Ah, BitTorrent file names and their lack of sensible punctuation, especially when it comes to the secondary titles of “factual” TV shows.
Here, then, is the second in a mercilessly ongoing series of quizzical commentaries on the phenomenon. The previous instalment, you’ll recall, appeared here.
(Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to encourage people to illegally download content. Natch.)
#101: Britains Biggest Superyachts Chasing Perfection. I didn’t realise a yacht could chase perfection. (Must be what makes it super.)
#102: Billy Connollys Tracks Across America. He should’ve wiped his feet first.
#103: Stacey Dooley In Greece Migrant Kids In Crisis. I’m going to let this one speak for itself, except to say that it’s no wonder they’re in crisis!
#104: Yehudi Menuhin Who Was Yehudi. I can’t for the life of me think of a Yehudi Menuhin who wasn’t.
#105: BBC Later with Jools Holland. But for the time being it’s ITV with Jools Holland.
#106: Britain on Film Country Living. I wonder what Britain’s judgement will be of film country living – arguably the best country living of all.
#107: Secrets The Copper Scroll. He’s the wackiest copper scroll you’ll ever know, is our friend Secrets. And you only have to feed him carrots.
#108: The Conspiracy Files Who Shot Down MH17. Files aren’t a “who”, they’re a “what” – but other than that, it would appear from this documentary title that the mystery’s been solved!
#109: Forest Field and Sky Art out of Nature. Better than having either forest field or sky art come out of the laboratory, I suppose.
#110: The Space Age NASAs Story. I’m looking forward to the inevitable sequel about the early stone age NASA.
#111: Tonight Should I Intervene. Nah, wait for tomorrow. (This is a more obscure one, depending on an awareness of the factual series Tonight.)
#112: The Tube Going Underground. If it’s the one in London, it usually does, except in outer suburbs.
#113: The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. I had no idea they socialised.
#114: Im a Celebrity Extra Camp. The Kenneth Williams Show? Either that, or this is the personal story of a camp for celebrity extras.
#115: Beaver Las Vegas Saving The Strip. Congratulations go to Beaver Las Vegas – presumably a distant cousin of Bear Grylls – for saving some strip or other.
#116: Mystic Waters The Land Where Time Began. I hope Mystic was mindful of water restrictions when watering the land where time began.
#117: The Nature Of Things Jellyfish Rule. Jellyfish are ruling things now? Nifty.
Interlude. Disastrously Ambiguous Headlines #1: “Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. surprise ‘Captain America’ fan with cancer.” There might be worse things they could’ve surprised him with, but I can’t think of any.
#118: Ballrooms and Ballerinas Dance at the BBC. They’ve got dancing ballrooms at the BBC now?
#119: Secrets Hunt for Atlantis. Because hunting for Atlantis is what secrets do best.
#120: World War One Remembered The Battle of Jutland. But World War Two totally forgot about it.
#121: Dan Cruickshank At Home With The British. I hope he’s paying board.
#122: Dont Look Down Rope Men. Is this similar advice to “don’t look up a Highlander’s kilt”?
#123: PBS Genius By Stephen Hawking. I don’t suppose PBS are getting their genius from anyone else.
#124: Churchill Blood Sweat and Oil Paint. I don’t know what “Churchill Blood Sweat” is, but it sounds yucky so I think I’ll take the Oil Paint option, thanks.
#125: Hans Litten vs Adolf Hitler To Stop a Tyrant. This is a tough one. Hitler actually was a tyrant, so he’d probably know how to stop one. On the other hand, Operation Barbarossa was ultimately a failure so he didn’t manage to stop fellow tyrant Josef Stalin… But BBC news have described Litten as the man who “annoyed” Hitler, so he obviously wouldn’t be much chop either. Nah, I don’t think I’ll be laying odds on this fight.
#126: Women Prisoners Throw Away the Key. I guess they’re really determined to stay behind bars.
#127: 1812 Napoleonic Wars in Russia. That may seem like an awful lot of Napoleonic wars, but Russia is a big place.
#128: Dan Snows Battle of the Somme. Taking this to be a present tense pronouncement, akin to your average news headline, I find I must take Dan to task for snowing this battle.
#129: Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. Not sure what Love and Hip have against Atlanta that they want to “hop” it.
#130: Panorama Trumps Angry America. I hope Panorama can keep trumping angry America.
#131: Science Channel Unearthed Ghosts of the Great Wall. That was a nice bit of unearthing there, Science Channel, but did you put them back when you were done?
#132: Sports Doping Winning At Any Cost. At least it’s a success, by the sound of this unpunctuated programme title.
#133: Scream The TV Series. That’s quite the televisual innovation. Myself, I’d have opted for broadcasting the TV series.
#134: Marvels Daredevil. What’s he marvelling at?
#135: 999 Whats Your Emergency. “Ohmygod, my punctuation’s gone! I think I’ve lost a comma, and, and, and… and an apostrophe… Oh, and um, and I’ve definitely lost my question mark. Please help!”
#136: BBC Versus The Life and Films of Ken Loach. Actually a ducomentary called Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach, made by the BBC. Apparently the Beeb is in no way actually opposed to either the life or films of Mr Loach.
#137: Morgan Spurlock Inside Man. In the next episode does he go inside woman?
#138: ITV Shed and Buried Series 1. From now on, the new slimline ITV will just start at Series 2 all the time. Though why it felt the need to bury the series it shed is anyone’s guess.
#139: Paxman On Trump v Clinton Divided America. What a death match! In the red corner, the entity known as “Paxman on Trump” (possibly Jeremy Paxman sitting on Donald Trump’s shoulders), while the blue corner contains the past tense event “Clinton Divided America”. Let Round 1 begin!
#140: BBC Trumps Unlikely Superfans. Congratulations to the BBC for trumping some less-than-likely superfans.
#141: BBC The Conspiracy Files The Trump Dossier. So glad to hear “BBC The Conspiracy” (sounds like the Tories were right about that one after all) has finally been able to file its Trump dossier.
#142: Caught on Camera With Nick Cannon. I don’t know who Nick Cannon is, but I have a sneaking suspicion I’d much rather be caught on camera with someone else.
#143: The Man Who Knew Everything By Robin Brooks. A documentary about someone’s Mastermind (or Hard Quiz) specialist subject? I wonder how his knowledge beyond things by Robin Brooks would be.
#144: Based On The Popular BBC Television Serial by Paul Smith. I don’t remember Paul Smith writing any BBC television serials. Books about BBC television serials, on the other hand…
#145: BBC Ill Gotten Gains. Maybe they could spend them on returning BBC3 to terrestrial broadcasts.
#146: BBC Our World 2017 Nuclear Test Survivors. I can’t imagine what action the verb phrase “our world” refers to, but it’s got to be nasty if the BBC is doing it to over two thousand nuclear test survivors.
#147: SES Mowglis Jungle. They had to send in the State Emergency Service? Hardly the “bear necessities”!
#148: Among the Righteous Lost Stories from the Holocaust in Arab Lands. Gotta love how righteous those lost stories are. (You know, the ones from the holocaust in Arab lands.) So much, indeed, that it’s worth being among them.
#149: Leah Remini Scientology and the Aftermath. Well of course there’s going to be an aftermath when you’re dealing with Leah Remini Scientology. That stuff ain’t just regular scientology!
#150: BBC Project Children Defusing the Troubles. That’s quite a projection on the BBC’s part – but how will the actions of these children impact on a possible Irish hard border?
#151: Six Wives with Lucy Worsley. I assume the seven of them are off to a terrific party.
#152: BBC Digging for Britain. Taking time out from broadcasting to pick up a shovel?
Interlude. Unfortunate absence of ampersand in a BitTorrent file name #1: Jeff Some Aliens. Not sure what jeffing is, but I feel for the aliens.
#153: BBC Black Nurses The Women Who Saved the NHS. It’s considerate that BBC Black, whoever he or she may be, is nursing the women who saved the NHS.
#154: BBC Alan Bennetts Diaries. How dare you bennett those diaries, BBC Alan!
#155: PBS American Experience Command and Control. I know some Americans experience a lot of command and control, but I doubt any of them work for PBS!
#156: Revenge Body With Khloe Kardashian. Is that the one she’s going to use to get Kim’s Parisian jewels back? (“I have a special set of skills…”)
#157: The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. (Slight return.) So, any bits of the story once Morgan goes home aren’t in this one?
#158: BBC Britains Ancient Capital Secrets of Orkney. I don’t know what capital secrets are, ancient or otherwise, but it concerns me that the BBC is britaining the ones from Orkney.
Interlude. Unfortunate absence of emphasis in a BitTorrent file name #1: Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle. I had no idea battle roasted well. I always thought you were supposed to pan fry it.
#159: BBC This World After Brexit The Battle for Europe. I’ve got literally nothing…
#160: Cardiff Living on the Streets. Someone want to sort out affordable housing for Cardiff to live in? Or is this one of those social experiment shows, and they’ve somehow convinced the late cinematographer Jack Cardiff to become fantastically reanimated before slumming it for the cameras?
#161: BBC Bought with Love The Secret History of British Art Collections. At least it was with love that the BBC bought the secret history of British art collections, and not some sort of byzantine (or indeed Byzantine) credit scheme.
#162: Ross Kemp Libyas Migrant Hell. It’s already a migrant hell, and yet the plainly insensitive Ross Kemp comes along and libyas it. Now I don’t claim to know what it is to libya something, but it sounds painful.
#163: ITV Mafia Women With Trevor McDonald. Those ITV Mafia women strike again! At least they’re keeping Trevor company.
#164: The Blacklist Redemption. Glad they managed to redeem that blacklist.
#165: Cycle Around Japan From Tokyo to Izu-Oshima. Not only is that a relatively short leg of what might be a cycle around Japan, Izu-Oshima is an island, so cycling there would be difficult in the first instance.
#166: Our World 2017 Killing For Honour. Unlike 2016, which killed to deprive us of celebrities.
#167: BBC Please Mister The Tony Miller Story. Either this is an imperative, asking the BBC really nicely to “mister” the Tony Miller story (whatever effect that might have), or it’s a present-tense declarative statement to the effect that Auntie is making Mister (who happens to be the Tony Miller story) a very happy boy indeed. Couldn’t possibly be anything else.
#168: Jay Lenos Garage. I’ll admit I’m not familiar with every verb under the sun, but what is it to leno something? Never mind: Jay’s done it to a garage, so I guess that’s the important thing.
#169: Review With Forrest MacNeil. I appreciate the offer, but I tend to write my reviews solo.
#170: Turkey With Simon Reeve. That’s the last time I let him invite me to dinner.
#171: BBC Dictatorland. A documentary about the days when Lord Reith was in charge?
#172: The Last Word with Lawrence ODonnell. Then he leaves and we can talk some more without him.
#173: BBC The Story of Funk One Nation Under a Groove. Such a great band are Funk One Nation Under a Groove, so why anyone should feel the need to BBC their story – which presumably means to tell it without commercial interludes – is beyond me.
#174: How to Be a Surrealist with Philippa Perry. Do they tell you how to be a surrealist when she’s not around, though?
#175: Secrets of the Dead Neros Sunken City. I prefer the living Neros Sunken City: it’s got better secrets.
#176: The Big Think Should We Go To Mars. Some of the Little are of that opinion too.
#177: Pig Goat Banana Cricket. Actually not sure if this one is missing any punctuation since no amount of additional characters seem likely to make any sense of it. Except commas, if it’s a list. Yep, commas.
#178: Dan Snow on Lloyd George My Great-Great-Grandfather. Thence said the maker of this documentary to Mr Snow: “Get off my great-great-grandfather!”
#179: My Child ECT and Me. “Then I named my second child MRI.”
#180: Are You the One Second Chances. No, I’m not the person being chanced by the organisation called “Second”.
#181: Killer Women with Piers Morgan. Here’s hoping they do their jobs properly while in his company!
#182: BBC George Best All by Himself. In truth, BBC George isn’t too bad when he’s around other people either.
#183: Circus Kids Our Secret World. And our secret world is sick of being fooled by the circus.
#184: Kids Baking Championship. Because it’s yum to bake kids… (Alternatively, some children are baking a championship.)
#185: Decoding the Past Tibetan Book of the Dead. I prefer to decode the present Tibetan Book of the Dead.
#186: Neon Joe Werewolf Hunter. I wonder what kind of special skills are needed to hunt a neon joe werewolf. (I hear they’re the most vicious breed.)
#187: Unearthed Sex Lies and the Taj Mahal. Because the Taj Mahal is known for sex-related untruths that have only just been lifted from the mists of obscurity.
#188: Bombing War From Guernica to Hiroshima. While it’s good to hear they managed to get all the war out of Guernica, I feel sorry for poor Hiroshima taking the leftovers! I might also add that bombing is a particularly odd method for removing conflict from a place.
#189: World War One Remembered Passchendaele. Now there’s a war with a good memory.
#190: BBC Orkney When the Boat Comes In. I have no idea what it is to orkney, but if that’s what the BBC wants to do when they see a boat arriving I suppose they’re welcome to do so. Either that, or one must ask what BBC Orkney wants to call itself when the boat doesn’t come in.
#191: How to Be a Lady An Elegant History. That’s easy. First change your legal name to “Lady An Elegant History”. Then get someone else to also change their name thus, so the indefinite article can be applied to you.
#192: North Korea Murder In The Family. In that case, Donald Trump has nothing to worry about… unless he’s a member of a North Korean family.
#193: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. Whereas your friendship with Little Pony is merely cursory.
#194: Astronauts Do You Have What It Takes. They’d better have what it takes, otherwise what are they doing being astronauts?
#195: Tangled The Series. How do you tangle a series?
#196: Face Off Game Face. That would just be “Game”, then. (Sorry, is this a Times crossword clue or is it not?)
#197: Barefoot Contessa Cook Like A Pro Roasted Vegetables. I have to take it as conditional that a sex worker has roasted vegetables before I can cook the Barefoot Contessa way?
#197: Jack Whitehall Travels With My Father. Glad my old man’s using his retirement well!
#198: Cant Pay Well Take It Away. Originally intended as the story of a team of re-possessors, with the removal of an apostrophe this show becomes a rallying cry for disenfranchised workers seeking a living wage to tell unfair employers where to stick their job offers.
#199: My Kitchen Rules New Zealand. I realise it’s a small country, but I don’t think a kitchen has the sovereign authority to rule New Zealand. (Don’t even get me started on what Queen Elizabeth would have to say about it!)
#200: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman. How many introductions does your guest need without the aid of David Letterman?
Interlude. Unfortunate choice of title for a TV series #1: Good Bones. After the transporter accident, the bad Dr Brennan wreaked havoc on the Enterprise, while the good Dr Brennan was stuck in the pathology unit with Dr McCoy.
To Be Continued… (Yes, I still mean it!)