The Canal Trip – the worst or the best TV ever?

You’ve probably heard about the BBC new programming idea which featured The Canal Trip – a two hour uninterrupted, unedited narrowboat journey, designed to encourage us to ‘go slow’.

It certainly split the nation – you couldn’t decide if it was the most boring television ever made or the best!

In All Aboard! The Canal Trip, viewers are taken on a two-hour, real-time uninterrupted journey down the Kennet & Avon canal, from Top Lock in Bath to the Dundas Aqueduct.  It was filmed almost entirely from a camera fixed on the front of the narrowboat.

“It is one shot all the way, no music, no editing, no commentary,” said its executive producer, Clare Paterson.

The film was part of the BBC Four Goes Slow series, a selection of ”unrushed programmes giving audiences the chance to sit back, unwind and watch some very unhurried television”.    It was inspired in part by a successful series featuring similarly slow topics in Scandavia, including a famous eight-hour train journey and nine hours of Norwegian knitting.

Clare Paterson previously admitted that some people will ”hate” the programme and find it ”boring” but added that canals are ”incredibly British and important to our history and landscape.”

Social media certainly came alive about the programme.   Twitter comments included “That’s it. No gimmicks or music. What a time to be alive.’ And “I actually don’t want this BBC4 canal trip to end. So I am going to watch it in rewind on X2.”

What do you think about going slow?

4 replies
  1. arthur bedford
    arthur bedford says:

    I think to non boaters it would seem quite boring in some respects. It would have been much more interesting if two or three locks had been negotiated, just to enliven the piece.

  2. Brad Franklin
    Brad Franklin says:

    I’ve never been on a narrowboat. I live in California. I’ve watched it, in it’s entirety, three times. And I have a normal life.

  3. Sue Maycock
    Sue Maycock says:

    Well we just loved it and would like to see more canals done in this way. Perfect for us as we are very familiar with the K&A and went down memory canal.


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