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.
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.
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
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
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
“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.
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
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.
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
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.
TL;DR – A beautiful film, wonderfully acted, but it does glaze over history
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
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.
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
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.