Archive for the 'BBC Four' Category

BBC Four gonna get Medieval on your ass.

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BBC Four launched its season of Medieval programming last week, linking a series of documentaries, dramas and other shows around the central theme of Medieval history. This detailed, and creative trailer for the season, accompanied by a cover version of Purple Haze brands the season as a “trip into the Medieval mind”.

The concept of creating a programming season, dedicated to exploring a specific topic seems a rewarding exercise for not only the broadcaster to promote itself, and its schedule, but also to engage viewers on a wider basis, something that is sorely lacking at times on Australian screens.

The UK seem to embrace the concept more than others, with the promo for BBC Two’s ‘White Season’ earlier this year generating a touch of controversy, and the beautiful trailer for ‘The State of Russia’ season on More4 winning a Promax.

The closest things you see to a themed “season” of programming on Australian television would be Ten’s current retrospective on Jazz Funk Hip Hop, also known as So You Think You Can Dance.

Charlie Brooker is awesome!

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Ever heard of Charlie Brooker? Well either had I until serendipity landed in my inbox last month in the form of two completely separate emails within 24 hours of each other from a couple of readers (thanks Mark and Andy) telling me to check out his television show, Screenwipe on BBC Four.

If this blog were a television show (god willing…) I would hope it would resemble something close to Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe. Basically Screenwipe successfully achieves something that I was always longing for, a television show about television.

He treats television as a serious medium, praising the best of it, and trashing well, the rest of it. He looks at everything from individual shows and channels, to the minutiae of the industry, and as this video shows, he even takes a look at television idents.

The show is currently in its fourth season, and for a television loving country like Australia I look forward to one day seeing a local equivalent.

Find out why The World is no more.

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Late last month, the only news program in the UK to focus solely on international news got a shake up. It went from being The World, in the first video, to World News Today in the second video, and is now hosted by Zeinab Badawi. The show is described as:

unashamedly serious; but that doesn’t mean it’s not engaging or stimulating.

And it probably fits in very well on BBC Four where it airs. Why the change you ask? Well you can read all about why from the BBC itself which blogged about the changes here, in a brilliant example of openness, that kept the viewer in the loop for once.

Not getting BBC Four, or living in the UK, I haven’t seen either shows, all I can say though… is I’m glad they kept the wood flooring.

The Thick Four It: The BBC Four idents.

Download the whole H264 bunch in one swoop here (20.3mb *.zip).

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I find myself playing catch up lately, properly posting stuff that probably should have been here a long time ago. First it was all those BBC one dancers, and now the refreshed idents from BBC Four that launched in September 2005, which must have been just after my trip to London, where I posted the old BBC Four idents, which I remain incredibly fond of.

This series of six idents (so clearly I’m missing one) where created by Red Bee Media and described by them as;

a series that challenge viewers to reappraise how they see the world around them. Initially there appears to be only one image on the screen – be it of a swimming pool or bees gathering pollen from flowers – but as the narrative of the sequence unfolds it is revealed that there are actually four separate frames that all act independently.

I don’t know much about BBC Four, except for its reputation for being “intelligent”, and that it aired The Thick of It which I enjoyed, and where the mangled excuse for this posts header comes from (oh, and the shows being remade in the US by Mitch Hurwirtz).

I’ll post the sixth ident, and any new ones that may arise right here.

Condensation-sation-sation-sation

condensation

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From the US Constitution to Family Guy’s commentary on the content of BBC Four.

And now four something completely different

bbc4flower

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bbc4lib

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BBC Four relaunched their idents on September 10 last year, I like the idea, but I really was in love with the old ones, there was just something very appropriate about them. Red Bee Media (aka BBC Broadcast) created the new set;

that challenge viewers to reappraise how they see the world around them. Initially there appears to be only one image on the screen – be it of a swimming pool or bees gathering pollen from flowers – but as the narrative of the sequence unfolds it is revealed that there are actually four separate frames that all act independently.

UK: BBC Four x 4 (+1)

I love these BBC Four idents, they’re everything idents should be, visually engaging and a little pretentious. I knew what to expect when I switched on BBC Four (well as much as this sketch from Dead Ringers could have taught me).

My favourite of these is probably “Brit Pop”.

bbc4st

> “This is BBC Four” RealPlayer Stream (232kb)

bbc4rare

> “Personal Traumas” RealPlayer Stream (540kb)

bbc4ii

> “Brit Pop” RealPlayer Stream (1.1mb)

bb4i

> “The Man Who Deciphered Linear B” RealPlayer Stream (1mb)