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94 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Palin before Palin
I was a fan of Michael Palin's late 80s/early 90s travel programmes. He's taken for granted too much; it's an extraordinarily difficult achievement to be friendly without dumbing yourself down, and although Palin was always known as the 'nice Python', he clearly has a few demons - what else explains his (to me) inexplicable fascination with the self-destructive Ernest...
Published on 10 Oct 2007 by lexo1941

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame There Are Only Two Episodes
I am a big Michael Palin fan and I was expecting to really like this. But he first episode which was filmed in 1980 is very dated, but Palin is a joy to watch as always which he travels from Euston to Scotland. However the second episode which was filmed in 1994 has Michael Palin travelling from Derry to Kerry, which is a very good episode to watch. But overall it's a...
Published 11 months ago by Mrs. Marilyn A. Rice


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94 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Palin before Palin, 10 Oct 2007
By 
lexo1941 (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
I was a fan of Michael Palin's late 80s/early 90s travel programmes. He's taken for granted too much; it's an extraordinarily difficult achievement to be friendly without dumbing yourself down, and although Palin was always known as the 'nice Python', he clearly has a few demons - what else explains his (to me) inexplicable fascination with the self-destructive Ernest Hemingway?

This DVD consists of his first effort at travelogue, a 1980 contribution to 'Great Railway Journeys of the World', and also a 1994 contribution to the same series, now gone and sadly missed, although I suspect there aren't that many great railway journeys left. The 1980 programme is about going from Euston to the far North-West of Scotland, and it's interesting to watch because Palin hasn't quite hit the right note yet; his nerdish fascination with trains is a little bit too evident, and he's occasionally liable to drop into purple patches about things being 'images of England', or whatever. Likewise, when he hits Scotland, there's a very faintly patronising note. The 1994 programme, made after he'd been around the world a couple of times and was presumably humbled a bit by the experience, is about going from the North of Ireland to the far South, and he's on top form; the tone of friendly but mildly ironic enthusiasm is just right, and he seems more genuinely interested in the stuff that he's supposed to be interested in. It's also interesting to me, as a snapshot of the North in the last year or so before the first IRA ceasefire, when the society was changing to a less sectarian and less violently inclined climate but the political situation and the paramilitary groups hadn't yet caught up.

Let's face it, a Michael Palin travel DVD is something that you will watch when you want to watch somebody being good-humoured and intelligent in a strange environment. It's hardly 'tough' or 'challenging', but when (for example) you have a small infant who has only just been put to bed after a long time of trying, a Palin DVD is a godsend - absorbing and funny and interesting without making too many demands on your sorely tried patience.

Besides which, let's face it, the guy is a national treasure. Think of all the sketches he's written, think of the ex-leper, the Cheeseshop proprietor, the Pet Shop proprietor...think of the Fish-Slapping Dance, for goodness' sake. It's not like he hasn't earned his dues.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame There Are Only Two Episodes, 7 Aug 2013
By 
Mrs. Marilyn A. Rice "RR" (sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
I am a big Michael Palin fan and I was expecting to really like this. But he first episode which was filmed in 1980 is very dated, but Palin is a joy to watch as always which he travels from Euston to Scotland. However the second episode which was filmed in 1994 has Michael Palin travelling from Derry to Kerry, which is a very good episode to watch. But overall it's a shame there are only two episodes in this dvd and you are better off buying "Great British railway journeys" with Michael Portillo.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good old Michael, 5 Jan 2010
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C. Gough "Wanderers star" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
Loved it, got out me anorak cleaned down me spotters guide and absorbed the atmosphere. To be fair you need to love large articles of engineering history to appreciate this, however the actual people and places made this far more watchable than the engines alone. i am not a railway buff by any stretch of the imagination but i do admire the way Michael Palin presents his travelogues, with that in mind if that's interest - buy it, if not, well this is only an opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Train widow, 22 May 2013
By 
Owl "Ollie" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this for my husband who thoroughly enjoyed this. I watched it with him as well and it was well written. It was better than some of the others he buys which are a bit long winded for me. This however was like watching a travel programme. There were lots of interesting characters that he met. If you are look for a gift for a rail enthusiast then this fits the bill.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-issue of a great programme, 5 May 2013
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Candy camera (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this when it first came out in around 1980. Had a copy on VHS, and the tape wore out because it had been looked at so many times. I was very pleased to find this re-issue on DVD, and enjoyed an hour or so of warm nostalgia about Michael Palin's rail trip. Even though this was filmed in the 80s, it feels much, much older (empty London streets at the start of the film, Skye ferry, now long gone...)
The DVD also contains film from a rail trip in Ireland, this isn't as good, but product still gets 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas present, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
The recipient of the present was extremely pleased as he is a real train aficionado It made a lovely gift Thank you
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top, 2 Jan 2014
By 
Stephen Yates (Leeds, Yorkshire GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
Good DVD. Michael Palin is one of the best I will watch again and again, I have a few of his
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD of TV Programmes, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
Shows Michael Palin many years ago on interesting train journeys to Scotland and also in Ireland. The journeys and his comments are very interesting.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Spoilt by the other series, 19 Jun 2013
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J. Murphy "James Murphy" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
Having collected all the other Michael Palin series I thought I'd buy this one. Unfortunately it doesn't live up to the others but it's OK if you want to add it to your collection - However there are many better sets if trains are your thing
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5.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
TWO VERY INTERESTING RAILWAY JOURNEYS BEAUTIFUL SCENERY AND INTERESTING NARRATION BY MICHEAL PALIN PEPPERED WITH SOME HUMOUR AND HIS DRY WIT
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Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys - BBC Series [1993] [DVD]
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