We’re riding in a wonderland of snow 

21 December 2015 tbs.pm/8235

BBC Four can sometimes seem like a bit of a purposeless channel – its reason for existing almost as much a mystery as BBC-2’s continuing lost wanderings – but there are times when it does unique things and does them brilliantly.

Chief amongst these are its “slow TV” programmes – canal trips, the dawn chorus, traditional crafts, all happening without comment over two or three hours of frankly wonderful television.

For Christmas, BBC Four is treating us to a two-hour sleigh ride across Scandinavia.

Filmed in Karasjok, Norway – 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle – this journey takes us through breathtaking scenery not normally glimpsed by anyone other than the Sami. Deliberately unhurried, the rhythmic pace of the reindeer guides us along an epic two-hour trip that takes us over undulating snowy hills, through birch forests, across a frozen lake and past traditional Sami settlements.

Facts about the reindeer, natural history, Sami culture and the Arctic climate are delivered by graphics and archive stills embedded into the passing landscape. With no commentary, music or presenter – just the crunching of snow and the soft tinkle of a reindeer bell – this hypnotic sleigh ride is an enchanting experience to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.

All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride [BBC Four, 24 December 2015 at 8pm, repeated 26 December at 7pm, Freeview 9/106, Sky 116/211, Freesat 107/148]

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