In 1924 pioneering filmmaker Claude Friese-Greene embarked on an intrepid road trip from Land's End to John O'Groats. He recorded his journey on film, using an experimental colour process; the result was remarkable travelogue called The Open Road. Reviewers hailed the film as an amazing success at which audiences would 'gasp with wonder', for, at a time when cinemagoers saw their world only in black and white, Claude's remarkable films were shot in colour.
Eighty years after Claude's original trip, the BBC and the British Film Institute have recreated the journey, and in this three-part series Dan Cruickshank retraces Claude's route through the heart of Britain. Drawing fully on Claude's original footage, which has been meticulously restored by the bfi, this wonderful series affords contemporary audiences a vibrant glimpse at life in the 1920s, and a chance to examine not only how much has changed, but also all that has remained the same since that time.
On our route through scenic West Country, into Wales, up the west coast to Scotland, and on to John O'Groats, we hear from a cast of characters - not only relatives and friends of those who appear in Claude's footage, but those who featured in the films as children, and who describe the moving experience of encountering themselves within this beautiful footage.
Episode 1 - Land's End to Weston-super-Mare
Episode 2 - Cirencester to Carlisle
Episode 3 - Gretna Green to John O'Groats
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