The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon on BBC4

A quick mention for a chance to see some early films on TV. BBC4 is repeating the three-part series The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon and it is a very welcome return. The Mitchell and Kenyon hoard was discovered in the cellar of a disused shop in Blackburn in 1994 and contains many beautiful films of Northern England in the Edwardian era. When the programmes were first shown in 2005, Guardian TV critic Nancy Banks-Smith called them “Lowry come to life”.

The films were advertised to the public at the time as an chance to “see yourselves as others see you”, but now they are a precious opportunity to see ourselves as we once were. The collection has recently been added to the Unesco World Heritage list and is even being used by scientists at Imperial College London to study “handedness” – the researchers are scanning the films by computer to measure how many of the people waving at the camera in the films are using their left or right hands. For the rest of us, they offer a nostalgic, often bittersweet, glimpse at a time gone by.

If you want to learn more, visit the BFI Mitchell and Kenyon page or read this essay by Ian Jack.

The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon screens on BBC4 at 10pm and begins on Tuesday 19th July.

With thanks to Peter Walsh.

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6 thoughts on “The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon on BBC4”

      1. I’ve had a quick look and BBC4 doesn’t have a broadcast date for the final episode. Really frustrating that they would leave it hanging like this. Couldn’t they at least put the final episode on the iPlayer if they can’t find room for it on the schedules?
        Meanwhile, on Thursday at 10pm, they’re repeating Paul Merton’s Weird and Wonderful World of Early Cinema. Details here. Lots of lovely archive footage in the Timeshift programmes on BBC4 at the moment, too, so it’s a bit of a hit-and-miss attitude to early film from the channel.

  1. Thanks for making enquiries, I appreciate it. Typical of the BBC. I have been waiting ages to see this series again, and was really excited to see it was in the schedules, but to be left hanging for the final instalment is really frustrating, especially in light of some of the rubbish that is shown every week. Surely they could free up an hour in the schedules to show the final episode. Everybody should watch this series, it’s so fascinating. Thanks for the heads up on the Paul Merton programme, another excellent show.

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