Great British Railway Journeys: A Penny Dreadful Review
In the mid-1800s, a man called Bradshaw published a guide containing maps, timetables, and travel advice. Never before had one book offered such comprehensive information to the general public. This guide helped to usher in the Age of the Victorian Tourist. Now, one man (and his camera crew) travels the British Isles with a copy of Bradshaw’s Guide in hand, searching out the towns and wonders named in the pages of this antique. Much remains of Bradshaw’s Britain, and the viewer never quite knows what odd fact they will learn next.
Each episode of Great British Railway Journeys (available on YouTube for those of you in the Americas and available on the telly for those of you in the UK) follows the host Michael Portillo along a short span of track as he explores three or four towns. In the course of the show’s several seasons, he’s explored everything from early aquariums to the oldest electric railway in Great Britain to the Irish National Stud to ancient Roman quarries to regional cheesemaking and much more besides. Each episode offers a unique window into British history that is invaluable to the Steampunk.
I give this television show five gears out of five. I highly recommend it for the train-mad, travel-lovers, and the simply curious. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some more episodes of Great British Railway Journeys that I need to watch before my DVR deletes them to make room for more. See you on the trains!
Your Correspondent From The Moving Picture Show,
Penny J. Merriweather