The Mysteries of the Isles

Series 7 - Episode 1 The Mysteries of the Isles



In this first episode of the new series, we island hop from Orkney to the Isle of Wight and then back up north to Shetland. This is one of a couple of changes to our Coast. Instead of concentrating on one area at a time, each edition of the new run has a theme and will feature stories from every part of the British Isles. It feels as though there are fewer items, too, which can be wearisome if you’re not wholly engaged by, say, the sinister death of Lord Kitchener in Scapa Flow, or the legendary “green ray”, an optical phenomenon that can only be glimpsed briefly at sunset over the Western Isles.

Holding it all together is Nick Crane, who relives the great days of sail by signing on as a deck hand with a Norwegian tall ship for an exhilarating journey to Fair Isle, home to just 70 hardy souls. If it sounds romantic, it’s not.

“People think you can get away from it all here. It is a magical place, but it won’t solve anybody’s problems, they won’t get away from anything,” says one inhabitant.


The team investigates the culture, history and legends of Britain and its people, beginning with the nation's islands. Nick Crane learns how Fair Isle's small community has survived and Neil Oliver visits Orkney to explore conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Lord Kitchener. Tessa Dunlop heads for the Western Isles to investigate an optical phenomenon known as the green ray, Andy Torbet climbs a chalk pinnacle on the Isle of Wight, and folk singer June Tabor performs a traditional ballad.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Nick Crane
Presenter Tessa Dunlop
Presenter Neil Oliver
Presenter Andy Torbet
Executive Producer William Lyons
Series Editor Steve Evanson
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