My devotion to watching TV documentaries often turns up odd bits and pieces. This time the culprit is “Curse of the Vampire” from Mythical Beasts, series 1, episode 3, shown on Sky History 2. As you might expect, the theme was the strong medieval belief that the dead could return to torment the living as… Continue reading Did Henry VII believe in vampires….?
Category: television reviews
Why did the builders of Stonehenge, West Kennett Long Barrow and Silbury Hill disappear….?
I have just been watching an episode of Blowing up History, in which the prehistoric stone monuments at Stonehenge, West Kennett and Silbury Hill were investigated. The discovery of a large upturned bell-shaped pottery jar at West Kennett led to the revelation that it was the work of the so-called Beaker People of Europe,… Continue reading Why did the builders of Stonehenge, West Kennett Long Barrow and Silbury Hill disappear….?
A review of Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors….
I have now watched all of the Channel 5 series Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors, which is so packed with information that I hardly know where to begin with this review. Aha, did I hear you say the beginning might be a good idea? You’re right, so here goes with a selection of descriptions from… Continue reading A review of Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors….
Don’t believe the medieval battles you see on-screen….
Well, I for one always like a damned—um, darned—good medieval battle…at least, I do from the comfort of my nice modern sofa. No nasty blood and gore for me, and certainly no dreadful screams and horrible deaths with all sorts of innards spilling everywhere. Oh, no, not for my delicate modern self. So we delicate… Continue reading Don’t believe the medieval battles you see on-screen….
A TV visit to Middleham Castle….
The TV series Go Visit Castles has now dealt with Richard III’s castle at Middleham, see here. The resultant video is interesting and shows the castle in detail, including an intriguing reconstruction of the castle kitchens (see above). The tone isn’t for the highly knowledgeable, more to introduce “beginners” to the workings of a castle,… Continue reading A TV visit to Middleham Castle….
Digging for Treasure
There are several interesting archaeology series on television and Channel Five has now joined in with an ensemble programme, headed by two familiar personalities (Dan Walker and Michaela Strachan) and a similarly ubiquitous chief archaeologist (Raksha Dave), but with more of an emphasis on metal detecting for the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, including Roman… Continue reading Digging for Treasure
The Crown Jewels in magnificent close-up….
Last night I watched a truly decorative and stylish BBC documentary called The Crown Jewels. At the outset we were told that the makers had unprecedented access to both the jewels and the very latest technology, the latter permitting such close-ups of the dazzling gems that their true beauty really was revealed. There were… Continue reading The Crown Jewels in magnificent close-up….
The art that made us
This is another fascinating BBC2 series, illustrating English and British history through the evolution of our art. The eight one-hour episodes, narrated by David Threlfall (Men of the World), feature:The Roman and pre-Roman periods, Beowulf, the Norman conquest and the Bayeux Tapestry; The Black Death, Wilton Diptych, Piers Plowman, Chaucer, Julian of Norwich,… Continue reading The art that made us
The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden (3)
This excellent Channel Four programme has returned for a third series soon after the second, perhaps because the pandemic interrupted some of the earlier filming. The first episode features Odiham Place in Hampshire, looking for the home of Sir Francis Walsingham, although it was actually built for Henry VIII and was smaller than a 1739… Continue reading The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden (3)
The Hairy Bikers – Watch ‘Em by Day or Knight
One of the blessings of 24 hour live streaming or semi-blessings of paying for Amazon Prime is that American foodies can come into contact with some of Britain’s finest cooks and chefs. Whether it is Gordon Ramsey cursing out prisoners toiling in the dank kitchens of Brixton, Rick Stein pretending to enjoy the food of… Continue reading The Hairy Bikers – Watch ‘Em by Day or Knight