O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

The Boat That Guy Built

A unique treat. Guy Martin races motorcycles and restores narrow boats. On TV. If you're not watching yet you're missing something truly splendid.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Hamilton High, for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2011
Every stop is truly terrifying. I can see the faces of the dead children. Enough to make me stop saying gaily 'little fingers for little stitches!' Enough to make me stop saying it altogether.
by Hamilton High, for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2011
Every stop is truly terrifying. I can see the faces of the dead children. Enough to make me stop saying gaily 'little fingers for little stitches!' Enough to make me stop saying it altogether.

There's little left for this shut in to do, little joy except for maybe now reaching for the remote to ensure I don't miss this weeks pulsating climax to The Boat the Guy Built. Have you, like us, been riveted - in a very late Victorian manner - to this all too brief series?

It's been an astonishing six week odyssey as motorcyle racer Guy Martin and trusty sidekick Mave restored their 19th Century narrowboat, Reckless, to it's, well, former glory and beyond! using only the tools and techniques to hand at the dawn of the industrial revolution. Or so.

Think I've mentioned the charismatic star, the first mate and the boat. Equal billing surely goes to the dark corners of Britain, accessible hopefully only by canal, where goods can still be manufactured in a traditional way. Every stop is truly terrifying. I can see the faces of the dead children. Enough to make me stop saying gaily 'little fingers for little stitches!' Enough to make me stop saying it altogether.

There's a BBC tradition too in these type of shows and still there's nothing quite like it, eclipsing, almost, well maybe, Michael Portillo's Rail Journeys. But that's the vein. The immersion in the richness of a best forgotten history.

What next for Guy and Mave? Well once you get the Isle of Man TT out of the way, they could co-produce and star in the great Narrowboat Detective pilot I have written for them. There's a hint of the Holmes and Watson about them for sure, we could be making a canalside Rosemary and Thyme, without the drama.  With muttonchops like that, after all, Guy Martin would wear a deerstalker well.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00z8jdv

Or maybe soon BBC America if you're out that way (as if).

see more stories from outsideleft's Screen archive »»

Hamilton High

Hamilton High was born on Doheny Ave in the gutter, is a poet, writer and observer of popular culture. Likes fashion and cares less for style. He's on the move, he's an alter ego and we hardly ever hear from him.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Bye Bye Big Muff
The leader of the Muffs, Kim Shattuck, has died
How to Finally Find that Heart of Gold
Scroobius Pip - Its Not Just Another Phrase He's Going Through..
Scroobius Pip lit up the some charts and hearts with 'Thou Shall Always Kill,' and he likes facial hair
Inhaling Deeply and Exhaling Slowly... With Snorkel
Meet Snorkel, and explore their sub-aquatic deviations of dub, jazz and afro-beat vs. electronica
Don't Hate Me Because I am Beautiful
in the beginning there was Joan Leigh Fermor, woman photographer
I Belong To Everywhere
part 2 of our portrait of painter Guilaine Arts
Some of our favorite things...