BBC to Air TV Shows Celebrating "Simple Pleasures of Life in the Slow Lane"

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In the tradition of Norway's Slow TV, BBC Four will air a two-hour boat journey and a three-hour Frederick Wiseman-directed tour of London's National Gallery without voiceover or sound effects.

BBC TV network BBC Four will this spring offer several shows in the vein of Scandinavia's Slow TV format.

In a statement Tuesday, the network said it would be "slowing right down this spring with a selection of programs giving audiences the chance to sit back, unwind and watch some very unhurried television." It said it was "inspired" by the concept of Slow TV, which show events filmed in real time.

BBC Four will air "three deliberately unrushed programs celebrating traditional craftsmanship," an uninterrupted two-hour canal boat journey down a historic British waterway and a three-hour tour around the National Gallery in London without voiceover or added sound effects.

Said Cassian Harrison, channel editor of BBC Four: "BBC Four goes Slow is another brilliant example of something only BBC Four would do. This surprising selection of programs is the antithesis to the general direction much of television is going in. Slowing everything right down gives us the time to really observe things as they happen and this series of programs celebrates the simple pleasures of life in the slow lane."

Norwegian broadcaster NRK’s Slow TV concept has seen it air such things as a ship's 134-hour journey along the coast, a seven-hour train ride, 18 hours of live salmon fishing and 12 hours of burning wood.

BBC Four's Make is a series of three half-hour films celebrating craftsmanship. "In a world of fast-paced, high-tech mass production, Make takes a quiet, unhurried look at the making of a series of simple objects," such as a steel knife and a wooden chair, the U.K. public broadcaster said.

The Canal will showcase images and sounds of the British countryside, wildlife and "life on the tow path" with guidebook facts about the canal and its history offered via captions imbedded into the passing landscape, the BBC said.

National Gallery comes from documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman who will take viewers inside the museum featuring Western art from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. "The nearest thing to music is the drone of the polishing machines at dawn," the BBC said in a show description. "In a richly detailed, beautifully nuanced portrait of the gallery’s working life, we are guided gently from board meeting to retouching workshop, from gallery floor, to seminar room; from the difficult financial decisions facing the charity’s executives to visitors’ awed appreciation of its blockbuster exhibitions.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

 

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