The BBC goes slow again with a two-hour Yorkshire Dales bus trip.
August 29, 2016 1:06 AM   Subscribe

Following the success of previous BBC Four 'slow TV' programmes, including All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride & Canal Trip, and Slow Week, BBC4 is inviting viewers aboard for a very special journey through one of the most spectacular and beautiful bus routes in Britain. The 'Northern Dalesman', as the bus on the route is called, has been rigged with specialist cameras as it travels on its journey, snaking across the iconic landscape of the Yorkshire Dales. Filmed in real time, the cameras capture the road unfurling, the passing scenery and the occasional chatter of local passengers. Two hours of scenery and quiet, no ads, no idiot voice-over ... all television should be this way. (Previously)
posted by GallonOfAlan (46 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
... all television should be this way.

That would certainly make for a very different Game of Thrones.
posted by fairmettle at 1:08 AM on August 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Their reindeer journey was the highlight of my Christmas, watched it nonstop
posted by fallingbadgers at 1:24 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow, Top Gear has really changed with Clarkson gone.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:30 AM on August 29, 2016 [25 favorites]


Two hours in a BUS?!? Surely they jest.

Sure the Dales are pretty, but why must it be by bus? It would have been more fun to ride down the country roads in a little convertible. What are they thinking?!? No bus journey is ever fun, not even this one.
posted by seawallrunner at 1:37 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


As I recall, that was about half of All Creatures Great and Small.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:55 AM on August 29, 2016 [10 favorites]



Two hours in a BUS?!? Surely they jest.

Well, the Brits did love movies and TV series about driving buses.
posted by rh at 2:10 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is the only program I'm going to watch this bank holiday on the tele. Yorkshire Dales for two hours; bliss. No commentary from "LOOK AT ME!" presenters; bliss. No pointless music; bliss. I'm in.

The sleigh ride (preview) was the highlight, for me and judging from the ratings, social media and reviews a lot of other people last Christmas. Please, more of this stripped-down TV.
posted by Wordshore at 2:11 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


In my self-driving car of the future, this will be the perfect thing to watch to pass the time!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:56 AM on August 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


/r/slowtTV, for those of us seeking less stimulus.
posted by Think_Long at 4:15 AM on August 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


I understand the scenery was spectacular on this bus ride...
posted by jim in austin at 4:53 AM on August 29, 2016


I think this is the best way to ride a bus.

...but there was a better sound track on this bus.
posted by MtDewd at 5:07 AM on August 29, 2016


Can't wait for this trend to hit the US. Maybe we'll get to see a 12 hour special of a Megabus driving up the New Jersey Turnpike the day before Thanksgiving.
posted by schmod at 5:13 AM on August 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


Jake Thackray, "Country Bus"
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:21 AM on August 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


A U.S. version seems like the type of thing Netflix would snap up in a heartbeat.
posted by drezdn at 5:22 AM on August 29, 2016


William Least Heat Moon begs to differ?
posted by wenestvedt at 5:30 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The BBC one will probably well edited. But if simple dashcam videos of people driving around all different kinds of areas are your thing, let me tell you about this new website called YouTube.
posted by dominik at 5:30 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


It was less slow than these examples, but I really miss the show Sunrise Earth which used to air on Animal Planet or Discovery. Just an hour of the sunrising somewhere natural and pretty with some close ups of, like running streams or moose or whatever.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:39 AM on August 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The slow tv thing seems to keep popping up, like with those long train ones from Scandanavia a while back. I assume people watch them more intermittently or as background? Or are they more watching every minute, like with a regular drama?
posted by Dip Flash at 6:01 AM on August 29, 2016


MeFi's Own Charles Stross has a new novel partially set in the Dales. I'm tempted to watch this so I can have a better idea of where the action takes place, but as I'll be going on my own tour of the Dales in October...
posted by infinitewindow at 6:24 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Two hours in a BUS?!? Surely they jest.

Am currently reading/posting this from my 6+ hour twice weekly commute via bus.

OMFG, I cannot wait until I get my own vehicle in a couple weeks - because of the routing (in Ontario everything must route through the center of the universe... Toronto), this is such a massive waste of time...

Capricious, because of the company (somethinghound), whose staff arbitrarily decide baggage limits that are printed nowhere on the ticket... Because of the "Schrödinger's AC"... Never know if it is working or not, until you are well into your journey.... Free WiFi they say... Ha ha ha ha... If you can keep a connection for more than 3-5 minutes without having to re-connect... (Oh, and apparently as of this morning they have figured out how to inject popup ads into your HTTP www browsing stream.... Fun times... every page refresh and a popup for a hotel arrives....)
posted by jkaczor at 6:36 AM on August 29, 2016


Two hours in a BUS?!? Surely they jest.

A bus trundling through the Yorkshire Dales is a different experience from your average commute. The last time I took one it was enlivened by a conversation between two ancient Yorkshiremen on their fondness for gammon expressed through the use of only two words: 'aye' and 'gammon'.

The bus took two hours to travel about 20 kilometres, leading us to miss our train and my husband to miss his own birthday party. I learned from the experience, however, that Yorkshiremen of a certain age do love their gammon. You wouldn't learn that in a little convertible.
posted by tavegyl at 7:02 AM on August 29, 2016 [12 favorites]


Sure the Dales are pretty, but why must it be by bus? It would have been more fun to ride down the country roads in a little convertible. What are they thinking?!?

That's the very point, surely. We already have about 42,850 car adverts for various makes of car that do that very same thing: a gorgeous landscape, an open road, and a shiny car zooming past. "See, you too can have the road all to yourself! You too can experience the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, the rolling hills ahead of you. You decide where you'll go and how fast you'll go! Truly you are the King of the Road! (ps buy this car.)"

Filming this as a bus ride sends a different kind of message. Not "You can go as fast as you want! You can go wherever you want!" but "We won't be going fast, and we won't be taking the direct route either, so sit back and relax as we trundle off the main road into the next tiny village where Mrs Goggins is waiting to catch the 12.42 so she can visit her sister, like she always does on a Tuesday." Not "You are in control! Isn't that powerful?" but "You're a passenger. Isn't that peaceful?"
posted by Catseye at 7:26 AM on August 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


a conversation between two ancient Yorkshiremen on their fondness for gammon

"You were lucky to have gammon! Our dad used to make all thirty of us fight over a piece of old shoe leather!"
posted by briank at 7:40 AM on August 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


At Last The 1948 Show (Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman): The Four Yorkshiremen Sketch
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:46 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


At about 45 minutes in, I hope the person next to the camera offers it a snack that hasn't been sold in at least five years.
posted by drezdn at 7:46 AM on August 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


"You were lucky to have gammon! Our dad used to make all thirty of us fight over a piece of old shoe leather!"

LUXURY!!!
posted by jim in austin at 7:51 AM on August 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Beautiful part of the country. We were there for the first time a few weeks ago but we were in the southern section around Malham Tarn.

We actually stayed in the Malham Tarn house as we were there doing a field course on water invertebrates - Yes, this is our idea of vacation!

It was a memorable weekend. Sampling river bottoms and peat bogs with our wellies, while walkers of the Pennine way stopped to ask us what exactly we were doing. we got to show them all the little bugs we had caught and even fish and leeches. Just a gorgeous area. Itching to go back.
posted by vacapinta at 8:26 AM on August 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


It would have been more fun to ride down the country roads in a little convertible. What are they thinking?!?

Presumably that locating maybe two cameras 3' off the ground and then moving them as quickly as possibly is a pretty awful basis for filming the countryside, whereas a bus, with multiple cameras fixed at appropriate heights, which create views of something other than a blurred hedgerow, might actually produce watchable TV. I think that's what they were thinking.
posted by howfar at 8:50 AM on August 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Gammon? 'Appen.
posted by fallingbadgers at 10:39 AM on August 29, 2016


My last bus journey in that neck of the woods was a number of years ago, but was definitely more interesting than a car journey as it included our driver leaning out of the window and hurling verbal abuse at the crew filming 'Heartbeat' to get out of our way as we were already half an hour late. You don't get that in a convertible.

And nowt wrong wi'a good bus. Sithee, tha dunt want t'convertible; if tha's on Ilkley Moor baht'car roof, tha's bahn to catch tha death o cold, then us'll ha to bury thee.
posted by Vortisaur at 11:12 AM on August 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


A U.S. version seems like the type of thing Netflix would snap up in a heartbeat.

They have, in fact, just debuted a Slow TV section.
Mostly Scandinavian at this point, but it'd probably be one of the cheaper categories to expand.
posted by madajb at 11:23 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Showtime in 30 minutes, folks. Here's the bus timetable for tonight.
posted by Wordshore at 11:28 AM on August 29, 2016


vacapinta, you reminded me of the Water Babies which I had forgotten completely.
posted by mumimor at 11:57 AM on August 29, 2016


This is already an Excellent bus ride.
posted by helicomatic at 12:07 PM on August 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


A minute-by-minute viewing account.
posted by Wordshore at 12:20 PM on August 29, 2016


"Watching #countrybus. So it's like Google Streetview but I don't need to keep clicking the forward arrow."
posted by Wordshore at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's subtitled/captioned as well.
posted by Wordshore at 12:28 PM on August 29, 2016


The making of.
posted by Wordshore at 12:43 PM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm glad it's this and not whatever else it might have been. This is awesome.
posted by vbfg at 1:47 PM on August 29, 2016


Thanks for posting this, it was great.
posted by helicomatic at 2:01 PM on August 29, 2016


Ooooh, this sounds wonderful! I'll have to check this out when I get home later.

I used to live in an area known as the "gateway to the Dales" and so would see them every day during the commute (along some windy roads, yes, that were sometimes more frustrating than charming if one was running late to work/school). My parents are still there, though, and nothing makes me happier than when I'm visiting them in their country cottage and wake up (with the birds, which is too early for me in the summer -- at least their trills are pretty, though loud), open the window and gaze out at the way the sun shines on the rolling green hills and stone fences stretching out before me.
posted by paisley sheep at 3:43 PM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I used to read the James Harriot novels as a child, and imagined myself in the Yorkshire Dales, as one does when one is 13 years old, with a big imagination.

Lo and behold, I was suddenly transported to Richmond, many years later, eating at a fine Indian establishment, and when I got up to use the loo, I came back to find a rose on my plate, left there by the attentive staff.

I then visited a farm, up a muddy track, whose owners, two ladies, bred rare sheep. They wove the wool, and then made things out of it, fine tweed suits, far beyond my means, but I did splurge and buy a blanket, a zig-zag pattern, not dyed, mind you, in brown and black, and I still have it to this very day.

I shall always remember Richmond, and the Yorkshire Dales in particular, as being such a magical place to visit. Along with the Black Sheep Brewery, now there's a story. What a lovely place.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:24 PM on August 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Next week, an evening in a truck on the M62. They will start at Ainley Top and by the end of the night they might have reached Chain Bar.
posted by winterhill at 1:38 AM on August 30, 2016


I watched a few minutes and am convinced it must've been a fully electric bus because there was no engine sound at all, although you could hear passengers thanking the driver when they got off. There were some facts, about the place names the bus passed through for example, which was nice. Overall though, a bit too slow for me. It seemed eerie and strange.
posted by Myeral at 7:20 AM on August 30, 2016


Thought this was great; was thankful they muted the engine/bus sounds so you could hear the driver and passengers talk, as well as cows, sheep, the occasional dog. And it was pretty much two hours of the Yorkshire countryside sliding past on your TV, with the occasional drone shot and augmented text. A little less footage of the driver would have been preferable, but overall enjoyed and will look out for the repeat.

Of the various Slow TV programmes I've seen, either online or on TV, my personal favorites are Sleigh Ride and the Bergen-Oslo train trip.
posted by Wordshore at 8:00 AM on August 30, 2016


About 10 years ago my ex-husband and I ended up taking a local bus from Chesterfield to Chatsworth house, which Google maps tells me is about 15 miles. Almost Yorkshire, but not quite. It was just us and a bus full of pensioners going home after doing their marketing. It took ages and was delightful.
posted by apricot at 7:07 PM on August 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


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