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Slow television is a term used for a genre of live “marathon” television coverage of an ordinary event in its complete length. The term “slow television” is derived both from the long endurance of the broadcast as well as from the natural slow pace of the television program’s progress.

Now, slow television isn’t something new – I’m sure you’ve seen this all too familiar footage of a fireplace on some random channel in the middle of the night:

Slow Television
Slow Television

But slow television is now making its way into the mainstream – British Airways is introducing slow entertainment on its long flights, including a seven-hour film of a train ride through Norway. British Airways flights will now include a dedicated show of quiet, meandering television, with a screening of an entire seven-hour-long train journey from Bergen to Oslo. “Slow TV,” will provide long-haul passengers with something soporific to watch.

The airline was inspired by the runaway success of the train film in Norway, where about a million people have viewed it. British Airways was inspired in part by the popularity of the slow-moving in-flight screen used by all airlines, which shows the airplane’s progress and statistics such as temperature, speed and time. The show will take viewers through the duration of the train ride, with no commentary of events to liven things up. The journey-within-a-journey has been inspired by a trend for “Slow TV”, which is already popular in Scandinavia for its relaxing, undemanding qualities.

The quiet film uses a camera mounted on the front of an ordinary train, and shows its journey through stations, countryside, past picturesque lakes and underneath snow-capped mountains. Highlights include children waving from stations, the changing weather, and stretches of total darkness as the train passes through long tunnels.

Find out how slow television is expanding. What do you think of #SlowTelevision? Will you be choosing the #SlowTV options on your next long haul flight?

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