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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and entertaining
In the same way that Coast became a staple of must-see TV, so Michael Portillo's ongoing exploration of British industrial and social history, interwoven with a train-based travelogue, has become a firm favourite in this household. I make no excuses for unashamedly enjoying each half-hour programme, which transport the viewer back-and-forth across the British Isles,...
Published on 22 Dec. 2012 by Rowena Hoseason

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars deeply disappointed..
It was advertised as including the Polish railway journey - we're a half-Polish family, and wanted that particular programme - which didn't appear on the dvd that arrived at my mother's house in Salisbury...

deeply disappointed...

And PAY your taxes
Published 3 months ago by peter kozak


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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and entertaining, 22 Dec. 2012
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
In the same way that Coast became a staple of must-see TV, so Michael Portillo's ongoing exploration of British industrial and social history, interwoven with a train-based travelogue, has become a firm favourite in this household. I make no excuses for unashamedly enjoying each half-hour programme, which transport the viewer back-and-forth across the British Isles, zigzagging through time periods as much as geography.

In case you're somehow unfamiliar with the format (this is the third series, and they play pretty much constantly on the BBC), Michael Portillo follows a train route through town and city, using a Victorian railway guide - Bradshaw's - to seek out highlights and compare and contrast between then and now.
If you didn't like Mr Portillo's previous incarnation as a politician then don't be put off. He makes for an engaging and entertaining presenter; one who unashamedly displays his enthusiasm for railways and our industrial heritage. With each series he becomes more comfortable in the role, chatting with local historians and 'the man in the street' to deftly highlight significant moments of historical importance... and sometimes just to underline some weird moment of whimsy.
This series travels further than the previous two, barrelling beyond the English border to encompass Wales and Ireland. But it starts in the English heartland and follows the route of the old Great Eastern Line, from the coast at Great Yarmouth into the City of London. Each episode starts with a map and highlights to come, and then hops along the line in question, travelling on modern trains - making detours to visit heritage lines which often run restored trains. The railway content of each episode varies, however; the majority of each trip is more about the industrial revolution and how the railway played a pivotal role in Britain's development, which inevitable brings a tinge of pathos when we consider how little industry is left today.
The programmes are not rose-tinted reviews, however, and don't shy away from covering the less than wonderful aspects of traditional industry. At their core lies a little boy's enthusiasm for great big mechanical things - so we experience with Portillo what it was like to operate a Victorian swing bridge, or navigate a WW2 plane using only Bradshaw's guide for directions.
The series weaves around the south coast and then to Wales, where inevitably we visit slate mines and steel works; travels to the Lake District and beyond - where we come bang up to date with a nuclear submarine - before crossing the water to the Isle of Man, and then onto Ireland for the final four episodes which include standing stone, the observatory at Armagh, a Victorian jail, the lions at Dublin zoo and finally arrive at Belfast docks, another crucial pivot-point of British industrial history.
There is also some content to please railway enthusiasts - like the 19th century rail works in Eastleigh, driving a steam train on the Watercress line. But the majority of each programme looks at the landscape and its people; at social and recent history which extends beyond the scope of the railway's tracks. We also get to see a lot of lovely hotels, and Portillo tucking in to some excellent meals - and the occasional odd local delicacy...

My only gripe about these programmes is that the format wastes around 5 minutes of each episode by repeating the extended introduction and details of what we're about to see, then ending with a trailer for the next show. This gets old very quickly - so it's useful when watching several episodes to hover over the remote control and fast-forward to the next one!
Apart from that, Series Three is as informative, quirky, educational and entertaining as its predecessors. And I'm thoroughly enjoying the most recent edition, too, when Portillo takes to the railways of the Continent.
This is one of those series which works on many levels: visually stimulating, full of snippets and factoids, amusing and informative. Light-hearted in its presentation, it deftly distils a broad span of material into bite-size chunks, with the Victorian railway network and a love of the British Isles at its heart. Well worth watching more than once.

9/10
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
I just never get tired of watching episodes of Great Railway Journeys. They are both informative & educational, with Michael Portillo visiting sites & places not normally available to the public. I look forward to Series 4 becoming available on DVD.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Bradshaw and Mr Portillo, 10 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
I first heard the name 'Bradshaw' way back in the 1980s whilst watching that great 'Sherlock Holmes' series with 'Jeremy Brett'. 'Sherlock' would very often shout to 'Watson' for him to fetch the 'Bradshaw'.
I used to think that a 'Bradshaw' was just a basic Railway Timetable without ever imagining it gave so much detail as to help the traveller plan a journey and to state what to look out for on the way etc...
I have really enjoyed every episode from this the Third Series and cannot claim a favourite as they are all so fantastic as were series 1 and 2. The DVD is well presented in a clear plasic case which houses the 5 discs with flip trays. My only gripe is that there seems to be no consistency in the packaging, I mean Series One was packaged similar to this set but Series Two is in a cardboard container, but at least they are all available to watch on DVD.
I have watched Series 4 on TV and really enjoyed it so I hope it will be available early in 2014 on DVD, also a little bird tells me that a Brand New Series 5 will also appear early next year in 2014 so that will be Great and something to look forward to.
As with all Amazon DVDs I have purchased this one arrives in very quick time and well packaged. Thanks for reading my review.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great railway journeys, 14 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
this is one of those programmes that is great for wet afternoons when you can put your feet up and relax as michael does the 'hard work' for you. michael portillo is a very good host so dont let his one time political life put you off, he's a natural for this kind of thing. even my teenagers enjoy it!. good stuff
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good lesson in rail travel, 18 July 2013
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Michael Portillo's knowledge of rail travel is infectious and very interesting. The Guide he follows is as important to-day as when it was originally written. Rail travel in UK certainly takes you to extremely interesting places.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PORTILLO'S JOURNEYS, 1 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Michael Portillo, featuring his interesting sartorial choices, is our tour guide to the rail tracks. With his Bradshaw in hand, we follow him on his journeys as armchair travellers.

I was surprised that this series was not available on Blu-ray.

I find all these series of his just ideal for relaxing after coming home after a day's work. Indeed I first saw them featured on TV around teatime. In some respects the bygone eras he covers strike me as being a more civilised time to be alive. (This was before the horrific carnage of the first World War and the changes to society that ensued thereafter).There was a gentler pace to life instead of the frenetic one that we experience nowadays. This is part of the charm of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magic viewing for train fans, 5 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
We watched the series on BBC 2 then repeats and then the catchup and now on DVD and we are still enjoying them even when he does wander away from the track and into history!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and pleasant series, 22 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Mr Portillo certainly knows how to charm the people whom he meets en route to some very interesting places. I have learnt so much about areas near my home. He has a smooth manner, very articulate diction and interesting colour schemes of jackets and shirts. The background music is not intrusive- unlike so many programmes these days - and the whole series is very relaxing. I am now awaiting his European Railway Journeys. He is a good listener, and does not patronise his guests, making everyone feel relaxed.
I first came across Mr Portillo when he made a documentary about areas of Spain, and I was very impressed. I hope that there are plenty more of such good quality DVDs like these.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for someone, 11 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
This was bought as a gift for someone who has thoroughly enjoyed watching the DVD and found it very informative
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best programmes the bbc has ever done imo, 15 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
very entertaining & interesting all in one go, Portillos' enthusiasm shines through makes this series watchable over & over again.
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Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD]
Great British Railway Journeys: Series 3 [DVD] by Michael Portillo (DVD - 2013)
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