08 June 2007

When Television Is Good

BBC1 has just begun a series on "How We Built Britain". Episode One stayed in East Anglia and covered the mediaeval period, starting at Ely Cathedral and ending at Kings College, Cambridge, by way of wool churches and some surviving castles. It was what public service broadcasting is for, and David Dimbleby excelled as a presenter: he guided the viewer to look, and didn't interpose his personality between the viewer and the subject of his programme. Two scenes: where he showed how mediaeval roof timbers were labelled, and where those labels can still be seen; and when he went into the space between the Kings College vaulting and its roof, and showed the spy holes the masons had drilled through; were absolutely wonderful.

I recorded the programme. I thought that, converted to an MPEG it would be just what Jeffrey, the Roving Mediaevalist, needed, and after the trying week he has suffered I think I would have been spot on.

Until I found that the programme had been overwritten, and by trash (I plead the existence of two teenagers in the house.)

I can only appeal to his magnanimity and hope that BBC programmes like this may some day be aired on PBS or be available on NTSC Region One DVDs.


Jeffrey Smith said...

Tolerance may be a dirty word in some segments of the blogosphere, but young people get it in full measure from me. They deserve it for inheriting the mess my own generation has made of things.

Ttony said...

It was trash, believe me, but of the mental chewing gum sort, rather than the corrosively bad sort. I'm mad that they rewound before recording, not that they recorded the blasted thing.

Alec said...

Ttony, that's what the protection tab is for. Sheesh!

Anyway, if it was half as good as the Canary Wharf prog (http://youtube.com/watch?v=xKJ_jWBqoUw) it must have been a gem.