I have just watched a truly aggravating documentary from this 2014 series. In particular the episode called “Secrets of Westminster”.
It starts with the tomb of Edward the Confessor…for which they show the correct tomb, yes, but then include a lot of lingering close-ups of the tomb effigy of Richard II. The implication is, it seems, to inform the viewer that what they were seeing was the Confessor.
Then there was a section about Henry III…erm, showing Edward III. Again, no mention of Edward, to keep the viewer properly informed. Just the same hint that the tomb was Henry III’s.
The last straw for me was when they showed the wonderful roof of Westminster Hall, of which they spoke in glowing terms as being 11th-century. There was no mention at all of the hammerbeams, angels and so on actually being the 14th-century work of Richard II, who remodelled and improved the entire hall.
So I cannot recommend this awful programme, even though it was interesting in many other respects. The trouble was, I could not help wondering how many other bloopers there might be? Could anything be trusted, and taken at face value? Did Guy Fawkes really try to blow-up Parliament? Was Charles I really executed? Or were both stories muddled up. Maybe Charles was the one who tried to blow-up Parliament? And Guy Fawkes marched into the Commons and started the English Civil War? Who knows?
So don’t bother to watch it, unless you want to sit chucking missiles at the screen. You take your chances with the other episodes in the series. I won’t be viewing them.
Thank you for the warning! What a load of rubbish. Sounds about as worthwhile as the idiot soaps purporting to be “historical dramas” infesting the screens these days. Not even “take it with a grain of salt,” for an alleged documentary this bad you’d end up with salt poisoning.
Time Team did a special in 2010 of the same name – Secrets of Westminster Abbey – did you see that? If so, what did you think of it? At least they showed the right effigies of the kings they were talking about …
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