Victorian Farm historical observational documentary series following a team who live the life of Victorian Farmers for a year. Wearing period clothes and using only the materials that would... See full summary »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Stephen Noonan Stephen Noonan ...  Himself - Narrator 6 episodes, 2009
Peter Ginn Peter Ginn ...  Himself - Presenter 6 episodes, 2009
Ruth Goodman Ruth Goodman ...  Herself - Presenter 6 episodes, 2009
Alex Langlands Alex Langlands ...  Himself - Presenter 6 episodes, 2009
Rupert Acton Rupert Acton ...  Himself - Land Agent 4 episodes, 2009
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Storyline

Victorian Farm historical observational documentary series following a team who live the life of Victorian Farmers for a year. Wearing period clothes and using only the materials that would have been available in 1885, historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn are going back in time to re-live the day to day life of the Victorian farmer. The project is based on the Acton Scott estate in Shropshire; a world frozen in time, lost in Victorian rural England. Its buildings and grounds are cluttered with antique tools and machinery collected by the Acton family who have lived on the estate since the twelfth century. The team have resurrected this lost world and brought it back to life, as it would have been in the 1880s. This was a time that saw a revolution in British agriculture. But it also meant centuries-old crafts and skills were being lost to industrialized farming. It's a period that marks the crossroads between the old...and the new. Working for a full...

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Викторианская ферма See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP150,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lion Television See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color
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Connections

Followed by Edwardian Farm (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
NOT for those who care about animals
23 March 2011 | by rch427See all my reviews

There have been plenty of reviews of "Victorian Farm", so I don't feel compelled to review it on its entire merits. But for the following matter, I'd gladly give the show a 9. But I just want to focus on one aspect of the show: the hypocrisy of the actors about the animals on the farm, which pulls their rating down to a 5.

Before anyone tries to excuse it with "yes, but they're just being historically accurate" -- I would suggest that they're not. I think that Victorian (and Edwardian, since the same thing afflicts "Edwardian Farm") farmers had a detachment from their "livestock" that Peter, Alex and Ruth don't share.

That is why it's very disconcerting to see them at first treating (for example) the lambs, piglets, calves and chicks with affection, and hear them praising their intelligence and personableness one day, and then being fine with killing, butchering and eating them another day.

Was this a reality in Victorian farms? Well, yes and no. Yes, most of the time. But the Victorian era was one of a burgeoning vegetarian movement. The Vegetarian Society was founded in Britain in 1847, early in Victoria's reign. By 1855, there were a thousand members in Britain. By the end of the century, still within Victoria's reign, it had over 5,000 members, and that doesn't count ALL vegetarians within Britain, just those who became members of one society. During the Victorian era such British luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Charlotte Bronte and Mary Shelley were all vegetarians, so it's not like it was a novelty.

But there is something pathetically hypocritical about people demonstrating such affection for creatures -- to the point of naming them, petting them, and so on -- and then killing and eating them. If they carried on with a dog or cat the way that the cast of Victorian Farm do with their "livestock", no one would think it at all unusual. But if they killed, butchered and ate a cat or dog, 99.999% of their audience would be revulsed and outraged. How can a person feel like a pet guardian with a creature one day and kill and eat it the next? I seems to me that it would require a type of compartmentalization that would border on schizophrenia.

I don't have a solution for such shows. I don't think it's likely that the BBC is going to make a show called "Vegetarian Historic Farm". But at the same time, I cannot watch these "reality shows" without feeling a sense of disgust and disdain for the cast who are either killing animals against their ethics, or are outright mistreating them.


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