The Do-Gooders – Ian Hislop looks at the dramatic 19th-century cultural revolution that saw Britain undergo one of the most remarkable periods of social change in our history. Focusing on attitudes to children, alcohol and institutional morality, The Do-Gooders uncovers the achievements of those high-minded men and women whose legacy was a Britain worth living in.
Victorian do-goodery is often mocked as hypocrisy, when in fact it rescued a society in turmoil and put in place many of the social bearings that are still relied upon today. These extraordinary people were just as much the engineers of modern Britain as Isambard Kingdom Brunel or George Stephenson – they looked at the equivalent of today’s so-called “broken Britain” and had the conviction and energy to try to “fix” it.
The Do-Gooders is packed with extraordinary characters, fascinating vignettes and contemporary resonances. Re-telling these stories might just help to relocate the values bequeathed by the Victorians which, though easily mocked, are ultimately cherished.
Producer: Wingspan Productions
TX: Autumn/Winter 2010/2011