The Ganges with Sue Perkins

The Ganges with Sue Perkins

Series 1 - Episode 3

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Review

Sue Perkins is a brilliant television travel guide. Engaged, funny, never patronising and open to new experiences, though not in a cheesy, “Hey, let’s try this and make a mess of it” kind of way.

The people she meets during her exploration of the Ganges respond in kind. She has a great time with a group of young women training to be engineers in an institute of technology in Patna, India. But though they are charming and seem so happy, this is far from being a paradise for women. “Everywhere we are demoralised,” says one young woman, with heartbreaking simplicity.

There’s real poignancy, too, as Perkins returns to a Kolkata home for street children she visited two years ago and where she met a lovely nine-year-old girl. But time has not been kind and the once carefree-seeming child is guarded and unhappy: “I just want a good sleep at night in a safe place.”

Summary

Sue begins her final leg in the ancient city of Patna, which was once the centre of the British Empire's lucrative opium trade but is now known for education. In Kolkata, she is reunited with Rakhi, one of the street kids who made such an impression on the presenter during a previous visit two years earlier, then finds out what it takes to protect one of the world's most endangered cats - the Bengal tiger. Finally she reaches Saga Island in the mouth of the river, where from dusk till dawn two million people are expected to bathe in the holy river. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Sue Perkins
Director Steve Robinson
Producer Lucy Bailey
Series Producer Vicky Hinners
Documentary