Map-It – Mapping Time Team

TL;DR – Today we chart every location visited during 20 Seasons of Time Team one of the most wonderful shows to ever grace British television.

Article

Well, today we are continuing our Mapping British TV week with Time Team (after looking at Grand Designs earlier). Time Team is one of those rare shows that was at its heart is an educational show, but it also was one of the most entertaining things on TV in its time. That is such a difficult balance to get right and like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego this is one of the other rare shows that actually managed to pull that off.

For those who don’t know about Time Team, it is a show about exploring the history of the British Isles (and some other places). The show would arrive at a site where people have some questions about a hill, or lump of stone, or an odd blip on a map, and from here they have just three days to excavate as much of the site as possible. They are looking for important finds like mosaic floors of the Romans, motte-and-bailey castles of the Normans, WW2 fornications, ditches next to roads, and never any Roman temples, okay bar that one time. The team includes host Tony Robinson, lead field archaeologist Phil Harding, and experts like Mick Aston, Francis Pryor, Helen Geake, John Gater, Raksha Dave, Stewart Ainsworth, and many more.

The format might be something that goes against most archaeological digs that happen over months and years, but it makes for some great TV. In the end, what the show is mostly doing is engaging in the first prep work on sites for local archaeological groups who could not afford the geophysics themselves. Through this, they have made finds that have reshaped the way that we look at parts of British history.

My love for the show comes from many places. There is the interaction between the hosts and the teams, the allure that at any moment something major could be found that would have Tony Robinson dashing across the site to instigate, Phil’s hat, and also learning about the history of the world. I think thanks to this show I can give you a more in-depth view of the history of Great Britain than I can of my own country, but that may also be an indictment on the history standards in 1990s Australian schools. So without further delving into the past, let’s delve into the past.

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Movie Review – The Favourite

TL;DR – At times funny, at times perplexing, and at times very dark, it explores the world of immense power and those who want to obtain it, and the damage that can do.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Favourite. Image Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review

We live in a world where thanks to technology we can explore galaxies far away, to fantasies imagined in every which way, but sometimes reality can be stranger than anything we can muster. Today we are exploring a film that is set around the power politics of last years of the House of Stuart as different people position themselves in an ever-shifting world. This would be interesting enough in itself, but in both a less and in some cases more dramatic way this is what really happened (or at least what was alleged to have happened) in real life. It is a snapshot of absolute power, but also of sadness, and regret.

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TV Review – Picnic at Hanging Rock

TL;DR – A surreal experience that plays on the power structures of the time, an important retelling of an Australian classic that everyone should watch.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Picnic at Hanging Rock banner

Review

What happened to the girls at the Hanging Rock?” It is one of the most famous questions in Australian mythology. Was there foul play, did they run away, was it something out of this world? The book by Joan Lindsay and the fictional yet presented as the real account is one of the most important works of literature to out of this fair country, and it was turned into a very successful film in 1975. Well, that was over forty years ago and today we have a new take at adapting the classic book into a mini-series format. Today we take a look at the world at the turn of the twentieth century, a world of pomp and ceremony, and a world of oppression and conformity.

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Movie Review – Darkest Hour

TL;DR – A beautifully realised look at the world of British politics on the onset of WW2, but it loses some of its impact with an unclear portrayal of its central protagonist.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

Darkest Hour Banner

Review

Well, today we are looking at our third Dunkirk related film in the last year. Dunkirk (see review) looked at the retreat on the ground, sea, and air, Their Finest (see review) looked at how Britain used the retreat to mobilise the populace, and now Darkest Hour looks at the politics behind it all. Today we are exploring the rise of Winston Churchill from being an outsider of the political spectrum to a wartime ruler facing the might of Hitler and his European blitzkrieg. So in today’s review, we are going to look at the acting and how it captured that moment in time.

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Movie Review – Paddington 2

TL;DR – I don’t think I can say it as good as the first one, but what I can say is that it is full of joy, laughter and feels, and I would recommend it for everyone

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a mid-credit scene

Paddington 2. Image Credit: Studio Canal.

Review

Ah, Paddington, I do love this film series, I saw the first film when I was a chaperone for a group of teenagers going to see it at the local drive-in theatre. I had no idea what to expect, but the first film was filled with such joy and was genially one of the funniest films I have ever seen. I found it so funny that at one point one of the teenage girls I was with yelled out “IT’S NOT THAT FUNNY BRIAN” … but it was, oh it was. So I was delighted to hear that there was a new movie coming out, but could it live up to the first film, well no, but that doesn’t mean it was not a delightful ton of fun.

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Movie Review – Victoria and Abdul

TL;DR – A beautiful film, wonderfully acted, but it does glaze over history

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Victoria and Abdul. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

So we are about to look at Victoria and Abdul a film that promotes itself as ‘Based on Real Events’ … ‘Mostly’. Now, on the one hand, this could sum up most ‘based on true events’ films, but it is telling that they had to add the disclaimer which we will see as we go through it. Overall I did like Victoria and Abdul despite its many issues, but it does present a very one-sided view of the past and that is deeply problematic. Though I must say it was interesting watching the BBC make something that is almost irreverent about the Royal Family.

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Movie Review – Hampstead

TL;DR – Beautiful and charming, a fun look into that quirkiness that is classic Britannia, a great date night film

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Hampstead. Image Credit: Entertainment One.

Review

What happens when your life is falling into a hole of others making, what happens when the world is against you and you just want to be left in peace, what happens when worlds collide, this is the story of Hampstead. Hampstead is part romantic comedy, part comment of the class divisions in Brittan, and part legal drama, but it is all heart.

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