Victorian Farm [DVD]
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Documentary series following a team of archaeologists and historians as they recreate life down on the farm 100 years ago. Wearing period clothes and using only the tools available at the time, Ruth Goodman, Peter Ginn and Alex Langlands take a year out of their lives to find out what rural life was really like in the 1880s, as they tend pigs and sheep, cultivate the land, and try to survive without modern-day aids.
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Secondly the viewing is consistently family oriented with enough to interest most from old to fairly young.
The premise is clear from the get go. Three reasonably knowledgeable, fairly presentable and un-controversial enthusiasts are tasked with recreating a Victorian Farm. The big disappointment for me was that it was clear that this is not about a bunch of friends or a family trying to live like Victorians, but rather, a sort of extended documentary. Some say the presenters lived on the farm for the year...well, perhaps, but one never gets nor is given this impression. The farm belongs to a 'good old chap' of the landed gentry and his 'spiffing' son who collected a lot of old Victorian farm equipment and left what they their farm alone for posterity...or as it turns out...this show. The three presenters set about trying to ge the farm working again using equipment and methods that would have been common in Victorian times. This includes the kitchen and domestic side of things as well as the farm.
Look. Its well made, reasonably interesting and completely inoffensive. But it lacks appeal and charm. There is little chemistry between the 3 presenters who seem to be working together a bit reluctantly. The lady is the most enthusiastic and interesting of the 3, and the most committed to the project. I think. Its such a shame this all couldn't have been done in a more involving way. Coal House is a good example of how it might have been done. But its still a good show, educational and well produced
If you haven't seen the earlier series - "Tales from the Green Valley" - then that is another delight that awaits you! This is what television was created for!
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