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History on TV

(89 Posts)
MadBusLady Sat 15-Sep-12 15:03:58

Sooo, this comes off the back of this thread about Richard III and then this thread about MN History Club.

I thought it might be good to have a big general thread about any history on TV we are watching/looking forward to/really enjoyed in the past. And I see we are already tackling some of the major themes such as the rugged cheekbones and leather jackets of the presenters on the other thread. wink

We're currently watching Neil Oliver's Vikings series, which is ace - what I really like about it is he starts out in the first programme in the Scandinavian bronze age/iron age, and showed where the Vikings had come from as a culture.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 25-Sep-12 14:40:40

grin I like that.

Good luck with grant apps! They sound like the bigger scarier cousin to what I'm doing, eek!

MrsjREwing Tue 25-Sep-12 14:42:51

Phill on TT, why the long nails and boak at the sweaty hat.

clems Wed 26-Sep-12 23:20:50

There are lots of pros and cons to TT, but they do at least use proper archaeologists. Most work for the more traditional units outside the show, and I think a lot (if not all?) of the post excavation is done by one of the big firms.

I think someone somewhere probably made it illegal for Phil to drop the hat and get a haircut..

LineRunner Thu 27-Sep-12 00:08:33

The excavators are really good. I suppose what I don't like is the artificiality of the rushed excavation, like something they've chosen to do for TV is somehow akin to rescue archaeology.

And what really hate is when they bring on a couple of archaeo-farts and set them up for a faux debate about a non-problem that is faintly embarrassing to have resurrected again.

A bit like having a programme about particle physics and making David Icke debate with the Pope about the nature of the ether whilst pretending they only had three days to save the world. Well ok it's actually nothing like that but it annoys me. grin

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 27-Sep-12 07:22:02

I would love to see David Icke debate with the Pope. About anything, really, but the nature of the ether while pretending they had three days to save the world - that would be a blockbuster.

I know how to have fun, me.

Paleodad Thu 27-Sep-12 10:03:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

clems Thu 27-Sep-12 10:44:59

Oo I dunno, I've been on plenty of sites where the developers have demanded we finish in three days.. we just told them to eff off, and didn't have Tony and Phil to extoll the virtues of a bit of crumbly pot to further our cause ;)

They film everything about five times from different angles and then spend half the time trying to work out how to inject the maximum sense of [false] jeopardy.

Paleodad Thu 27-Sep-12 11:00:08

like i said the Time Team effect, i forget how many sites i've been on where people have said (both in jest and seriously) "Time Team do it in three days, how come you need x weeks?"

Paleodad Thu 27-Sep-12 11:27:13

@Linerunner, you're quite right about 'ritual' and it is a bit of a running joke i suppose, maybe in part due to the 'Time Team' effect that non-archaeologists (& particularly clients) expect results/conclusions right there and then.

Personally, and in this context, i don’t really have a problem with the use of ritual, as it simply (imho) becomes a sort of short hand for saying 'there's more to this (feature) than meets the eye'; the excavated remains represent something more (perhaps conceptual practices) than a purely functional interpretation can support.

And surely you can't be serious about Guy De La Bedoyere shock wink

clems Thu 27-Sep-12 12:09:40

and how many ask where the series of small walls are!

LineRunner Thu 27-Sep-12 12:32:00

I like the bit on Guy de la Bedoyere's website where he expresses restrained concern about being berated by adult students for not answering their questions quickly enough!

"I’m sorry to say that, regrettably, in a few instances one or two adult students have taken exception to the idea that I’m not available at their beck and call and subjected me to the most extraordinary tirades. One actually wrote to complain that this website did not have a page devoted to her specific essay title, though that was by no means the rudest!"

Bless. Brings back memories of my own. We should get Guy on MN for a proper rant and we can all join in.

Also he is now a full-time teacher. A redemption of a sorts.

Paleodad Thu 27-Sep-12 12:32:04

Years ago i was digging in the middle of Newcastle, and overlying the (lovely) medieval layers were the big, fat, stone walls of a 19th century lead factory. Bloke comes up to the herris fencing and shouts "is it roman?", i go over and explain it is in fact the lead factory. He replies "no those stone walls must be a Roman Temple". I patiently explain (at some length) the stratigraphy etc. and how it can't possibly be earlier than the layers underneath. "no" says he, "it's a temple". "yes" i reply, "You're right, it's a Roman Temple", and he walks off smiling...

LineRunner Thu 27-Sep-12 12:35:16

Was that the Newgate area? <nosy>

Paleodad Thu 27-Sep-12 15:41:39

nearer to St James Park

LineRunner Thu 27-Sep-12 17:06:35

I lived near there.

What were we talking about?!

freerangelady Thu 27-Sep-12 20:40:47

I'm looking forwards to the new series on servants tomorrow night. Should dispel a few downton myths.

throckenholt Fri 28-Sep-12 18:46:18

I think the Farm series (Victorian, Green Valley, Edwardian and now Wartime) are all quite good - and very digestible for children.

MadBusLady Fri 28-Sep-12 18:49:39

Ooh, what channel was the servants thing on freerange? My great grandmother was a servant and had some fantastic stories.

wheredidiputit Fri 28-Sep-12 20:02:14


It's on bbc2 at 9pm.

mixedmamameansbusiness Sat 29-Sep-12 14:17:45

Watched Servants last night.

Absolutely watchable.

For thoseinterested in domestic service (history of) I have a fab reading list from Birkbeck.

MadBusLady Sat 29-Sep-12 16:05:32

Yis, it was great! Thanks for the recommend - missed the first 15 mins, I'm going to catch up with that later.

I thought it was interesting that she concentrated on the servants of the professional classes (doctors, lawyers etc). I know from census records that one or two of my ancestors had servants living in and they were only tradesmen and artisans. I presume the "mistress" would have been more hands-on in those households, and the servant more like we'd think of as a modern au pair. Certainly can't imagine any of my ancestors sitting in drawing rooms!

SuperB0F Sat 29-Sep-12 16:11:09

I was about to recommend the servants thing! I watched it earlier while ironing, and really enjoyed it.

mixedmamameansbusiness Sun 30-Sep-12 17:52:20

Madbuslady - I think she put it that the mistresses were more hands on in terms of planning, since there was no housekeeper. She showed one mistresses book which had an almost minute by minute breakdown of what the servant would be doing. It struck me as the big house servants at least having a community ad allocated tasks whereas a one household servant was responsible for almost everything, sleeping in the kitchen etc.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 03-Oct-12 09:13:35

This is such a ridiculous thing, but I was very excited: I watched the last of the Vikings programmes the other day, and there's someone on there who grew up in my village and went to my primary school! grin

Maybe there was something in the water ...

tschiffely Wed 03-Oct-12 15:59:03

LDR, any chance you could FB them as see if they have Neil Oliver's number?? grin

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