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Something else to supplement: Machair

I know the Islanders here will know about Peter May and Machair but I can't imagine it's especially well-known outside of the BBC Alba broadcasting range.

If you're looking for a bit of 90s quirk set in Lewis, you can find most episodes of Machair on YouTube (unless you're lucky enough to get them on iPlayer!!). Peter May (The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man, The Chessmen, Coffin Road, I'll Keep You Safe, etc) co-wrote a Gàidhlig show decades ago called Machair - it was written in English, translated into Gàidhlig for recording then subtitled back into English. I loved the first episode (the one I can't find anywhere now), and there's a wonderful line in episode six or so, "unless your first words are in Gaelic then you'll always be a learner".

If you want something with a bit of Hebridean History, "A Community Remembers" is available on YT as well - it's a bilingual memorial service for the Centenary of the loss of the Iolaire:


Warning: if you tend to be emotional, it's going to have you in tears. I watched it when it streamed live and I am pretty sure I cried for three straight hours so...you're warned.

Ciaran, Joanne, Martainn...if you can't tell, this has thoroughly made my 2019 and 2020, thank you so much for bringing this to us!!

January 7, 2020



Also worth taking a look at Bannan for a more modern drama.


I found most of the episodes from season 1 through to S10E04 (with a few key episodes missing, especially the first in S01 and the first in S04) but am now disappointed that it stopped in S10 (at least in YT). There's another twenty or more episodes to go which I cannot find on YT. Apart from BBC Alba via VPN does anyone know another source? I believe BBC Alba are in S09 at present on re-runs.

While the show is a bit dated I am now invested in the characters - and I'm picking up more of the dialogue by ear as well. Does anyone know if Calum ("Calum bochd") is cleared? Does his brother Padraig get his come-uppance? Do Ruaridh and Fiona reconcile? Does Coinneach get his business mojo back? Can anyone explain many of the characters' personality transplants when the scriptwriters changed in the middle of season 8?

For anyone else trying it the stories are decent, the scenery is fantastic, and the dialogue complex enough to challenge anyone learning here on DL. I'd recommend Machair for some downtime from studying SG directly!


How can I watch Series 10, 11, 12?


Thank you! I found Machair on YT but every playlist I see starts with season/series 1 episode 2. Was there an episode 1?


I hope you enjoy it!!

There was an episode 1 and it was brilliant and intense and even made me tear up a little when someone on the ferry was talking to their wee girl about "Leodhas, mo chridhe" (at least I seem to remember it being e1, I haven't been able to start over from e2 yet), but it went away about a year ago when the account that had uploaded it disappeared. At this point about the only way to see E1 is to wait for BBC to bring it back to iPlayer (which still doesn't help the rest of us not in the UK...).


I'm from the USA, but I bought a VPN just to watch BBC, until they blocked my VPN. But for several years, I had access to BBC Alba and am very familiar with Machair. I managed to watch every episode. Now I have to find it on Youtube if I want a little Gaelic. I've also seen Bannan and can occasionally find Learning our Language eps on YT as well.


check out TunnelBear - I have used it in the past.

Learn Scottish Gaelic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.