel like too much valuable time was wasted on his journey across the desert though.
Ultimately, the undisputable highlights of the episode were those very few instances when the spotlight was on Abba Lazarus. It is clear that this man is remarkably holy and that wisdom pours from his tongue like a stream of honey. His childlike gentleness and friendliness completely drew me in. I was also rather touched by his genuine love for Fr. Peter and his earnest concern for his spiritual welfare. There is no chance that I am ever going to leave Egypt next time I visit before having the opportunity to meet and speak with him.
From what I gather, Abba Lazarus was an atheist professor of philosophy from Tasmania who was very attached to his mother. When his mother departed, this left a gaping hole in his heart. During his grief, he was told by someone to adopt the Virgin Mary as his mother. He found an icon of the Virgin and asked her whether it was true what he was told i.e. whether she could truly be a mother to him. The icon audibly affirmed. His first encounter with Christianity was with Roman Catholicism; eventually he turned to Orthodoxy but I have not been able to gather anything about what lead to his conversion. After his conversion however, he was deeply drawn to the monastic life, and upon hearing news that H.H. Pope Shenouda III was in the local area wanted to ask H.H. directly about the matter. He went to an event in which H.H. was present but was too shy to push through the crowd and approach H.H. Finally, one of his friends forcefully pushed him through until he actually bumped into H.H. As soon as H.H. turned to see who had bumped into him, Abba Lazarus plainly said, "I want to be a monk." Without any thought His Holiness told him to go to a particular monastery in Egypt, and there he went until he finally ended up at St Antony's.