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Locomotion with Dan Snow

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Messages: 1 - 20 of 132
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Whitespear (U15576225) on Tuesday, 15th January 2013

    Why wasn't Richard Trevithick mentioned on the programme, he had the first steam train running years before Stephenson.

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  • Message 2

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    Posted by notbraindead (U15528333) on Tuesday, 15th January 2013

    Because it had (cough) "military historian" Dan Snow on it treating us as though we all had teh intelligence and attention span of goldfish. Snow Jr hasn't done a decent show since Daddy stopped working with him.

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  • Message 3

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    Posted by Onslow The Cat (U13672446) on Tuesday, 15th January 2013

    There are still another two episodes to go, so who knows the answer?

    <blackcat>

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  • Message 4

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    Posted by Nan you are too old to go on Facebook said Tom 19 (U11041817) on Tuesday, 15th January 2013

    I enjoyed the programme, took me back more years than I care to remember to when I was doing economic history for my O levels. Which I did pass may I add.

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  • Message 5

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    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Although this subject is not new to BBC documentaries, I thought it was the best I have seen on the subject of the railways so far. Snow's academic background showed through because he avoided the "1066 And All That" interpretation of the Industrial Revolution that we usually get. Snow obviously understood that all the famous inventions were the result of expansionary economic pressures and not the cause of them.

    It was also the first time I have seen a proper account in a TV documentary of the engineering and political difficulties that faced the construction of the Liverpool-Manchester railway, exactly how Huskisson came to be killed on the first day, and so-on. :-)

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  • Message 6

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    Posted by stevied (U15519792) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Yet another disappointing programme about railways. Yet more of the BBC,s infatuation with helicopters. Why did Dan Snow have to wear all that health and safety clobber just to walk down a railway line? High vis maybe ,but not a hard hat and safety glasses. What was going to happen to him?
    The link piece which ran through the whole show seemed to have no other purpose than to wake us up. If you are going to employ a railway "Expert" to tell the story why didn't you get Christian Woolmer who wrote the definitive book "Fire and steam" which at least didn't bring the whole subject down to the level of a 12 year old to advise on it? Please, please BBC treat us like adults, especially on BBC2 after the watershed. Most of this subject has been covered before, and better by Fred Dibnah for one.
    Talking of double standards why was Mr Snow allowed to be aboard that boat without a life jacket and what did that have to do with railways anyway?
    I was really looking forward to this programme but I was very disappointed with it. We had barely got the Liverpool line open when the whole thing was hijacked to show how much Dan Snow could shovel into a wagon and off we went sidetracked by Navvies.
    As for a presenter how about Michael Portillo? He does a very good job on "Great British Railway Journeys".
    Let's face it BBC most of your target audience would only watch it for Mr Snow anyway, the very term "Railway" sending most running for the remote.

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  • Message 7

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    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I agree with Portly - a very interesting and informative documentary.
    Dan Snow really brought home the sheer physical effort required to build the railways; by telling us about the navvies he revealed a dimension of the story that I haven't seen covered properly before.

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  • Message 8

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    Posted by DragonFluff (U6879248) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Let's face it BBC most of your target audience would only watch it for Mr Snow anyway, the very term "Railway" sending most running for the remote. 

    Glad to know I'm not typical - the word "railway" attracts me to the programme but the words "Dan Snow" don't fill me with confidence. I shall give it a watch later on t't iPlayer and see how well I get on with it.

    Replying to the OP - if there is no mention of Richard Trevithick in the entire programme, I shall stare hard at the BBC over the top of my glasses.

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  • Message 9

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    Posted by swillott (U13835085) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I agree with Portly - a very interesting and informative documentary.
    Dan Snow really brought home the sheer physical effort required to build the railways; by telling us about the navvies he revealed a dimension of the story that I haven't seen covered properly before. 
    Sorry to differ, but we saw very little of the railways and a lot of the presenter. There is a working replica of Trevithick's locomotive which would have shown the origins of steam propulsion. We also saw more close-ups of bits of locomotives than the whole, and why was every scene separated from the next by out of focus grainy sepia images of meaningless machinery?

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  • Message 10

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    Posted by Chris1049 (U15576506) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I too enjoyed the programme and will continue to watch. However, I wish Dan Snow's academic background had led to fuller information. For example, where is the bridge built to take the coal to Newcastle, where is the tunnel walked through by Dan Snow atmospherically waving his torch, why were the men digging and filling skips, where is the Rocket displayed and is it the original or a modern re-creation, what cutting was illustrated in the re-animated engraving? A few extra words or some script on the screen could have answered these questions without interrupting the flow. The information would have given what was an interesting and informed documentary, a bit more factual fibre.

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  • Message 11

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    Posted by Nickjhr (U8356357) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    When I was a kid I had a Ladybird Book-The Story of the Railways- it's a shame Dan did not use it. It's many decades since I have seen this book but the book covers Trevithick and the very important Surrey Iron Railway of 1803 from Wandsworth to Croydon ( some of the route is now used by the Croydon-Wimbledon tram). none of which Dan mentioned. The book highlighted Chat Moss and the problems that George Stephenson and his talented son Robert would have to conquer to build the world's first mainline railway from Manchester to Liverpool . It was sad to hear Dan spouting all today's jargon- "high speed link" and all those terms that make those that love railways cringe as the seminal words of this incredible industry are replaced by marketing mumbo jumbo. Anyway, that Ladybird book is available from Amazon for as little as a penny before postage which would have probably been the best penny ever spent if this book had been consulted. I did enjoy the programme but I cannot help but feel that key aspects which should have been included- not least Trevithick- were ignored which I find just a little baffling.

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  • Message 12

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    Posted by swillott (U13835085) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    The programme seems to have been about 'Rail travel', not about 'Railways' and was therefore badly described in the trails.

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  • Message 13

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    Posted by longmemoryintv (U15477482) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I too enjoyed the programme and will continue to watch. However, I wish Dan Snow's academic background had led to fuller information. For example, where is the bridge built to take the coal to Newcastle, where is the tunnel walked through by Dan Snow atmospherically waving his torch, why were the men digging and filling skips, where is the Rocket displayed and is it the original or a modern re-creation, what cutting was illustrated in the re-animated engraving? A few extra words or some script on the screen could have answered these questions without interrupting the flow. The information would have given what was an interesting and informed documentary, a bit more factual fibre.  I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued? Presumably we get sanitised and glamourised versions of history with handsome presenters (however well-connected and academically qualified) because the powers-that-be think that's all we're able to assimilate. These then get interspersed with 'real-life' programmes on BBC4 which used to be fillers at the cinema - 'Look at Life' and so on.

    Admittedly I am quite old and sometimes have personal knowledge of certain programmes, of which today's young 'researchers' have no knowledge and probably less interest; but it does make me sad when people come on here and say they had no idea of the contribution of manual workers to the infrastructure of the railways, canals, and indeed the Industrial Revolution.

    We used to be assumed to be intelligent enough to be able to watch 'Civilisation' or series by Bronowski, or AJP Taylor. People like Trevor Philpott or James Cameron were given the opportunity to make intelligent programmes. Indeed, (which is what prompted me to post this) in about 1962 or 1963 Philpott made at least one programme called 'Sons of the Navvy Man' linking the work of the original constructors with contemporary huge infrastructure projects. He wasn't very pretty, and he wasn't in every shot, but he certainly didn't regard his audience just as carbon copies of 'The Royle Family.' And under the DG's of the time he was able to do so.

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  • Message 14

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    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    The programme seems to have been about 'Rail travel', not about 'Railways' and was therefore badly described in the trails.  It's quite an important feature of railways that they enable people and goods to travel around. ;-)

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  • Message 15

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    Posted by zen free speech (U14877400) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Well, I had regretted that I needed to miss this in order to watch Death In Paradise - but after reading these comments I'm beginning to think it was lucky I didn't watch it.

    Really, the standard of BBC documentaries seems to be plunging below mediocrity into pointlessness.

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  • Message 16

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    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    zencat, I am amazed that you allow yourself to be put off from watching a programme as a result of bitchy comments on this messageboard! Would you consider them 100% reliable? <laugh>

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  • Message 17

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    Posted by germinator hebdo (U13411914) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    While I value your opinion Portly, I am waiting to see what ListerLad makes of it, when he gets fired up, and trundles out of the engine shed.

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  • Message 18

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    Posted by zen free speech (U14877400) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    zencat, I am amazed that you allow yourself to be put off from watching a programme as a result of bitchy comments on this messageboard! Would you consider them 100% reliable? <laugh> 
    Any commentary on the development of railways which fails to mention Chat Moss has already rendered itself irrelevant.

    I did actually briefly dip into it, and he was waffling on about something so pointless I've already forgotten what it was. I'm actually mad about trains and other forms of transport, and many people are fascinated by steam locomotives, and their almost animal qualities. I'm heartily sick of seeing celebs talk about everything which is trivial, while ignoring the vital and the insightful - especially on programmes which have been heavily trailed. The feeble "Psychology of Hitler" documentary being another recent example.

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  • Message 19

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    Posted by Peta (U24) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013


    I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued?  

    What's in the BBC Archive?

    We've got about 4 million physical items for TV and radio. That's equivalent to 600,000 hours of TV content and about 350,000 hours of radio. So we're getting very close now to a million hours of material. We also now have a New Media archive, which is keeping a record of the content that goes out on the BBC's websites. We also have large sheet-music collections, we have commercial music collections. We have press cuttings going back 40 years as well. So it's a very large-scale operation.

    The BBC Television Archive
    An interview with Adam Lee, BBC archive expert

    We haven't got copies of everything we've broadcast in the archive. Find out why we've got the items we've got and how the BBC tries to keep them safe in this interview with Adam Lee, BBC Television Archive expert.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

    Take a trip through our collective past with the BBC archives and discover themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s.

    You can explore who we are, see how attitudes and broadcasting have changed and go behind the scenes to find out how the BBC archives are maintained.

    To get going, browse the collections we have released so far or visit our archive experts.

    You can also find more collections of archive television and radio programmes in the BBC Four Collections.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

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  • Message 20

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    Posted by moxey (U8154072) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Why wasn't Richard Trevithick mentioned on the programme, he had the first steam train running years before Stephenson.

     
    My thoughts as well To me RT was the father of the railways, sadly dying pennyless in Dartford (where I was took my apprenticeship) and his grave position is unknown. When Dan Snow was on the breakfast sofa that morning he was asked about the the gun he had in the opening sequence. He said it was a starting pistol used to indicate the 'start' of the railway revolution and he also remarked as to not knowing why 'they' chose to do it. Sums up the whole prog really

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