25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Britain's Best Programmes are on the BBC...,
This review is from: Britain's Best Drives [DVD] (DVD)
After what seemed like a bit of a barren period for the outdoors, this is one of a number of recent excellent BBC series, including Monty Halls' Great Escape, Railway Walks, Yellowstone, and of course anything narrated by David Attenborough.
Richard Wilson is at home as a presenter; informative, engaging and nowhere near as grumpy as his Victor Meldrew character would have you believe. He meets young and old who have lived and worked in the locations on his tour - with occasional opinion on whether life was better in the 50s, or now. Why the 50s? Well, he's using 1950s guidebooks to see if what were considered great drives back in the "golden age of motoring" can still hold their own today. Short passages from the guidebooks intersperse Wilson's narrative and interviews.
Each of the six journeys is taken in a different classic car from the era, and having owned only one manual car in his lifetime (and that was a long time ago), amusement is provided by Richard Wilson's constant struggle with the gearboxes of the fifty year old cars. Will that Triumph TR3A with the dodgy first gear (so Mr. Wilson says!) make it up that massive climb in the Lake District? How will he fare when he begrudgingly takes an overnight stay in a VW Camper?
The cars take a backseat though, with the focus being on the people, the social history of the areas and the locations themselves. Stunning scenery abounds, with my personal favourites being The Trossachs (one small criticism of the series is that the visit to his sister in this episode seemed a bit out of place) in Scotland and the North Cornish Coast, journeys I'd love to take myself one day, but even if you wouldn't, this series is well worth watching for the aforementioned people, history and locations.
For those who still don't have access to digital TV (like me), it is well worth browsing the BBC iPlayer or the BBC's DVD release schedule to look out for some of these gems...
(I wasn't sure whether to rate this 4/5 or 5/5, but the rater won't let me edit from 5/5, so it's lucky I aren't reviewing anything bad!)
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 May 2009, 19:35:35 BST
K. A. French says:
it is on every friday now on bbc 2 (todays date 11th May) i just watched the scarborough episode last friday. it was very interesting.
Posted on 26 Mar 2010, 23:14:04 GMT
Thomas Crown says:
Mr.Wilson actually declined to spend the night in the VW camper. The camper wasn't of 1950s vintage, it was in fact an 'E' registered 1967 vehicle. The number plate was briefly visible in the Lands End scene at the end of the programme.
Posted on 16 Sep 2011, 04:36:40 BST
blue skies says:
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