“Welcome to the Airport of Smiles”! That’s how the trailer starts for the BBC’s latest factual program set in Thailand. This one is called “Bangkok Airport” and consists of six, sixty minute episodes. According to their press release, the BBC “gained unparalleled access to all aspects of the airport”. Judging by some of the quotes in the trailer, some people in authority might be regretting allowing them to do this. A very sun-tanned lady says, “There is no civilization here”. Another disgruntled tourist angrily says “I’m never coming back here”. Airport of smiles?
Pre-production on Bangkok Airport was done in Thailand at the end of 2013. The camera crew then arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in January 2014 and stayed there for about three months. Most of the series is based at the airport but they did apparently follow some of the tourists on their holiday. This period was the height of the protests in Bangkok. The above flyer was sent out on twitter by one of the assistant producers who was looking for people to be featured in the TV show. The date of the tweet was after after Bangkok Shutdown started.
So, what to expect in Episode 1? Here is what Radio Times has to say:
Documentary series observing the people who work and pass through Bangkok International Airport, Thailand. The first programme introduces immigration officer Jack, a man stranded without a ticket and an individual who is impaired by alcohol and can’t find his gate. Plus, the Tourist Police have fun on their new Segways, and two girls strive to be financially independent.
Here is the full press release for the Bangkok Airport series:
Bangkok airport, the gateway to South-East Asia, is a thriving, bustling hub of excitement and anticipation, of pale arrivals to tanned departures and everything in between. BBC Three has gained unparalleled access to all aspects of the airport in this thrilling six-part series which sees young Brits passing through to embark on adventures of a lifetime. Each episode follows some of the thousands of youth British travellers checking in and checking out, run-ins with the tourist police, incidents in immigration, customs, treatment at the on-site medical centre, missed flights, expired passports and emergencies abroad. The action takes place inside and occasionally outside the airport – at island trouble spots and the British Embassy in downtown Bangkok. And in a unique twist, contributors’ UGC (user generated content) will be used alongside fly-on-the-wall docusoap content. Bangkok Airport is made by Keo Films. It is series produced by Fiona Inskip and executive produced by Paula Trafford. BBC commissioning editor is Sam Bickley.
Bangkok Airport is on BBC 3 on Thursday 22nd January 2015. Get your popcorn ready. This is going to be really interesting and possibly fun to watch.