Victorian Sensations

Victorian Sensations BBC Four (link to BBC website)

“ a cracking new factual series.” - The National Scottish independent

”the visuals are wonderful” - Radio Times

“Pick of The Week” - Financial Times

Victorian Sensations explores the thrilling era of the 1890s, a decade of rapid and often bewildering discovery and change, which continues to resonate today.

In this three-part series, mathematician Dr Hannah Fry, actor Paul McGann and psychotherapist Philippa Perry explore the technology, art and culture of the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign.

EPISODE 1. ELECTRIC DREAMS. Dr HANNAH FRY.

Victorian Sensations transports us to the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign to explore a moment of thrilling discovery and change that continues to resonate today.

In the first of three films focusing on the technology, art and culture of the 1890s, mathematician Dr Hannah Fry explores how the latest innovations, including X-rays, safety bicycles, and proto-aeroplanes, transformed society and promised a cleaner, brighter and more egalitarian future.

CREDITS. Ep 1. ELECTRIC DREAMS Presenter, Dr Hannah Fry. Producer & Director, AndyHall. Series Producer, Helen Nixon. Head of Production, Wendy McCombe. Production Coordinator & Researcher, Sophie Taylor. Film Editor, Dilesh Koyra. Graphics, BDH Creative. Development Producer, Noa Snowdon. Archive Researcher, Tim Jordan. Assistant Producer, Sophie Wogden. Camera, Louis Caulfield. Sound, Martin Evanson. Grade and Online, Michael Lansdell. Dubbing Mixer, Pete Howell. Creative Director, John Durrant. Commissioning Editor, Mark Bell, BBC Arts. Executive Producers, John Das & Seb Barfield. 

EPISODE 2. DECADENCE & DEGENERATION. PAUL McGANN.

The 1890s was the decade when science, entertainment, art and morality collided - and the Victorians had to make sense of it all. Actor Paul McGann discovers how the works of HG Wells, Aubrey Beardsley and Oscar Wilde were shaped by fears of moral, social and racial degeneration.

Paul, seated in Wells’s time machine, sees how the author’s prophecies of a future in which humanity has decayed and degenerated highlighted the fears of the British Empire. Paul finds out how these anxieties were informed by new scientific theories based on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Paul learns how Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton sought to improve the genetic stock of the nation, through a project he coined as ‘eugenics’.

CREDITS Ep 2. DECADENCE & DEGENERATION Presenter, Paul McGann. Producer & Director, Matthew Thomas. Series Producer Helen Nixon, Head of Production, Wendy McCombe. Production Coordinator & Researcher, Sophie Taylor. Assistant Producer, Isabella Silver. Film Editor, Deborah Williams. Titles & Graphics, BDH Creative. Development Producer, Noa Snowdon. Archive Researcher, Tim Jordan. Assistant Producer, Sophie Wogden. Camera, Steve Robinson. Additional Camera, Adam Clarke & Mark Chandler. Sound, Andy Hawley & Simon Pinkerton. Finishing Editor, Michael Lansdell. Dubbing Mixer, Pete Howell. Creative Director, John Durrant. Commissioning Editor, Mark Bell, BBC Arts. Executive Producers, John Das & Seb Barfield. 

EPISODE 3. SEEING IS BELIEVING. PHILIPPA PERRY.

In the final episode of this series, psychotherapist Philippa Perry time-travels back to the 1890s to explore how the late Victorian passion for science co-existed with a deeply held belief in the paranormal. Using a collection of rare and restored Victorian films from the BFI National Archive, she shows how the latest media innovations made use of contemporary ideas of ghosts and the afterlife – and how this ‘new media’ anticipated today’s networked world.

The final years of Queen Victoria’s reign were a moment when the old Victorian order rubbed shoulders with the beginnings of our modern world. It was a chaotic, febrile time of discovery and innovation in science and technology, entertainment and art, and the Victorians had to make sense of it all.

CREDITS. Ep 3. SEEING IS BELIEVING Presenter, Philippa Perry. Series Producer & Director, Helen Nixon. Head of Production, Wendy McCombe. BFI Consultant, Bryony Dixon. Production Coordinator & Researcher, Sophie Taylor. Assistant Producers, Sophie Wogdon & Isabella Silver. Film Editor, Natacha Martin. Titles & Graphics, BDH Creative. Development Producer, Noa Snowdon. Additional Development, Ellie Sans & Jake Hayes. Archive Researcher, Tim Jordan. Assistant Producer, Sophie Wogden. Camera, Louis Caulfield. Additional Camera, Adam Clarke & Mark Chandler. Sound, Martin Eanson. Grade & Online Editor, Michael Lansdell. Dubbing Mixer, Pete Howell. Post Production Facilities, Doghouse Post Production. Creative Director, John Durrant. Commissioning Editor, Mark Bell, BBC Arts. Executive Producers, John Das & Seb Barfield. 

Thanks to. BFI National Archive. Philip Jarrett. Colin Tregenza Dancer. The Historic Dockyard Chatham. National Trust Standen House. The Science Museum. The Everyman Theatre Cheltenham. Señor Felipe Gonzalez. The Alchemist’s Workshop.