qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

A- and B-roads of discovery

Dimbleby's How We Built Britain is eye- and mind-candy, coffee-table TV, gently informing the architectural layman (like me) but never challenging. More discerning and delightfully idiosyncratic has been Jonathan Meades' Abroad Again, promising a trip "down the B-roads of discovery", beginning quasi-autobiographically, and then surveying such delights as the work of Cuthbert Brodrick, Letchworth Garden City and Stowe Lanscape Gardens. One has the feeling, possibly prejudicial and unfair to both, that Meades does his own research whilst Dimbleby has a team of researchers to prepare the ground. Meades is always entertaining, encouraging the mind to branch off at tangents, and as he does the same it can be difficult if the viewer and presenter drift apart for more than a few moments.

Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain has also been quirky and at times irreverent, but informing and entertaining. It feels as though this series could have been expanded and more in depth, possibly by staging it over two series - say from 1945 to 1979, then from 1979 to the present day. As it is, the topics Marr chooses are discussed well, but one feels that quite a lot has been dropped. The difficulty with history is knowing when to write it and I suspect that whilst facts may be known, there is still plenty of scope particularly for events post-millennium to be reinterpreted.
Tags: tv
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