In this 10-part BBC documentary series, architect and arts expert Dan Cruickshank takes a five month world tour visiting his personal selection of the eighty greatest man-made treasures (mostly buildings and artifacts) in 34 countries on all inhabited continents. The episodes cover: 1° Peru via Chile's Easter Island to Brazil; 2° Mexico to Central North America (in the USA); 3° Australia trough Indonesia and Thailand to Cambodia; 4° Japan to China ; 5° India to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon); 6° Uzbekistan trough Azerbaijan and Iran (Persia) to Syria; 7° Jordan via the Jerusalem Temple Mount to Ethiopia; 8° Mali trough Libya to Egypt; 9° Turkey trough Russia and Poland to Germany; 10° Bosnia trough Greece, Italy and Spain to France and Home. Written by
Fans of "The Fast Show" may find Dan Cruickshank a little familiar (think "Gideon Soames" ;-) but his infectious enthusiasm is what makes this show. His selections of 80 of the finest man-made "treasures" around the world is eclectic, sometimes personal, sometimes moving and always interesting.
I've already had to add a few new places to my "to see" list, and it was wonderful to see him visit some of the places I've already been (in a slightly egotistical way!).
Of course there is some overlap with other globe-trotting telly people
most notably Michael Palin (who must have been everywhere by now -
pretty annoying for other presenters, I should think). But Dan's fresh approach means that even when visiting the most well-known locations he manages to involve the viewer and often provide a new angle. Of course a series like this is always going to have to be fairly superficial - it'd be pretty long otherwise - but this is a more scholarly approach than most.
Just a shame that (at time of writing) there seem to be no plans to bring it out on DVD? Strange, for what was obviously a major and expensive series to produce.
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