“ UKTV Documentary is a digital television channel broadcasting in the United Kingdom, as part of the UKTV network of channels. The output of the channel is, as the name suggests, entirely documentaries, mainly taken from the BBC archives such as Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man. However, the majority of the channel's programming is abridged by the BBC for commercial timing purposes - a policy that some critics consider hypocritical. „
Launched in 2004, UKTV Documentary is a UK digital television channel, and is part of the UKTV network, which also includes UKTV Drama and UKTV Food, amongst others. Prior to its existence the channel UK Horizons fulfilled much the same purpose.
The output of this channel is solely documentaries (hence its name), and most of them are BBC programmes. Much of the programming is abridged in order to fulfil the requirements of commercial broadcasting, and sometimes the position of the adverts really distracts from my concentration when watching the programmes. The person making the decisions about where to put the commercial breaks clearly do not watch the actual programmes as the edits seem quite random at times, and this is one of my criticisms of the whole UKTV network.
UKTV Documentary is available on both the Sky (on channel 532) and Virgin Media (on channel 208)digital platforms. Timeshifted channels are also available, showing the same programmes but an hour later.
Some of my favourite programmes on the channel include:
A programme showing stories about animals and their health, which ran during the mid to late 1990s and into the 2000s.
A programme that explores the coastline of Britain which reminds us that in Britain no-one is ever more than 72 miles from the sea. The question is - why do people not visit it more!!?
This is one of the longest-running documentary programmes in the world, which began in 1964. Unfortunately UKV Documentary doesn't show episodes from the early years of the programme, but it is always an interesting watch.
The award-winning documentary series narrated by David Attenborough, which was described by one of its producers as being the definitive look at the diversity of our planet. This is an absolutely fascinating series which I watch over and over again.
POLE TO POLE
Michael Palin's early 1990s travel show is one of the better ones, and shows him travelling from the North Pole to the South Pole. I like all of Palin's travel programmes, but this is perhaps my favourite.
Overall, if you can put up with the intrusive adverts then this is definitely a channel to return to again and again.
UK Horizons is available on digital television (Sky and Ondigital). It is basically a channel that shows BBC repeats. (This of course costs less than showing new programmes.) The good thing about these repeats is that they are all documentary style broadcasts. Most of need to be watched more than once before you really absorb them anyway. Michael Palin must have the record for the most repeated documentary programmes on this channel. As soon as a series is finished we start yet another Palin adventure. I do enjoy these broadcasts but I must admit that even I am getting tired of the repeats. It seems as though the BBC, having established a very popular documentary series, then set about 'doing it to death'. Apart from that particular gripe, I don't have much to complain about when it comes to UK Horizons'programming. They show a good variety of documentaries on history, politics, natural phenomena, etc. The best offerings just recently (in my opinion) have been 'Viva las Venice' which was about an American who is trying to recreate a perfect replica of Venice in his Las Vegas casino-hotel, and 'The Tourist Trap' which documents tourists from different nations at their holiday hotels. An excellent channel with lots of variety.
When I got onto Digital I was very impressed by the number of documentry/science channels available and had not realised that this was also that type of channel. I watch thids channel quite a bit now as it has a good mix of entertaining programs and also keeps my grey matter ticking over nicely. I prefer the evning lineup as there are only so many programs on the mating habits of the brazilian toad that you can watch before they all merge into one big orge. The mix of science and fly on the wall that appears here in the evenings is far more to my taste and so this channel gets a look in most nights. I think Discovery has a more varied line up but this isn't bad either
UK Horizons is made up of entirely repeats of BBC docu-soaps and documentaries, such as Animal Hospital, Airport, The Cruise, Pleasure Beach etc. It is OK, and the programmes on it are usually of a high standard, but the problem is that you will probably have seen many of them before. Shows like Top Gear GTI and Tomorrow's World Plus are basically made up of items from the weekly BBC shows stiched together into an hour long programme which is dubbed as "specially made for UK Horizons" which is far from the truth. However, this channel does feature many good repeats of great programmes that if you missed first time around on the BBC are well worth watching.
This channel is pretty cool! It's format is based on entirely the BBC's very good list of fly on the wall documentary programmes over the last 20 years. It has started to import programmes from Australia like 'The Learners' which is an Australian version of Driving School! Yes, the scheduling is a bit pants at times and they tend to repeat the repeats but everyone has a favourite documentary or fly on the wall programme. They are found on this channel! It is not a dedicated tv channel that you would watch all night. You could catch something interesting from about 7pm to 12pm. It is a channel where you would tune in to watch something for 30 mins whilst nothing really exciting was on the main terrestrial channels. We love reliving the great events like Ray on the Camp Clamper; Mr Trebus on the Life of Grime; Michael Palin on his travels around the world; the Boy David getting plastic surgery for the umpteeth time; Marleen on Sylvanian Waters moaning about her family whilst reaching for another fag; Ruby Wax on her look at American culture; Jezza Spake on Airport insulting his passengers; or as recent as this year with all the programmes on Castaway 2000! It is a very enjoyable channel where you are bound to find something to watch which you've seen before and enjoyed. It is highly recommended.
OK, this channel is exclusively devoted to program repeats, but they are of a high enough quality prgrams to want to see them again. A large section of the scheduling on Horizons is filled with 'docusoaps', for example, The Clampers, Back To the Floor, Paddington Green, Soldiers To Be, The Builders, Holiday Reps. All good stuff. The only docusoap they show that I personally wouldn't watch is The Cruise. I didn't like it first time around, (can't stand 'raughty singers, you know pub singers got lucky - Jane Mcthingy)and therefore have no desire to watch any of them again. Apert from this fly on the wall type of program however, you will find on horizins such gems as Ruby Wax's American Pie, Tomorrow's World, Living With The Enemy, Top Gear, ocasionally Modern Times. All good stuff! There are of course one off programs dotted throughout the schedule too. This is the channel we always tune into if there's nothing worth watching elswhere. You can always find something to watch, if not now, then in 30 minutes because most of the programs are half an hour slots. Very convenient. Definitely one of the better satallite channels.
Uk should drop a hint this has no new programmes at all its a repeat channel no a repeat of repeats channel. Don`t get me wrong this channel is smart with some good programmes like the clampers, pleasure beach, michael pailin. With no new programmes they must fill the time up somehow and this shows you can often see the same programmme every week just in a diffrent timeslot. If you like repeats then this is a channel for you I stay clear
UK Horizons offers the best of BBCs documentary output re run all day long. It has no new shows, but a collection of really great old stuff. Classic TV moments like the wildlife shows from David Attenborough are intermingled with entertaining recent shows like The Cruise and Airport. When there is nothing worth watching on the seventy two other available channels I usually find something fascinating on UK Horizons. If you are the kind of person who can lose themselves in a show about Brazilian street children one minute, then South London street cleaners the next then UK Horizons is for you. The only downside is that sometimes they schedule a whole day of one series so you might get eight hours of Airport, which may drive you to murder the first fat camp Russian you see. Whilst UK Horizons is still great my affections have been won over somewhat by the Biography Channel which offers in depth profiles on anybody and everybody, and the Discovery suite of channels offers some superb output. It is available free to air but you will need a basic cable or digital subscription to receive it. Use UK Horizons as a bookmark and spend some time cruising the documentary end of the digital spectrum. You'll find it tough to escape.
Not so long ago, my partner and I were watching this channel quite a bit. Every night there were interesting documentaries or docusoaps. Some of the most interesting being the series about the twins and the docusoap about the womens prison. Now whenever we check whats on it is always 'Michal Palin around the world' and other mediocre crap. Who want's to watch that? Every night? Not me. Bring back those decent programmes UK Horizons so we can once again watch what used to be a great channel.