Sunday, September 17, 2006

Narrow Boat TV marathon

Lockboy helps move Dover at Stretton Wharf - not on the telly.

Three years ago come Christmas, we got rid of our TV. We'd gradually arrived at the conclusion that it was providing more irritation than entertainment, and when the licence was due for renewal we decided to take the plunge and see how we got on without it. To be honest, it was easy; we haven't missed it at all, and can count on the fingers of one hand the programmes we regret missing.

So we'd never seen the Sky series Narrow Boat, in which former Grand Union boat Dover is restored/converted (we've never seen Waterworld either, or even Rosie and Jim) . Quite a few of the people we've met through Warrior were involved in the programme, particularly Keith, but also Ian and the Russell Newbery mob, and both Lockboy (see above) and Jim have at various times been on the other end of Dover's ropes, so it seemed a bit of a shame.

But even when we had a telly, we didn't have Sky - but our next door neighbours do, and just before they left on their holidays this morning they insisted that we take advantage of this afternoon's screening of all ten episodes, back-to-back. I wasn't planning to sit down and watch all five hours of it, on a lovely sunny afternoon, but I'm afraid that's exactly what Jim and I did, and we were joined by Lockboy when he came back from orchestra.

And it was very enjoyable. I was expecting horrible choppy editing and nasty music and lots of repetition, but it wasn't too bad at all. We enjoyed finding fault with all the things we would have done differently, and shouting 'those cloths are going to fade dreadfully you know'. Parts of it were very interesting and there was a fair amount of nice boat footage. On the downside, it was rather bitty and the overall rationale was unconvincing - if you want a glitzy hi-tech holiday home, then why start with a 1937 boat? If you like it that much, why has Dover been up for sale (increasingly desperately) ever since you finished filming? - and some bits were boring, but that's probably just a matter of where your interest lies.

Apparently a new series is currently being made, in which the presenter travels around in Dover, being filmed from a helicopter, and interviewing waterways-related people; on the basis of the first series, I'm looking forward to seeing it. Will just have to wait for the neighbours to go away again.

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