Young Archaeologists' Club
Central Southern England Branch


Reference source of past TV programmes

A Century of Troubles
(Stuart England)
Repeat of this four programme series
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot (4)

Shown on Channel 4, Saturday 3 July at 7.30pm

History on 4 - Time Traveller's Guide to Stuart England
Plague : Fire : War : Treason
The programmes were originally shown in 2001 and repeated in 2004

Plague - (19.06.04) The Great Plague The Great Plague stalked England in 1665. It struck London particularly hard – by year's end, some 100,000 people had died terrible deaths. The website tells the story of the plague, explains the disease and displays its spread in London and the rest of England
Fire - (26.06.04) The Great Fire of London In September 1666, much of London vanished in the Great Fire. The website tells the story of the fire – and its legacy – and shows how its devastation spread.
War - (12.06.04) Cromwell: New Model Englishman For a decade from 1642, England was wracked by civil wars until it was a 'world turned upside down'. In the end, Charles I had been beheaded and Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector. The website tells the story of the Civil Wars and examines the controversy surrounding Cromwell.
Treason - (3.07.04) Gunpowder, Treason and Plot In 1605, a group of radical Catholics prepared to blow up Parliament on 5 November. But the day before, their plot was uncovered and the conspirators were hunted down and executed. The website tells the story of the Gunpowder Plot and suggests what might have happened if it had succeeded.

Visit the Time Traveller's Guide to Stuart England for further information

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A History of Britain
A fifteen-part series

BBC History - A History of Britain

Simon SchamaA major 15 part series over 3 years, by renowned historian Simon Schama. Part 1 was shown in September 2000 and finally part 15 in June 2002. He began his quest by charting the 4000 years prior to the Battle of Hastings, from Stone Age Orkney through four centuries of Roman occupation to King Alfred's ultimate victory over the Vikings, which laid the foundations of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom later destroyed by the Norman invasion.

"A complete (Weekly) repeat of the Series was shown in late 2002
A complete (Daily) repeat was shown over Xmas 2004"

Parts: 1-7 (2000), 8-11 (2001) & 12-15 (2002)

Parts 1- 7 of the Series was first shown on the following dates and times

Part 1. Beginnings - BBC 2, Saturday 30 September, 2000 at 8.05pm.
Part 2.
Conquest! - BBC 2, Wednesday 4 October, 2000 at 9.30pm.
Part 3.
Dynasty - BBC 2, Wednesday 11 October, 2000 at 9.30pm.
Part 4.
Nations - BBC 2, Wednesday 18 October, 2000 at 9.00pm.
Part 5.
King Death - BBC 2, Wednesday 25 October, 2000 at 9.00pm.
Part 6.
Burning Convictions - BBC 2, Wednesday 1 November, 2000 at 9.00pm.
Part 7.
The Body of the Queen - BBC 2, Wednesday 8 November, 2000 at 9.00pm.

History of Britain Special - Shown BBC 2, Monday 6 November, 2000 at 00.15
The Rest is History: Mark Lawson went behind the scenes to look at how BBC's epic new landmark series, the
A History of Britain, was made. Included an interview with presenter Simon Schama.

Parts 8 - 11 of the Series was first shown on the following dates and times

Part 8. The British Wars, 1603 to 1649 - BBC 2, Tuesday 8 May 2001 at 9.00pm
Part 9.
Revolutions, 1649 to 1689 - BBC 2, Tuesday 15 May 2001 at 9.00pm
Part 10. Britannia Incorporated, 1690 to 1750 - BBC 2, Tuesday 22 May 2001 at 9.00pm
Part 11.
The Wrong Empire, 1750 to approx 1800 - BBC 2, Tuesday 29 May 2001 at 9.00pm

Read Simon Schama's on-line transcript following programme 10

Parts 12-15

Part 12. Forces Of Nature: BBC 2, Tuesday 28 May 2002 at 9.00pm. Simon Schama explored just why the British proved so immune to the siren call of liberty, equality and fraternity at the time of the French Revolution.

Part 13. Victoria And Her Sisters: BBC 2, Tuesday 4 June 2002 at 9.00pm. Queen Victoria ruled one of the most powerful Empires in history, and it was Victorian women who fought against its excesses and injustices.

Part 14. The Empire Of Good Intentions: BBC 2, Tuesday 11 June 2002 at 9.00pm. The 19th century British Empire was the largest in the world. But the liberal politics that drove it, unravelled, resulting in disaster.

Part 15. The Two Winstons: BBC 2, Tuesday 18 June 2002 at 9.00pm. Simon Schama tackles the 20th Century through Winston Churchill and George Orwell arguing they share one theme, forget history at your peril.

Take a look at the chats which followed programmes 2, 7, 10 and 15?

Enjoy A History of Britain interview with Simon Schama. What were the key themes of the series? Who are his heroes and villains? Get the lowdown on making the series from the Executive Producer.

Visit the BBC 'History' site for additional information
Series web site also contains details about the locations featured and FAQ's

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All New six-part Series

Last part shown on BBC 2, Saturday 27 March at 6.05pm
A new archaeological series developed from 'Meet the Ancestors'

Nelson's Forgotten Heroes (14.02.04 at 8.15pm): In the first of the series, expert Nick Slope combined forensic evidence, ships’ logs and personal memoirs to recreate a vivid picture of life in Nelson’s fleet. He uncovered how women fought, nursed, gave birth, entertained and even enlisted in disguise to serve in Nelson's Navy. In 2002 archaeologists uncovered a mass grave on an island in Aboukir Bay, Egypt, where 204 years earlier, Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson claimed a decisive victory over Napoleon at the Battle of the Nile. These were graves from that time!
Billy and the 'fighter boys' (21.02.04 at 7.25pm): (Repeated 19.06.04 at 5.40pm) Focus on the recollections of Billy Drake, fighter pilot with the legendary No 1 Squadron in the battle for France. Their experience redefined aerial combat. The programme relates the story of the fighter pilots of No 1 Squadron, who flew their Hurricanes against the Luftwaffe during the Battle of France in May 1940. A fighter ace (Billy Drake) who was forced to bale out of his Hurricane over Eastern France returns to the site where, with the help of a team of aviation archaeologists, he is reunited with its shattered remains.
The Hunt for Darwin's Beagle (28.02.04 at 8.10pm): Julian Richards follows marine archaeologist Dr Robert Prescott and Professor Colin Pillinger in their campaign to retrace the final days of Darwin's ship HMS Beagle and to locate her remains so that she can be preserved for future generations. Find out what life was really like for sailors in the 18th century. Was it really all blood, sweat and tears?
Journey to Hell (13.03.04 at 8.10pm): Assess the experiences of Wilfred Owen, the World War One poet whose work rages against the cruelty of war. The programme follows World War I poet Wilfred Owen's nephew, Peter to the village of Serre in Northern France and the trench on the German frontline, the Heidenkopf, that inspired his poem The Sentry. With the help of field experts and historians he has a week to locate the Heidenkopf and the dug-out that instilled such horror in his uncle.
The Curse of Oxford Gaol (20.03.04 at 8.25pm): An excavation in Oxford reveals the devastation caused by cholera epidemics, the 'Great Stink' and miasmas. 1577, charged with treason and sentenced to have his ears cut off, a bookseller places a curse on the prison court. Within days, according to parish records, hundreds of wealthy men who had been present died an agonising death; women and the poor were spared. Last year an archaeological dig in the area where the court once stood unearthed 30 human skeletons. Could these bones reveal the truth behind the legend of the curse? Julian Richards tells the story.
The Stonehenge Enigma (27.03.04 at 8.25pm): Julian Richards reveals the latest evidence as to who built Stonehenge, and explains how scientists discovered that the stones were erected as a revolutionary new culture swept through Europe. Can the grave of a Bronze Age archer hold any clues about the mystery of Stonehenge?

Visit BBC Archaeology and the Ancestors website
for information on the programmes in this new Series

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Ancient Apocalypse
A four-part Series

Selected Repeats
shown in August/September/October 2002

A series which aimed to solve ancient riddles of the past

BBC 2, Thursday 26 July 2001 at 9.00pm
Death On The Nile: Professor Fekri Hassan follows his personal quest to understand how the apocalypse of Ancient Egypt occurred. Missed the Live Chat following the programme? Read the transcript

BBC 2, Thursday 2 August 2001 at 9.00pm
Mystery Of The Minoans: Scientific speculation on the death of Europe's first great civilisation three and a half thousand years ago. Was an almighty volcanic eruption the catalyst? Read other views - visit the History site Message Board

BBC 2, Thursday 9 August 2001 at 9.00pm
The Maya Collapse: Could the ancient Maya civilisation, located in American rainforest, have collapsed because of drought? Read Richardson Gill's debate on the collapse of the Mayan civilisation.

BBC 2, Thursday 16 August 2001 at 9.00pm
Sodom & Gomorrah: With state of the art graphical reconstructions, scientists speculate on the existence and Biblical destruction of the two ancient towns. Graham Harris took questions on the Message Board

Visit the Ancient Apocalypse and the BBC History sites for additional information

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Battlefield Britain
An eight-part Series
Battle of Britain (8)
On BBC 2, Friday 24 September at 9.00pm

Presenters Peter and Dan SnowIn a major new series, Peter Snow and his son Dan use modern-day experiments and state-of-the-art computer graphics to examine the battles and bring alive epic battle stories that shaped Britain. They tell the story of famous British battles from Boudicca's rebellion to the Battle of Britain.

The series starts almost 2,000 years ago with the revolt of the Iceni, led by Queen Boudicca, against the Roman governor, Suetonius Paulinus.

Boudicca's Revolt (6.08.04): The Iceni uprising led by Queen Boudicca against Roman rule in Britain. Peter uses graphics to give overviews of the battles, while Dan finds out what the experience would have been like for those fighting.
Trail: Boudicca
Hastings (13.08.04): The story of the turbulent events of 1066, Peter giving a blow-by-blow account of how the Saxons led by King Harold were pitted against the Norman army, led by their duke, William. Dan tells the soldiers' stories, faces a cavalry charge head-on and joins the Metropolitan Police Public Order Unit to experience the crush of a shield wall.
Trail: Battle of Hastings
Battle for Wales (20.08.04): Peter and Dan relate the story of when the Welsh - led by rebel leader Owain Glyndwr - last invaded England, and show how Glyndwr used the rough Welsh border terrain to outwit his enemies. The Battle of Shrewsbury was the scene of the biggest archery-centred conflict on British soil, and the final showdown came outside Worcester.
Trail: Battle for Wales
The Battle Against the Spanish Armada (27.08.04): Peter and Dan relive the first great sea battle in British history, as Francis Drake led a small English navy against the vast Spanish fleet and triumphed against the odds. They show how the English navy tried to fend off the better equipped Spanish Armada for 11 days in 1588.
Trail: The Armada
The Battle of Naseby (3.09.04): Peter and Dan go back to 1645 and the Battle of Naseby, the turning point in the English Civil War as Parliamentary troops under Sir Thomas Fairfax roundly defeated the Royal army under Prince Rupert. Dan experiences fighting with a cumbersome pike and Peter joins in as they try their skills with a sword in a simulated cavalry charge.
Trail: Battle of Naseby
The Battle of the Boyne (10.09.04): Peter and Dan tell the story of a notoriously violent battle when, three centuries ago the river Boyne in Ireland ran red with blood. Peter unravels what happened when supporters of the Catholic King James II confronted the troops of Protestant King William III. Dan recounts what the battle was like for the soldiers on the front-line.
Trail: Battle of the Boyne
Culloden (17.09.04): Peter and Dan revisit the Battle of Culloden in 1746 as Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite rebellion was finally crushed by the English on a Scottish moor. Dan goes on a night march and sees how, without the aid of modern technology, the troops of Bonnie Prince Charlie made a fatal error on the eve of the battle.
Trail: Battle of Culloden
Battle of Britain (24.09.04): Dan experiences for himself how the Battle of Britain in WWII was fought when he takes flight in a high performance stunt plane. Peter gives a blow-by-blow account of the pivotal moments of the battle and how the RAF held off the might of the German Luftwaffe during the summer of 1940.
Trail: Battle of Britain

Visit BBC History and the Battlefield Britain website for further information
Read about associated Live Events and the 24 Hour Museum trails

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Blood of the Vikings
A five-part series with Julian Richards
Last part shown on BBC 2, Tuesday 4 December 2001 at 9.00pm
A revised repeat of the series was shown in December 2002
Last Part shown on Monday 30 December 2002 at 7.30pm
A further repeat (with signing) shown in April / May 2004

Presenter: Julian RichardsJulian Richards investigates Viking Britain, from the first raids to their settlement of the British Isles and traces their legacy through a genetics survey.

First Blood: (13.04.04) The Vikings were ambitious, daring and frightening, but where is the evidence? Julian Richards explores the impact of the Vikings on Britain's history.
Invasion: (20.04.04) This programme traces the story of the Danish Viking Great Army and its battles with King Alfred the Great, and also uncovers evidence pointing to Viking immigration and settlement in England.
The Sea Road: (27.04.04) This programme focuses on the archaeological trail left by the Vikings as they travelled from Norway along the sea road to Dublin. Settlements, a boat burial and evidence of trading have been discovered on the Scottish isles, and silver hoards found in Ireland suggest that Dublin was not only wealthy and important, but also a centre for trade in slaves.
Rulers: (4.05.04) This programme looks at the Vikings' rise to power by means of raiding, extortion and intimidation. Plus stories of gruesome English revenge attacks.
Last Of The Vikings: (11.05.04) Julian Richards examined bones recovered at a site in Yorkshire, which provided evidence of the bloody events that brought the Viking age to a juddering halt. Modern scientific analysis on skeletons found more than 20 years ago reveals astonishing new information about the final battle in 1066 between the Viking warlord Harald Hardrada and the English King Harold, a clash which marked the end of the Viking age in the British Isles.
(This programme also provided a review of the 5 part series and the results of the genetic survey that was undertaken.)

Read the transcript of the live chat given by
Professor David Goldstein and Gareth Williams after the programme

Visit the Blood of the Vikings website for past programme details and information
Read the transcript from the 13.11.01 live chat with Julian Richards

Explore more about the Vikings in Ancient History and Archaeology
Visit the BBC History website and programme Message Board

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Shown on Channel 4, Tuesday 4 June 2002 at 7.00pm

Fact or Fiction: Boudica
Tony Robinson revealed the story of the ancient queen of the iceni tribe and uncovered the story of the real queen – a Roman collaborator prone to extreme, disorganised violence and disturbing Druidic rituals.

 More Information? Go to the Channel 4 historyheads & Footnotes series
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Brilliantly British
A three-part Series
Repeat (Signed)
Last part shown on BBC 1, Thursday 6 May 2004 at 01.20 (am)

Hilary Kay presents Brilliantly BritishDocu-drama series uncovering the lives of British craftsmen and revealing the secrets of their craft.

Presented by Hilary Kay.

Thomas Chippendale (04.04.04): (22.04.04) Hilary Kay travels from 18th century Yorkshire to Ancient Rome, from the Orient to Colonial America, to discover how Chippendale became the world's most famous name in furniture.
Joshua Wedgwood (11.04.04): (29.04.04) Pioneer potter, industrialist and marketeer who transformed British pottery from a cottage craft into a global industry. Hilary Kay travels from 18th century Staffordshire to the grand waterways of Imperial Russia, and from Georgian London to Southern Germany in search of the secrets behind Wedgwood's success.
William Morris (18.04.04): (6.05.04) Hilary Kay sets the bar high in her profile of William Morris, calling him "the greatest designer in British history". Certainly this gloriously filmed programme leaves us in no doubt as to how gorgeous his best work was - the enchanting leafy patterns and dreamlike tapestries. There's plenty to ravish the eye. But the programme is just as good at showing us Morris's failures. We know him as the man who instigated the Arts and Crafts movement and rekindled ideals of medieval decorative art. But it took him a while to arrive at his true calling.

Visit the BBC Lifestyle and the Antiques Roadshow website for more information

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Britain AD
A three-part Special
(presented by Francis Prior)
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 6, 13 & 20 September at 9.00pm

Francis Pryor in the countrysideA New History documentary series.

In this three-part follow-up to his previous series Britain BC, writer and archaeologist Francis Pryor argues that our perception of early post-Roman Britain is wrong. Rather than the country being thrown into mindless barbarism following the Romans' departure, this was in fact a vibrant period of cultural diversity.

King Arthur's Britain
The tale of King Arthur has thrilled people for centuries and, with yet another Hollywood film version currently in our cinemas, it would be easy to dismiss it as a fairytale. However, Francis Pryor believes that the noble Arthur can tell us much about the barbaric Dark Ages. And, he says, what he has found supports his controversial view that British culture survived the withdrawal of Roman rule intact.

Computer graphics and expert opinion bring Pryor's ideas to life.

Part one: Looked at how the Roman occupation was mutually beneficial.
Part two: The `Dark Ages'.  Francis Prior suggests that they are misnamed since this era saw literate Britons, already embracing Christianity, engaging in trade and diplomacy with the Byzantine Empire.
Part three: The impact of the Anglo-Saxon invasion. It was thought that political change in Britain took place as a result of this event, but Francis Pryor argues that shifting allegiances were already taking place before the foreigners arrived.
Visit Channel 4 History and the Britain AD website for further information
Read the Book extract and programme details in The Library series
 More Information? Go to the Channel 4 historyheads & The Library series
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Britain BC
A two-part Special
Shown on Channel 4, Thursdays 20 & 27 February 2003 at 9.00pm

Francis PryorA provocative two-part series in which archaeologist Francis Pryor offers a new view of Britain before the Roman invasion, suggesting that it was infinitely more sophisticated than once thought. He explains how his growing admiration for the ancient Britons led to the realisation that the British had done to its colonies what the Romans did to Britain.

Read Francis Pryor's Opinion!
Also contains the accompanying Book and Programme details

Visit the companion programme Britain AD
Read the Book extract and programme details in The Library series
 More Information? Go to the Channel 4 historyheads & Opinion series
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