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    Re: History Channel (USA) broadcast of Endeavour voyage reconstruction
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2002 Oct 10, 20:31 +0100

    Hal Mueller said-
    >The History Channel will be carrying, in 4 episodes, the BBC series
    >"The Ship", which has been discussed on this list.  According to a
    >newsgroup post on alt.sailing.tall-ships, the "preview" ran on Oct 1,
    >4, and 7, and the actual series itself will be shown (with many
    >repeats) Oct 14-16.
    >Check your local listings for details.
    >http://www.historychannel.com/ontv/index.html also has details, but I
    >found that to be a difficult/over-flashy website to navigate.
    >(who doesn't have cable and will have to wait for the DVD)
    Comment from George Huxtable.
    Don't expect too much.
    I have seen some episodes of this series when it was broadcast last month
    in the UK (then in 6 50-minute parts, not 4), and been very disappointd.
    Mind you, I missed part 4, which dealt with the navigation (and which I am
    informed was much the best of the series), and part 5.
    In my view the series lacked any clear intention. It concentrated unduly on
    the trivia of shipboard life for the assorted contingent of 40-odd put
    aboard by the BBC, the whole "reality TV" cliche. The producer took his
    camera and seemed to wander round the vessel shooting whatever took his eye
    without any real plan. And there were long sections of political
    correctness concerned with the injustices perceived by the local indigenous
    peoples. Interspersed with this were short "dramatisations" of historical
    scenes from Cook's voyage, shot in false colour and out-of-focus, for some
    reason. But really, the historical side was just a peg on which to hang the
    modern human-interaction, which appeared to be the producer's motivation.
    It was misleading to portray itself as a series about history.
    But what a missed opportunity! Just think what could have been done, with
    access to that superb replica for a whole six-week voyage. For example, the
    BBC were perfectly placed to show how the square rig operated and how the
    vessel was manoeuvered. She could have gone about by tacking (or wearing,
    more likely) and it could have been explained what was going on. True, the
    were many shots of crew climbing ratlines and out on the footropes, but
    with no explanation, in any of the programmes that I saw, of what was
    happening, and why.
    But then that would have distracted from the producer's main interest,
    which was clearly the on-board personal interactions, and which needed no
    specialised nautical knowledge whatsoever.
    See it for yourself, though, and you may find you dissent from my sour view.
    George Huxtable, 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    Tel. 01865 820222 or (int.) +44 1865 820222.

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