Coast Australia, TV review: Visually stunning and never uninteresting

 

Will Dean
Thursday 15 May 2014 09:59
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Britain's coastline is – according to the good folks at the World Resources Institute – 12,429km long. Which places us 16th in the world. Below coastal heavyweights like Canada and Chile, sure, but kicking seven shades of sand out of India, Vietnam and France (7,330, the massive bunch of perdants côtières).

In fact, thanks to the insanely complicated way in which coastlines are measured (Google: "the coastline paradox" for minutes of fun), different measure would give us the 12th longest coast– ahead of Brazil.

Alas, in both measures we're quite literally outflanked by Australia, which has either 66,000 or 25,000 kilometres of the stuff. Which means that, as we got eight series of Coast filmed here (give or take a few Continental excursions), then we can expect er... 24 series of Coast Australia (BBC2).

This is just for one series though – and it's beautiful. How could it not be? Coast's signature visual move, the sweeping aerial shot is matched with the pub-ready fact (the Great Barrier Reef is spread over a larger area than the UK and everybody's happy.

This first episode, covering the sparsely populated Kimberley, in north-western Australia, featured some gigantic scenery, took in ancient footprints in Australia's dinosaur coast, horizontal waterfalls in Talbot Bay (long story), the settlers' abuse of the Aborigines in the pearl trade and dozens of other stories. This was all, naturally, interspersed with some HD helicopter camera-work, the world's most expensive form of visual punctuation.

It's visually stunning, never uninteresting. You probably could make 24 series and still have people watching.

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