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DVD Reviews: Legends of Steam: The Flying Scotsman

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Adam Dumicich
Review Date: April 2004
Distributed by:
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Running Time:
108 minutes





Legends of steam: The Flying Scotsman is a collection of 3 documentaries, ranging in age of the most famous steam train in history, The Flying Scotsman. This really is a disc for those who love trains. Full of interviews (both brief and lengthy) from people who love their steam trains, and I do mean love! If trains donít do it for you however, you are unlikely to find anything in this to keep your interest for more than a couple of minutes.  

You will hear from drivers of The Flying Scotsman, as well as owners, and passengers, and they are all more than willing to share their stories and/or anecdotes they have, not all relating to trains though. 

4472: Flying Scotsman, is the first of the three documentaries, it is also the oldest. Clearly the only footage available and it suffers greatly from being mistreated through its life. I personally havenít seen footage so terrible on a DVD, or ever for that matter, and the first couple of minutes are by far the worst. You will almost definitely be greatly distracted by this, but it does get better, and although itís never fantastic, youíll ignore it after a while. The documentary is nearly 40 years old, and commemorates the 40th anniversary of the first England to Scotland trip.  

Steam Days is the second (and not surprisingly is in between the two in age), and takes a look at how and why the Flying Scotsman has been exciting travellers and enthusiasts for so long. It features archive footage, and location shots, as well as more interviews with those who help keep the train alive, and those who once worked on the train.  

Away Day is the third and last section of the disc, basically reliving the days of old, when the Flying Scotsman was one of the greatest trains around. As well as more interviews with the people who now look after the Flying Scotsman, and a truly remarkable train set which took 3 years to make, and is over 300 yards long.  

Overall, despite the enthusiasm contained in each persons memories, this still remains a collection strictly for train nuts. Itís good to see that the footage has been saved from future degradation, and that the memories of the people involved have been recorded. Unfortunately the disc doesn't excite much, and as much as those involved, the enthusiasm does help, but It's not enough to save it. This is definitely one for train nuts only.


This is unfortunately a difficult one to even be polite about. The picture here is literally bad enough to use as a learning tool for problems. Admittedly, the picture is up to 40 years old, and you do get warned it's not perfect, but wow, I have still never seem such damage to footage in my life. Thankfully the picture does get far better in the more recent ones, it still suffers from poor quality, but it's watch able at least.


Again, the audio is of low quality, the voices are too muddled, and for a documentary the voices really do need to be much clearer than they are. Once again the newer the better, and to be fair, in the last doco, it is finally acceptable.


The extras included on the disc are 3 news items, and a website link to more special interest documentaries like this. The first news item is relatively interesting, but the other two are fairly useless, and only serve as records for otherwise lost footage, they donít even have sound for the most part. As for the website link, well thatís totally useless. 

  • 3 news items from 1963
  • A web link to more special interest documentaries.

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