The Tube (2012 TV series)
|Created by||Rowan Deacon|
|Narrated by||Julian Barratt|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Blast! Films|
|Original channel||BBC Two|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original run||20 February 2012 – present|
The Tube is a 2012 documentary television series produced by Blast! Films for the BBC. It follows the staff and passengers of the London Underground as it underwent the biggest upgrade in its history. It premiered on BBC Two on 20 February 2012 for a six-week run. At the end of 2012, it was revealed that The Tube will have a second series.
|Episode||Title||Original air-date||UK viewers (million)|
|1||Weekend||20 February 2012||2.061|
|2||Revenue||27 February 2012||2.188|
|3||Emergency Response||5 March 2012||2.030|
|4||Upgrading the Tube||12 March 2012||2.237|
|5||Rush Hour||19 March 2012||2.173|
|6||Overnight||26 March 2012||2.249|
Episode 1 (Weekend) highlighted the difficulties of undertaking major renewal of the tracks without disrupting the weekday service, and the handling of an incident at Leicester Square tube station where a woman was pushed onto the electrified tracks.
Episode 2 (Revenue) looked at the work of ticket inspectors and others working to track down the estimated 60,000 people who use the system each day without paying for a ticket, which costs the Underground some £20 million in lost revenue each year.
Episode 3 (Emergency Response) looked at the trauma caused to drivers when passengers fall or jump in front of a train. It also looked at the work of the emergency response unit at Bank and Euston Station where in both cases, the passengers were fatally injured and the types of incident that they have to deal with, and the stresses put on the system by the Notting Hill Carnival.
Episode 4 (Upgrading the Tube) looked at reliability issues following the introduction of new trains on the Victoria line and the knock-on effects caused by the failure of a newly installed signal. It also looked at the work of a station supervisor at Tottenham Court Road as he tried to ensure that customers kept moving during an upgrade to the station which will increase its size by a factor of six.
Episode 5 (Rush Hour) covered Bank station, where five passengers suffered from fainting or injury during a single rush hour shift, and problems on the Jubilee line when a failure of the power supply almost disrupted the evening peak services. It also showed the use of a hawk called Toyah to clear train sheds of pigeons.
Episode 6 (Overnight), the final episode, aired on 26 March 2012, featured the work of cleaners, who work during the four-hour period each night when the power is switched of, to clean the stations and remove lint and fibres from the tracks to reduce the risk of fire. Other stories included the work of a pest controller at Hounslow Central, and a visit to the disused Down Street tube station by a member of the emergency response team.
Grace Dent of The Guardian called it "fantastic three-part (sic) exploration of London Underground, which offered many remarkable moments". She felt that the way in which the programme was billed made it look less interesting than it turned out to be. She was appalled at the behaviour shown by some of the customers portrayed in the episodes, and impressed by the way that staff were shown dealing with such abuse. Christopher Hooton came to a similar conclusion, when he wrote in the Metro: "Surprisingly then, The Tube was actually a pretty entertaining and enlightening hour."
- "BBC Two to take viewers underground in new observational documentary series". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Weekly top programmes overview". Broadcasters Audience Research Board.
- "Episode Guide". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Episode 2". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Episode 3". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Episode 4". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Episode 5". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Episode 6". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Dent, Grace (3 March 2012). "Grace Dent's TV OD: The Tube". The Guardian.
- Hooton, Christopher (20 February 2012). "The Tube made you feel guilty for cursing red signals". The Metro.