The Radio Times logo

Great British Ships

  • Season 1
  • 6 episodes
  • History
Advertisement

Episode 4: Cutty Sark: 150 Years of War & Speed

Summary

Rob Bell explores the extraordinary tea clipper Cutty Sark, a ship that endured drunken captains and murderous crews, inspired a whiskey and survived the coming of the steam age. Rob clambers aboard to experience first-hand the beauty and superior design of the ship. He delves into her tragic past - the vagabond years of `tramping', mistreatment by her captains and desertion by her crews.

Review

There’s one difficulty with Rob Bell’s latest portrait of a great ship. He’s good at pacing the decks of Cutty Sark – now rebuilt after the 2007 fire and berthed at a beautiful museum in Greenwich – telling stories from its past. But however vivid a picture he paints of the great days of sailing, this is TV, so we can’t help wanting to see what a tea clipper looks like flying along in a stiff breeze. And we can’t, because there’s no footage.

So, when Bell tells us that the ship at its fastest could cover 300 miles in a day, running across the South Pacific with a cargo of Australian wool, we just have to use our imaginations. It’s still a stirring story of “the most beautiful sailing ship ever built”.

How to watch

Next showing

channeltimestatus

5SELECT

5SELECT
-

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterRob Bell

Crew

rolename
DirectorEd McGowan
Executive producerFred Hepburn
Executive producerIan Duncan
ProducerEd McGowan

All episodes

  • Episode 4

    Cutty Sark: 150 Years of War & Speed

    - , 5SELECT

    Summary

    Rob Bell explores the extraordinary tea clipper Cutty Sark, a ship that endured drunken captains and murderous crews, inspired a whiskey and survived the coming of the steam age. Rob clambers aboard to experience first-hand the beauty and superior design of the ship. He delves into her tragic past - the vagabond years of `tramping', mistreatment by her captains and desertion by her crews.

    Review

    There’s one difficulty with Rob Bell’s latest portrait of a great ship. He’s good at pacing the decks of Cutty Sark – now rebuilt after the 2007 fire and berthed at a beautiful museum in Greenwich – telling stories from its past. But however vivid a picture he paints of the great days of sailing, this is TV, so we can’t help wanting to see what a tea clipper looks like flying along in a stiff breeze. And we can’t, because there’s no footage.

    So, when Bell tells us that the ship at its fastest could cover 300 miles in a day, running across the South Pacific with a cargo of Australian wool, we just have to use our imaginations. It’s still a stirring story of “the most beautiful sailing ship ever built”.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    channeltimestatus

    5SELECT

    5SELECT
    -

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterRob Bell

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorEd McGowan
    Executive producerFred Hepburn
    Executive producerIan Duncan
    ProducerEd McGowan
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content