Opening theme "Reelin' In the Years"
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 48
First episode date 1999
Languages Irish, English
Country of origin Ireland
No. of series 5
Producer(s) John O'Regan
Theme song Reelin' In the Years
Music composed by Donald Fagen
|Similar Who Do You Think You Are?, Rebellion, Single‑Handed, The Voice of Ireland, The British at Work|
Rte reeling in the years 1975
Reeling in the Years is a television series shown on RTÉ.
- Rte reeling in the years 1975
- Reeling in the years 1981
- Original series
- Second series
- Third series
- Fourth series
- Fifth series
- Sixth series
- Copyright and DVD release
- DVD discography
- Foreign versions
Each episode, running for about 25 minutes, reviews the events of a particular selected year, from 1962 to 2009. News archive footage features, along with subtitles as the means of narration, to recount important national and international events of the time. Music from the selected year plays across the footage, with occasional scenes of live performances or music videos, often (but by no means exclusively) by an Irish artist. No advertisements are shown during the broadcast (apart from the occasional old advertisement dating from the relevant year). Each decade takes at least eight months to make.
The theme tune for the series comes from Steely Dan's 1972 hit "Reelin' In the Years". All five series are marked by a knowing attitude, where certain stories that seemed inconsequential at the time are remembered because they have taken on significance in the present day. This has gained the programme a reputation for being very funny. An example is seen in the 1987 episode: Taoiseach Charles Haughey discusses what he would do if he were to win money in the newly formed National Lottery. Haughey, whose lavish lifestyle was later revealed to have been funded by "donations" from businessmen, exclaims, "I might keep a bit for myself!".
A 2008 poll (conducted by the RTÉ Guide) of Ireland's Top 100 television programmes resulted in Reeling in the Years being voted "most popular home-produced TV programme ever". In 2008, a DVD—Reeling in the 80s—was released for the Irish market—with follow-up DVDs Reeling in the 90s and Reeling in the 70s released in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Reeling in the years 1981
The original series focused on the 1980s and first aired in (September 6th- November 8th 1999).
The second series focused on the 1990s and first aired in (September 11th- November 27th 2000).
The third series focused on the 1970s and first aired in (September 10th- November 12th 2002).
The fourth series focused on the 1960s (1962 to 1969 only) and first aired in (September 10th- October 29th 2004). It features neither 1960 nor 1961 as these pre-date the official launch of Telefís Éireann, the television arm of the national broadcaster. It was felt, presumably, that there would be too little archive material from which to make an engaging programme about these years. Indeed, the episodes covering the first half of the 1960s are characterised by extensive use of photographs and posters, as opposed to film and video footage, to represent various historical events.
The fifth series focused on the 2000s and first aired in (October 17th- December 26th 2010).
The series covering the 2010s is not expected to be broadcast until 2020.
Copyright and DVD release
In the past, RTÉ had said that, because of the number of clips from external companies used in the series, it would be infeasible to release it on VHS or DVD. It claimed that securing "video clearance" for each clip and song would make any release prohibitively expensive. RTÉ did consider releasing an altered version of the programme which would only contain the images and music that they owned the rights to, but that "the programme would only be half as good then, it wouldn't be anything like the shows that went out on air, and we'd end up disappointing people."
However, in October 2008, RTÉ announced that they would be releasing a DVD of a cut-down version of the 1980s material. Reeling in the 80s is an altered version of the programme which contains only the images and music that the producers were able to secure rights to, and it runs to about 150 minutes (versus 240 minutes for the original series). It does, however, contain some original material that has been unearthed since 1999, and which has greater significance now, such as footage of former Prime Minister Brian Cowen.
Reeling in the 90s was released on 13 November 2009, while Reeling in the 70s was released in November 2010.
The Reeling in the decades Boxset was released in 2011 which collected the 70s, 80s and 90s DVDs in one boxset.
In recent years, Reeling in the Years has been used regularly by RTÉ One as a filler programme during the spring months all the way through to the Christmas period. It currently is shown at 6:30 on Sunday evenings. This has led to some interesting parallels with real-life events. When Cian O'Connor won his bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, RTÉ showed the 2004 episode of Reeling in the Years, complete with Anne Doyle's announcement that O'Connor was to be stripped of his gold medal won at the 2004 Summer Olympics. The next day RTÉ showed the 2005 episode of Reeling in the Years, complete with the announcement that London had secured the 2012 Summer Olympics with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair reacting by saying what a momentous day it was for neighbouring Britain, followed by footage of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, which occurred the following day.
A website ranked editions of Reeling in the Years in order of the "most and least depressing" – least were 1994, 2004 and 2007; most were 1981, 1986 and 2008.
The Spanish version of Reeling in the Years (LOS AÑOS DEL NO-DO) began airing in 2013 and is produced by the Spanish state-controlled television and radio broadcaster RTVE. The word "No-Do" is a shortened name for Noticiarios y Documentales (News and Documentaries). Following the same format of Reeling in the Years, LOS AÑOS DEL NO-DO encompases the years from 1943 to 1981. It has been associated containing propaganda to support the Spanish Dictator Franco who ruled Spain from 1936 to 1975.