Newest Review: ... purpose of standardising the measurement of coastal area, a very contentious issue as coastal area determins the size of offshore waters. ... more
Fancy a walk?
Coast - Complete BBC TV Series 1 (DVD)
Member Name: steerpyke
Coast - Complete BBC TV Series 1 (DVD)
Advantages: good presenters, fascinating subject matter
The success of any such program lies firstly with the host, and in geographer Nicholas Crane they managed to find the right mix of enthusiasm, eloquence and charisma, a man totally in love with his subject. Previously the host of “Map Man” a series that combined cartography and history and actually made them interesting, you get the impression that he would be happy to walk the coast of Britain whether the cameras were there or not, the fact that he is being paid to do this is merely an added bonus. This is little more formidable than a man armed with a love of his country, a walking stick and a pair of Wellingtons. Although in Crane they found the perfect host, the series makers took the sensible step of using four co-presenters, all specialists in their chosen field to help present the stories that make the show. Neil Oliver is a historian and writer who was first seen co-hosting the excellent “Two Men in a Trench” and he handles the purely historical stories be it the Belfast shipyards that launched the Titanic or exploring the rise of the British holiday camp he manages to mix a serious delivery of the information with warmth and humour. Mark Horton, known from “Time Team” and “Time Flyers” covers the archaeological topics and when a more anthropological handle is required, the flame hair anatomist Alice Roberts takes the reins. The team is completed by zoologist Miranda Krestovnikoff who seems to spend a lot of her time actually in or at least on the water dealing with such topics as marine conservation and pollution.
The format is simple, each of the shows deals with one piece of the coastline and in four or five stories deals with the history, both human and natural, inhabitants, jobs, pastimes, maritime issues, wildlife, and much more of that stretch of the coast. The whole thirteen episodes take you around the whole of the British Isles, Dover to Dover and include the Northern Irish coast as well. There are obviously a lot of individual presentations included in the series and to talk about them all would be not only time consuming but would also spoil the joy of viewing the show. Some of the highlights for me were Neil Oliver in Alderney talking to a man who spent time in the only German prison camp to be built on English soil in the Second World War and Nicholas Crane detailing the history of the bridge building in the Menai Straights before canoeing through its difficult waters. Miranda Krestovnikoff’s finest hour came in western Scotland when she swam with Minke Whales. In southeast England Alice Roberts found evidence of early human migration to this country during an inter-ice age and Mark Horton presented a fascinating piece about a wreck from the Spanish Armada that went down off of the Antrim coast. Although this is just the tip of the iceberg it gives you some idea of the scope that this series covers, a range of tales spanning thousands of years and of a very diverse nature. Often however it is the coast itself that is the star of the show, acting as a backdrop to every story there is a wonder range of scenery, wide mudflats, sand dunes, wild storm ravaged cliffs and the every present expanse of sea that makes us an island in the first place. The thirteenth show in the series is slightly different from the previous dozen as it looks to the future and deals with what may be in store for our shores in the years ahead. The coast is a quickly evolving place, sea level rises and erosion are constantly reshaping the very face of the map and with issues such as pollution, wildlife conservation and alternative power sources being important considerations for the future, this program ends the trip looking into and unpredictable future.
The series was a joint project between the Open University and the BBC and manages to combine the educational prowess of the former with the style and quality of the latter. The programs are shown regularly on UKTV Documentaries but a box set is available for around £40.00 new and cheaper through places such as e-bay and Amazon market place. The time is right to experience the grandeur and diversity that is this nations coast, so don your walking boots and grab your waterproofs and head off out of that door…nah, sod that just buy the series and let the experts do it for you.
Summary: a brilliant insight into britains ever evolving coastline.
More reviews in the field of Documentary
- London, circa 1995, let the alien autopsy begin...
- A harrowing insight into a different world
- A Grizzly Tale
- How Would You Make an Alien?
- Bush is an idiot for sure!
- Katy Perry - Part Of Me - The Movie
- The 2012 Paralympians that inspired our Nation!
- Mostly Punk In South Africa
- A respectful celluloid gravestone to the legend that lives on.
- Mesmerising and Brilliant
- WWE: Money In The Bank 2013 (DVD)
- Wimbledon: Official 2013 Gentlemen's Final (DVD)
- Driving Test Success Theory DVD 2013 Edition (DVD)
- Great British Railway Journeys - Series 3 (DVD)
- Ken Burns - The Civil War Commemorative Edition (DVD)
- Earthflight (Blu-ray)
- Lost Kingdoms of Africa (DVD)
- Fry's Planet Word (DVD)
- Casuals (DVD)
- Knuckle (DVD)