Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Secrets of Underground London (2014)

I’ve always had a fascination with forgotten and abandoned structures.  It’s interesting to see something that was once used now sit empty.  It’s a piece of history preserved.  I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in an abandoned rail station.  Secrets of Underground London looks at a few places, mostly abandoned and forgotten, beneath Brittan’s capitol city.

The entire documentary is part of a series called The Secrets of Britain.  The episode is just under an hour, as you might expect.  Each segment deals with something different.  One is about underground rivers. Another is about Churchill’s underground bunkers.  We even get to see a Roman amphitheater buried beneath London.  The episode is almost a travel guide of places you’ll probably never be able to see.

There are a few places that aren’t off limits, like the London Silver Vaults.  It apparently started as a secure vault that started letting people in.  there’s also a segment on the London Underground, mentioning the system’s map.  The episode ends with the expansion of the British Museum.  They’re having to carefully excavate around the area so that they can build downward.  (Since the episode aired several years ago, the work might be done already.)

The episode is pretty generic and is perfect for short attention spans.  It’s the kind of thing a teacher might play for a class when they need to waste an hour.  The only thing that might be scary is the story of a ‘haunted’ cave.  The segment doesn’t go into much detail except to say that someone was supposed to have died there.  Two men spent the night there as part of a challenge.  One was so scared that he blocked the memory of what happened.

This is the kind of thing that’s more of an overview.  Each segment could probably be developed into its own documentary.  I would imagine that there’s no shortage of stuff on Churchill, alone.  I could also see finding something on the London Underground.  This is exactly the kind of thing that PBS would run during a membership drive.  I could even see them giving out a copy of the six-episode series.

If you’re interested, I’d recommend looking into getting it streaming.  I was able to get it through Netflix.  I’m sure places like Amazon would have it, as well.  I don’t know that this would have a lot of replay value.  If you’re thinking of giving it as a gift, maybe a Secret Santa sort of thing.  It’s not the kind of thing that you’re going to watch again and realize you missed something.

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