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  • Great British Railway Journeys - Series 1 BBC [DVD] [2010]
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Great British Railway Journeys - Series 1 BBC [DVD] [2010]


Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
42 new from £7.98 7 used from £4.17 1 collectible from £26.34
£9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Great British Railway Journeys - Series 1 BBC [DVD] [2010] + Great British Railway Journeys - Series 2 [DVD] + Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Marc Beers, Tim Brocklehurst
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Feb. 2011
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004GBB5TO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,044 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Passionate about trains, Michael Portillo charts the great British romance with the railways as he retraces four journeys that were first documented in the monthly railway guide, Bradshaw's Handbook. He sees what's changed and discovers how our love of the railways all began. This 4 disc DVD set features 20 episodes covering the 4 different journeys: Liverpool to Scarborough, Preston to Kirkcaldy, Swindon to Penzance, Buxton to London. Portillo makes stops en route to visit some of Britain's most beautiful cities and hidden-away villages, meeting extraordinary people and hearing stories of how their lives have been shaped in some way by the railways. Throughout these monumental journeys, Portillo explores the secret ammunition factory at Gretna, sails the last steam boat on Lake Windermere, learns to talk 'scouse' in Liverpool, takes a dip in Bath Spa, cooks a traditional curry in Birmingham, tries his hand at oyster fishing in Cornwall and meets survivors of the Coventry Blitz.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

173 of 178 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 3 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD
This set of four DVDs is from the first series of Michael Portillo's train rides across England. (A second series has been shown on the BBC recently, but these DVDs are of the earlier adventure). Each programme is 30 minutes long and follows Portillo as he retraces four journeys which were first documented in Bradshaw's railway guide of the Victorian era, back in the 1840s.

It's a surprisingly charming series which succeeds in capturing a snapshot of modern Britain (mainly England; there's not a lot from the rest of the UK). Each programme reviews how the areas visited by the railway have changed in the past 170 years.
So although you might at first think that this DVD is just for train buffs, that's a long way from the truth. Great British Railway Journeys opens a window onto English industrial and social development, and gives us plenty of glimpses of how the past has morphed into the present. The railway is a useful device and Bradshaw's guide provides plenty of Victorian description to compare with the modern situation. So this series isn't just for railway buffs, although there is plenty of footage of current trains in service, plus many wonderful moments in interesting stations.
Portillo takes four different journeys over the course of the 20 episodes, from Liverpool to Scarborough; Preston to Kirkcaldy; Swindon to Penzance and Buxton to London. Along the way he calls at thriving cities, hidden villages, sites of natural beauty, post-industrial deserts and meets all manner of interesting locals who explain about the area's cultural and industrial heritage. This is all linked to the impact of the rise and decline of the railways.
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97 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Thompson on 10 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At long last the BBC have released this excellent set of cds on the subject of British railway history shown the through the eyes of Bradshaw, the Victorian gentleman who produced a comprehensive guide listing information designed for the railway traveller. This excellent programme first shown last year in 30 minute episodes is introduced and presented by Michael Portillo who is best known for his various cabinet posts in Margaret Thatcher's goverment.
His enthusiasm for the railway system of this country is clear for all to see. His style of presentation is first rate, he is allowing the story to unfold through the railway guide so paintstakingly produced by Bradshaw. The journey which he takes us upon is one where the viewer is treated to a delight of social and industrial history which helped shape the modern Britain in which we live today. This is an absolute must for railway enthusiasts and for those people who have an interest in the remarkable way that the developement of the railway system shaped our social history in Victorian England. I cannot recommend this set of cds highly enough, a little pricey but worth every penny.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Mr Summers on 15 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD
This is an awesome series and represents the BBC at its best. Michael Portillo is the perfect host, his excitement and enthusiasm evident at all times.

The locations and narrative hook you in from the very start and each half-hour episode is totally absorbing. There's never a dull moment.

The camera work is also first rate but I can't believe this isn't available on Blu-ray. This series (and the current series 2) look absolutely stunning on BBC HD - it's crazy not to put this out on Blu-ray. Whoever makes these decisions, please take note!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. T. Jones on 25 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This series has changed my opinion of Michael Portillo. He was rubbish as a Tory politician but has excelled as a presenter in this series. We have really enjoyed the series, which is presented in a very unstated manner and we think Michael has approached people in a very pleasant and friendly manner. OK there may still be a touch of politician meet and greet here and there, but nothing offensive (No babies were kissed in this series). The number of times he holds his hand up to his own political shortcomings in the later series shows that his presentation is probably quite genuine and very tongue in cheek. There are lots of interesting details revealed, we have learned quite a bit about our local history we did not know existed. No, give the guy the benefit of the doubt and enjoy the series for the great photography and sunny weather we do not seem to get very often. Perhaps Bradshaw was mentioned rather often at times, but you do tend to get wrapped up in the story and not notice the references over much. One reviewer complained about the "toffy" voice, though just about everything else as well, but Michael does speak in a very clear and precise manner, certainly not over the top posh. As a broad speaking northerner I found nothing offensive in his southern dialect, pretty middle of the road really. We have watched all of the third series on TV, we missed the first two hence buying the DVD, roll on the fourth, if there are any more railway lines to travel on.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Buckle on 28 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD
An excellent series, a series tucked away on BBC 2 with little advertising. It has been first rate. Michael Portillo has been a fine presenter, never getting in the way of the material, humorous and informative. His trips around the UK would be a perfect guide to the country, such a pity that there are not more shows like this. With his Bradshaw he has shown many fascinating places, buildings, scenery and hotels; as well as bringing a love of the Railways and political and social history (in particular of the Victorian period). In some ways, I wish he would spend even longer in the towns and cities - instead of going to two or three towns per episode.

Hopefully series 2 will also be available on DVD / Blu ray as well? (Maidstone, Kent, Chester, Scotland, Newcastle, Wales etc this time around)

Just checking Amazon, copies of Bradshaw are pretty expensive.. perhaps the BBC could have released a copy of the Bradshaw ? used on Portillo's travels.. or is there a Kindle version available (perhaps not so evocative of the Victorian period though)
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Any word of the release of Series 2? 0 15 Sep 2011
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