BBC : Versailles Stories (2008) part 1 of 5
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BBC : Versailles Stories (2008) part 1 of 5
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[font=Arial Black]BBC : Versailles Stories (2008)[/font]
Series that goes behind the scenes of one of the world's most significant and magnificent tourist sites. Once the seat of absolute power in France, and scene of some of the key moments in European history, in the 21st century the Palace of Versailles has had to adapt to survive in the fast-moving and competitive world of international tourism.
It's a challenge the chateau is taking full on with the introduction of innovative events programmes and ingenious fund-raising schemes, and the judicious trial of new technology. As well as evolving to embrace the new, Versailles continues to preserve the old, employing ancient craft techniques and international expertise in an ongoing and never-ending process of restoration and conservation. But in a place with as much history as Versailles change is not always welcome, and relations between the old guard and the modernisers have to be carefully negotiated.
Part 1 - Masters of Time : [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sgp]http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sgp[/url]
The series explores the chateau's many layers of history and its modern evolution through the stories of some of the people who work there today.
This episode goes behind the scenes to tell the story of the small army of expert and devoted - if often eccentric - craftsmen who work to restore everything from silk drapes and furniture to paintings and picture frames, and indeed the very stonework of the chateau. Even those parts of the chateau so high or remote that the only beneficiaries are birds are given loving and painstaking attention.
First Broadcast Date: Tue 18 Nov 2008, 19:30, on BBC Four.
Part 2 - Follow the Guide : [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sh7]http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sh7[/url]
In peak season at Versailles 20,000 tourists can roll up at the gates in just one day. For confused visitors, the keys to unlocking the past are held by the fifty-strong team of palace guides, each primed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the past glories of France. For many of the guides it's not so much a job as a way of life - a way of life that is now under threat.
This episode follows the dreams of would-be Versailles guide, Fabrice Callet, who has been passionate about French history since childhood. Becoming one of this elite band is a huge challenge at the best of times, involving three years of study and a tough national exam. Even if he succeeds, Fabrice will need to find his own way of infiltrating the close knit and not always welcoming world of the Versailles permanent team.
Fabrice's ambitions come at a time of great change for the historic chateau: although Versailles is one of the most popular tourist sites in Europe, competition for visitors is fierce, and new management is intent on modernising the palace and the way that tourists experience it. With the introduction of modern technology in the form of audio guides, the old guard's way of doing things, and indeed their jobs, hang in the balance. Would-be guide Fabrice Callet dreams of becoming one of this elite band.
First Broadcast Date: Tue 25 Nov 2008, 19:30, on BBC Four.
Part 3 - Putting on a Show : [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sht]http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sht[/url]
The spectacular height of the summer season at Versailles is the Fetes de Nuit, a six-night extravaganza of music and horsemanship rooted in a tradition going back to the time of Louis XIV. This programme goes behind the scenes as 70 performers and 100 horses prepare for the event
The event is the creative vision of Artistic Director Bartabas, the man described by many as 'half man, half horse'. For six weeks the young, mainly female, dressage riders de-camp from their permanent home in the chateau's historic stable block, where they are students at Versailles' exclusive riding academy, to temporary tented accommodation in the heart of the palace grounds. Here from dawn to dusk they are subject to Bartabas' sharp tongue as he drums home his exacting standards of horseman ship and artistry.
To stage the spectacular performance, and in another first for the centuries-old chateau, a ten and a half thousand-seat stadium is being built across Versailles' historic Neptune's Basin. It's a huge build and one that has to fit around rehearsals, and Bartabas' whim.
First Broadcast Date: Tue 2 Dec 2008, 19:30. on BBC Four.
Part 4 - Fountains and Fireworks : [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sjg]http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sjg[/url]
Louis XIV was a technological pioneer and nowhere is the legacy of his innovation more apparent than in the extraordinary and stunningly beautiful system of fountains at Versailles. Seven hundred jets are linked by a thirty five kilometre network of pipes, many of them still the originals designed and crafted by 18th century technicians. Now as then one of the main highlights for visitors to Versailles is the dramatic summer fountain display, the Grandes Eaux, incorporating water and music to extraordinary effect. But in the run up to this summer season the duration and frequency of the displays are under threat.
France is experiencing one of the worst droughts in living memory and the dedicated team of engineers responsible for keeping the fountains flowing is drawing on the very last reserves of water. The jewel in the crown of Louis' technological legacy is the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, an evening pageant of water, music, historical drama and fireworks. But for the first time ever, the water shortage is such that the Nocturnes might not happen at all.
First Broadcast Date: Tue 9 Dec 2008, 19:30, on BBC Four.
Part 5 - Marketing Marie-Antoinette : [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sjz]http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074sjz[/url]
A massive fundraising effort is needed to finance one of the Chateau's biggest ever restoration projects, the Petit Trianon. This exquisite small palace and its surrounding gardens were developed as a haven where Queen Marie-Antoinette could escape the stiff formality of the main Chateau.
First Broadcast Date: Tue 16 Dec 2008, 19:30, on BBC Four.
** Part 6/6 not on BBC site - seems it never aired yet. Series is being re-broadcast on BBC 4, next part is #4, Wednesday, 8 December, 2009.
Links and Screenshots :
- [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00frkgr]BBC page for this series[/url].
- [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A588918]BBC's Edited Guide page[/url].
- [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Versailles]Wiklipedia page for the Palace[/url].
- [url=http://en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage]Chateau du Versailles[/url], official website.
Technical Specs :
File Name ............: BBC.Versailles.Stories.1of6.Masters.of.Time.iPlayer.H264.AAC.dokus4alle.mp4
File Size (in Bytes)..: 333,429,073
Duration (hh:mm:ss) ..: 28:59.040
Video Codec Type .....: avc1, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution ...........: 832 x 468
Aspect Ratio .........: 1.778 : 1
Video Bitrate ........: 1533 Kb/s
Framerate ............: 25.000 FPS
Quality Factor .......: 0.157 (bits/pixel)/frame
Audio Codec ..........: mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC
Audio Bitrate ........: 125 Kb/s (VBR)
Audio Sample Rate ....: 48000 Hz
Audio Channels .......: 2
Source ...............: iPlayer stream, capped by l0thar.
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