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Wednesday, May 22

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Television Sun Jul 25 2010

Phantom Narrator on Channel 11

I raced home to watch "Poirot" on WTTW and was greeted by some really odd audio that got fixed towards the end of the program.

First of all, the sound when the characters were speaking was echo-y, then I noticed that whenever the characters stopped talking and there was just visual action, a female voice would describe every non-dialogue scene. It happened from the beginning of the show towards the last part, when Poirot had everyone sit around (as is typical in Agatha Christie mysteries) to sum up and solve the murders.

I kept wondering who the phantom narrator was, and why. Then I surmised that it's probably a version of "Poirot" for blind people, because every single aspect of the show had either dialogue or specific descriptions of what was going on.

Well I'm glad that someone at Channel 11 had the sense to correct the problem, though I was growing increasingly dependent on the extensive narration, especially when I had to leave the room to make something to eat :D

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bill / July 26, 2010 10:35 AM

I spent 30+ minutes searching the internet and my tv remote for removing the "descriptive" narrative.

I thought we had accidentally pressed a button that turned on a 'closed captionning of sorts' for blind folks

I finally called my parents who confirmed that they heard it too...i.e. wasn't just our tv.

IMO this was a pretty big screwup as it made the show difficult to watch.

In the future it would be good to supply both 'vanilla' and 'descriptive' audio as this could be helpful even for us sighted folks

Mimi / July 28, 2010 11:43 AM

I was away from home so I taped Poirot on my DVR (July 25 Appointment with Death). I was completely perplexed by the narration and I didn't like it at all! I actually stopped watching it, hoping they will air it again, but it doesn't look like they will in the near future. I guess there's no way to turn it off? I'm a Poirot fanatic. So disappointing! I might try watching it again. Maybe the narration isn't SO bad... If you guys know of a way to turn it off, please let me know! Thanks!

margaret / July 28, 2010 8:58 PM

There was no way to turn it off. The station finally did it when the episode had like 15 minutes left. I actually found the narration distracting, but I kept watching because I love that show. Hopefully it won't happen again :/

Kim / October 9, 2015 8:09 AM

Curious George is doing it now and yesterday it was Daniel tigers neighborhood. Super annoying.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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