Much has been written about the debacle of the BBC's coverage of the Thames Pageant. I bought this DVD in the hope that the BBC might redeem themselves and produce a product that was worthy of the name and of the Jubilee itself, alas, this is not the case. In fact it's hard to remember any BBC production that has sunk so low.
The DVD is 59 minutes long, with no extras. It provides highlights of four events. The Thames Pageant, The St Pauls Thanksgiving Service, the Royal Procession and the balcony gathering with the flypast. In my opinion 59 minutes is not really long enough to do these events justice. At the start of the DVD you get around 15 to 20 minutes of excruciatingly painful explanation regarding the background to putting on the Thames Pageant. This could have been done in one minute. Once we get into the infamous coverage of the Thames Pageant you realise they have kept the woeful original broadcast commentary by the sports commentator Paul Dickenson, it is truly abysmal. Now they have cut out all but two of the cutaway interviews. So we are left with some nice pictures and not much else. The coverage of the St Pauls Thanksgiving Service is reduced to the Queens arrival, David Cameron's reading, one hymn, the National Anthem and the Queens departure. I missed this on the day and was hoping to see much more. There is also no mention whatsoever of why Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh was not present, so when my kids come to watch this 10 years from now they will have know idea the Prince was ill. Next comes the Royal Procession which is ok. The fly past is slightly disappointing too as you really do not get full impression of the amazing size and excitement of the crowds. Then without warning the screen fades to black and then the role of shame ensues. The full list of credits is over in a matter of seconds. None of the presenters are listed, but if you freeze frame you can identify the producers who are responsible for possibly the worst ever coverage of a national event. This DVD does nothing to repair the damage done to the BBC's reputation. On the cover of the DVD the Executive Producers are listed as Clair Popplewell, Katie Shiers and Ben Weston. On the rolling credits the Production Executive is named as Paul Williams and Producers are Clare Megahey, Catherine Stirk and Zoe Timmers. Those producers involved in the production of this DVD and the Thames Pageant need to hang their heads in shame. The only thing you may be good for is producing shows for Tiny Tots TV!!
What the BBC can't takeaway, although they do their best, is the wonderful spectacle of these events and for this I give 3 stars.