17 February 2011

BBC2 - The Spice Trail

I'm fascinated by the subject matter, but the presentation was so bad that I had to switch off after 25 minutes. The simpering gushing blather of Kate Humble made this unwatchable.  The travelogue was fine, the content fascinating, the pictures wonderful, and Kate H is great when she's doing voiceover.  But when she gets into the act, projecting herself to the forefront of events, it's stomach churning.

It's not Blue Peter, it's not CBeebies, it's a programme for allegedly intelligent viewers on the BBC's alternative prime channel.  From treading the pepper, to cheering the snake boats, to drinking tea made with Ayurvedic medicines, it's quite nauseating.  I nearly switched off after 15 minutes, and after 25, couldn't stand it any more.  What a shame that the BBC has made an infantile mess of a fascinating subject, instead of treating its viewers like adults.  Maybe episodes 2 and 3 will be better, but I don't hold out much hope.  I'm sorry but this gets my "BBC at its worst" vote.

While available on BBC iPlayer, it's here

10 February 2011

BBC: George VI: The Reluctant King

As the Academy Awards approach, and The King's Speech is thought likely to do quite well, the BBC broadcast a very timely re-showing of the 1999 documentary George VI: The Reluctant King.    It was amazing, inspiring stuff and a great story.  The story was supported by a tremendous array of contributors (some no longer with us), many of whom participated in the actual events.  Only one key witness was missing, and I hope that she didn't find the interpretation of her father's story too inaccurate or distressing.

For me: I thoroughly enjoyed it, BBC at its best.  Sadly it doesn't appear to be available on BBC iPlayer, but it's worth keeping an eye open for another showing.