Timothy West and Prunella Scales have been exploring canals for half a century. But now they embark on their most ambitious voyage ever, along the waterways of India. In this episode, they explore the extraordinary backwaters of Kerala: a 1000-mile network of palm-fringed lakes, rivers banked by rice paddies and some very familiar-looking British-built canals. For millennia the trade in ginger, cardamom and black pepper has made the backwaters a thriving trade route for spices.
Tim and Pru pass laden cargo ships, school bus-boats, and fishermen whose only tools are their hands. They explore a canal built by a local ruler to boost trade and make offerings at a temple. And Pru dusts off her dancing shoes to learn the traditional Kerlan dance of the enchantress.
Executive Producer: Daniela Neumann
Series Director and Producer: Mike Taylor
Production Company: Spun Gold
Great Canal Journeys: India Episode 1 (of 2) airs on Sunday 18 June 2017 from 8.00pm-9.00pm on Channel 4.