Catching the Impossible (DVD)

Reviewed by John M on 20/02/2009

A Film by Hugh Miles

With Martin Bowler and Bernard Cribbins

The long anticipated new film by Hugh (Passion for Angling Miles) was released just before Christmas 2008. I recently ordered my copy and took delivery 2 days ago.

The preview clips have been available on YouTube for some time, and Hugh’s website has been showing stills from the series for over a year, so my appetite was well and truly whetted.

I suppose it is inevitable that CTI will be immediately compared to PFA, but to do so I think does it a disservice. Yes, many of the PFA motifs are there. The sumptuous filming of misty dawns and sunsets which you just want to melt into, the beautiful music, Cribbins understated, yet perfectly pitched commentary are all there in abundance, but CTI is not meant to be PFA II. It has a broader remit, and includes many facets of angling that just wouldn’t be seen in PFA.

I understand that 9, 1 hour episodes of CTI have been prepared. This release contains episodes 1-3, named Searching for Gold, Magic Circles and A Summer Idyll respectively. The basic premise of the film is that Martin Bowler goes in search of ‘impossible’ fish. A 30lb pike, a 40lb carp, a 4lb crucian, a 3lb rudd and so on, and each of the first 3 episodes follows Bowler, accompanied periodically by Cribbins, and featuring guest appearances Chris Yates, Des Taylor, Lisa Isles and many others in his quest to catch these impossible fish.

I wont spoil the surprise by telling you how he gets on, but you will not be disappointed by what you see. There are some truly exceptional fish caught on this DVD.

One really exciting aspect of CTI is the quality of the underwater filming. I’ve seen many examples where underwater sequences have been attempted in the past, but, as you would expect from a film maker of Hugh’s stature, the underwater sequences in CTI are fantastic. A real treat to look forward to.

I am half way through the companion book to the DVD series, so I’ve already had a sneak preview of what is to come in episodes 4-9, and based on what I’ve seen in Episodes 1-3, we have a real treat in store when they are released later this year.

Just like PFA, CTI is a film which can be watched by anglers and non anglers alike. It is a beautiful piece of work and I unreservedly recommend it.

Verdict: see above


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