4.0 million, 17.6% Audience Share
More familiar images given a fresh look cropped up in Coast (BBC Two), back for a second trip round the British Isles. This time the archaeologist Neil Oliver has replaced Nicholas Crane as principal guide but retains the affable excitement of the other friendly experts who pop up to give us a bit of biology here and history there. It’s like the ultimate school field trip without the sleepovers in draughty hostels.
This first leg took us from Dover to the Isle of Wight. I’m sure Oliver hadn’t gone all that way by foot, public transport and, last night, model railway. I bet the helicopter that delivers the kind of aerial shots we associate with CSI gave him the occasional lift. Along the way we learnt about the Victorian Channel Tunnel scuppered by public opinion, the modernist double-decker promenade and lido that drew 1930s tourists to Hastings, and Britain’s rocket- engine tests on the Isle of Wight.
Crane also turned up, his trademark umbrella protruding from his rucksack, to abseil down Beachy Head and show us how the chalk cliffs are prey to limpet acid as well as the waves. He epitomises the series’ breathless enthusiasm — at times it’s like watching a Fast Show sketch in which you expect the striding presenters to declare: “Aren’t coasts brilliant?” It was hard not to disagree.
Review from The Times - Last Night's TV by Ian Johns
BBC Homepage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/coast/