BBC Two to take viewers underground in new observational documentary series

by Lynn Connolly

Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, today announced a major new documentary series with unique access to London Underground.

The 6×60-minute series, The Tube, takes viewers behind the scenes of the world’s oldest, biggest and busiest underground train network.

Made by Blast! Films, the series will tell the inside story of one of the most critical moments in the tube’s history as the underground network undergoes the biggest upgrade of any railway system ever planned in the world.

Running a system built and designed in 1863 for the demands of the 21st century is an extraordinary feat. The upgrade will be done under immense pressure to keep lines open and minimise the length of station closures.

Cameras will go to the places viewers have always wanted to see – behind the hoardings to reveal the massive new engineering works, inside the command centre to see what running this most complex of train sets is really like and illuminating a hidden underground world that only comes to life at night.

The series will meet the people who run and use the tube, from obsessive MD Mike Brown down to the litter collector who walks miles every night collecting rubbish off the track.

And then of course there are the passengers – the tourists, the suburban commuters, the drunkards getting the last train home, the school outings, the buskers and the down and outs.

The film was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, and Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two. The Tube will be Executive Produced for Blast! Films by Ed Coulthard.

Janice Hadlow says: “BBC Two is known to be the home of high quality documentaries and I’m always looking for films that will shine a probing light on modern Britain. This film will give viewers a fascinating new insight into one of the capital’s best known landmarks at a time of rapid change.”

Charlotte Moore says: “Documentaries on BBC Two are all about engaging our audience and finding new ways of showing them the world we live in. I’m delighted at the level of access we’ve been able to negotiate with this film which promises to give viewers a very different and surprising insight into an often hidden world.”

Other forthcoming observational films for BBC Two include Protecting Our Children which follows Bristol’s child protection teams over the course of a year and Great Ormond Street, a follow-up to last year’s acclaimed series.


Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.