DVD REVIEW: JOANNA LUMLEY’S TRANS-SIBERIAN ADVENTURE

From Burning Bright Productions JOANNA LUMLEY'S TRAN-SIBERIAN EXPRESS ADVENTURE Sunday 12th July 2015 on ITV Pictured: Joanna Lumley in Mongolia in front of the Trans -Siberian Express train Joanna Lumley starts her 6,400 mile train journey to Moscow in Hong Kong which she last visited when she was four. She hasnÕt visited Moscow since 1966 when she was there as a model at the height of the Cold War. The first episode sees her start on the peak above Hong Kong harbour, jump on the underground to Shehzing where she catches the bullet train to Beijing. In Beijing, she discovers that they sell more Rolls Royces there than anywhere else in the world. She visits a bizarre restaurant dedicated to Chairman Mao and encounters an old lady who knew the last EmperorÕs favourite concubine. In Beijing she joins the TransÐSiberian Railroad, her first stop in Datong where she visits a wild stretch of the Great Wall. From there it is an overnight train to Mongolia where she passes through the Gobi desert and visits a Mongolian shaman. © Burning Bright For further information please contact Peter Gray 0207 157 3046 peter.gray@itv.com This photograph is © ITV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme JOANNA LUMLEY'S TRAN-SIBERIAN EXPRESS ADVENTURE or ITV. Once made available by the ITV Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the Transmission date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

 

Joanna Lumley’s travel programs are like the TV equivalent of listening to some smooth, easy-listening music. It’s not that she herself takes it easy; it’s just that she delivers her shows with such a graceful and gentle calm. This very British demeanour makes for a very pleasant holiday indeed, sweetie darling.

This series is the latest one from the former model turned actress and activist. Lumley has previously travelled to Greece, The Nile and taken in the Northern Lights. Her latest program is about the most epic rail journey one can do. It’s a 6000 mile (approx. 9600 km) journey that takes in Hong Kong, China, Mongolia and Russia. It’s also a very personal story for Lumley, because she lived in Hong Kong for a few years as a child and in 1966 she did a modelling shoot in Russia (whilst the country was in the midst of the Cold War).

Lumley is perhaps best known for playing Patsy Stone on the TV show and soon-to-be-film, Absolutely Fabulous. The two presentations couldn’t be any more different. On her Trans-Siberian Adventure Lumley is very courteous, luminous and British. The show also has an old-fashioned and classy tone which means it wouldn’t feel out of step when shown alongside Antiques Roadshow.

In this documentary, Lumley does manage to get off the beaten track. She visits a Chairman Mao-themed restaurant in China, consults with shamans and horse-milking nomads in Mongolia (a country that also boasts a giant statue of Genghis Khan), sees some throat singers, watches some young Russians recreating Jane Austen-like balls complete with period costume and finishes it off by drinking lots of vodka in Putin’s Russia. Lumley is an eloquent host who is very enthusiastic about most of the things she sees. It’s nice to watch someone who is so positive but she does tend to declare that a lot of things are “Extraordinary” and this could annoy some viewers after a while.

This three-part journey of 6000 miles started with a single step onto a train and it’s fair to say it’s a rather fun one. This travelogue is often rich with details and has a kind of quiet and subtle charm to it all. In the end it’s like travelling with your favourite, older aunt who is passionate about panoramas, people and culture. Joanna Lumley’s Trans-Siberian Adventure is very similar to enjoying an English breakfast tea while sitting on your comfortable chaise lounge in the warmth. It’s all a kind of quiet contentment.

Originally published on 11 December 2015 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/joanna-lumleys-trans-siberian-adventure-dvd-review/

Visit Impulse Gamer’s homepage at: http://www.impulsegamer.com/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s