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Ruby Wax episode

Discuss the 14th series of the award-winning television programme, which will feature Charles Dance, Clare Balding, Fearne Cotton and more

Re: Ruby Wax episode

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:59 pm

There was a lot of good (and important) stuff in this program. I had no idea that Theresianstadt was like that, and in particular that people still lived there. Also important were the obstacles to Jewish refugees seeking to escape to the West. And my heart went out to her when she retrospectively pleaded for, "Just one conversation...."

But I have to say that the underlying mechanisms of the research kept sticking up, yet again, causing me to ask, "How did....?" Why is this important? Because every time something unexpected happens, I stop listening to the story and wonder just how an expert on (say) workhouses just happens to have a couple of BMD certificates with him. Of course, he's been given the deserved slot for his expertise but also been asked, "Give her these while you're at it". And by the time I've worked that out, we're half a conversation on that I've not paid attention to.

In this instance, there were those precious letters that Ruby was carrying with her. That one expert just happened to already have the translation for, making me wonder how they got ahead of her. And the photos - I did assume at the start that her chances of identifying the subjects were about zero. Then it turns out that one had the name written on the back! Again, I got diverted into wondering whether she'd not noticed the name - unlikely - or whether we were being deliberately mislead over the difficulty of the task.

This was a very important story but can we please smooth over these jumps of experts being set up with other information to pass on?

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Re: Ruby Wax episode

Postby meekhcs » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:05 pm

Agree with you Adrian.

The current series, whilst covering a variety of good topics with an interesting group of Celebrities, has annoyed me intently in the way some of the programmes have been put together. As always there is the old chestnut which you alluded to of experts suddenly producing documents etc but also in this series it was very obvious that Celebrities already knew the answers to some of the questions they were posing. I suppose with the popularity of FH one would think that Celebrities who wanted to appear on the programme would have already researched their Families to a degree but it has never appeared so obvious to me in past series..........perhaps I have become an old cynic.

At the start of the Ruby Wax episode I said to my husband this will either be brilliant or awful, and when the names on the back of the photos were miraculously there, and the expert already had the transcript of the letters I thought here we go again, but the episode redeemed itself because of the factual history it contained, and the fact that Ruby was able to find the comparison to her own condition in earlier female relatives....and of course for the remark "if only we had had that one conversation...
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Re: Ruby Wax episode

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:50 pm

the episode redeemed itself because of the factual history it contained

Yes, good way of putting it.
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Re: Ruby Wax episode

Postby DianaCanada » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:30 pm

I do agree with what Adrian said. Sometimes the episodes seem a bit "staged". It's like watching Antiques Road Show (mainly the U.S. edition) and the owner of the object in question has never turned it over to see if there are any markings. My husband and I always have a good groan over that.
That being said, it was interesting and one had to feel for Ms. Wax (whom I had never heard of before watching the program). It actually lead me to posting a query just now about a distant cousin who suffered from mental illness in the early 1900's. Several members of her family also were institutionalized and I suspect there was a genetic component.
I hope Ruby finds some comfort in knowing more about her family. The not knowing something is always difficult.
What also amazed me is her keeping her American accent after all those years in the UK!
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