Young Archaeologists' Club
Central Southern England Branch


Reference source of past TV programmes

Rebels and Redcoats
The American Revolutionary War
A four-part Series
Last part shown Tuesday 29 July 2003 on BBC 2 at 9.00pm

Friday (July 4) was American Independence Day (1776)
Read a background article "Was the American Revolution Inevitable?"
(The British occupation has provided a rich source for American archaeology)

Historian Professor Richard Holmes sheds new light, in this four-part series, on the American War of Independence

The war for independence is often regarded as a people's struggle for liberty in the face of colonial oppression - however, the truth is that many men and women remained loyal to the British crown, and chose sides simply to lay claim to their neighbours' land.
Reconstructions illustrate how the rebels' advanced military tactics sparked a conflict that raged beyond the control of the idealists behind the uprising: Boston brewer Sam Adams, silversmith Paul Revere and merchant smuggler John Hancock.
By 1781, the war had become a brutal struggle in which neither side had the upper hand. Richard Holmes looks at the series of British mistakes made that year that would transform America's destiny, and the reputation of British commander Colonel Banastre Tarleton, vilified in the Hollywood film, The Patriot.

Visit BBC History and the Rebels and Redcoats website for further information

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Series II
(On Tuesday's and Sunday's)
Started on BBC 2, Tuesday 13 July at 9.00pm
"South East"
on BBC 2, Sunday 18 July at 9.00pm
on BBC 2, Tuesday 20 July at 9.00pm
"South West"
on BBC 2, Sunday 25 July at 9.00pm
on BBC 2, Tuesday 27 July at 9.00pm
"Northern Ireland"
on BBC 2, Sunday 1 August at 9.00pm
"Midlands and East"
on BBC 2, Tuesday 3 August at 9.00pm
"The Finalists"
On BBC 2, Friday 6 August at 10.00pm
The Grand Finale
on BBC 2, Sunday 8 August at 9.00pm
Also Restoration Nation - see below for details

RESTORATION 2004 - Was a brand new series, with another 21 properties in dire need of restoration. Check out the properties and their campaign diaries as it all heated up. The 2004 Winner, Old Grammar School, Birmingham, was announced during the Grand Finale programme on Sunday 8 August 2004.

Programme Presenter - Griff Rhys JonesSeries II RESTORATION 2004
A preview programme for the Series
"The story continues"
was shown on BBC 2, Saturday 8 May at 9.30pm

Across the UK thousands of historic buildings are in danger of being lost to the nation forever. This disturbing fact is a sad reflection on the state of the nationís heritage, but there are people out there attempting to reverse this trend and rescue our most treasured architectural and historic landmarks from dereliction.

Visit the Restoration Nation website.
A series of 1 hour programmes on BBC FOUR immediately follows each episode of Restoration on BBC TWO and is similar to the format for Restoration Secrets which accompanied Series I.
A 10 minute programme shown on BBC TWO each week (Saturday) profiles local Regional restoration issues. Catch up on the campaigns the supporters of Restoration buildings are running in your area to win your vote.
(Check the schedules for programme times).

Visit the Restoration website for Information about the new Series II. Also there you will find details about last year's Regional Finalists and the 2003 Winning Project.

The ten-part Series I was shown on Friday's and Tuesday's, starting on BBC 2, Friday 8 August 2003 at 9.00pm. The ultimate Winner, Victoria Baths, Manchester, being announced in a special programme on Sunday 14 September 2003

Restoration Secrets
This was a 10-part series for BBC FOUR that immediately followed each episode of Restoration 2003 (Series 1) on BBC TWO. Each programme concentrated on the region already featured in that evening's Restoration, offering a more detailed profile of that particular part of the British Isles. The series focused on restored properties around the country which are normally closed to the public but can be visited during Heritage Open Days. It also showcase the best of the BBC's archive of programmes on architecture, restoration and historic buildings.

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Resurrecting the Mammoth
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 11 December 2000 at 8.00pm

The mammoth has been extinct for thousands of years but Professor Kazufumi Goto aims to bring it back to life by injecting a dead mammoth's sperm into the egg of a living female elephant. If he's successful in his controversial venture it will be the scientific scoop of the decade.
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Shown on Channel 4, Monday 20 November 2000 at 8.00pm

For the first time in three quarters of a century a member of the Carnarvon family returns to the site of Tutankhamun's tomb. Weeks after discovering the tomb in 1922, the fifth Earl of Carnarvon died from a deadly mosquito bite and his family became associated with a curse which has haunted them for three generations. Lord Porchester, great grandson of the fifth Earl, defies the hex and returns to supervise an excavation in Thebes by family archaeologist Nigel Strudwick.
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Richard III
(Fact or Fiction)
Shown on Channel 4, Saturday 20 November at 7.00pm

Tony Robinson looks behind the legend that is Richard III. Did he really murder his two nephews - the Princes in the Tower? In fact, what he does discover is that much of the so-called historical fact was mistaken, and almost fabricated as it passed through generations. But what the story reveals is information which calls into question the legitimacy of the last 500 years of British royalty.

Also visit Britain's Real Monarch

 More Information? Go to Channel 4 History & the Medieval Britain guide
Visit Movers & shakers in the Medieval Guide for more information
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Robin Hood
(Fact or Fiction with Tony Robinson)

Shown on Channel 4, Saturday 18 October at 8.00pm

Fact or Fiction: Robin Hood
Tony Robinson tries to get the truth behind the legend of Robin Hood. Did he really exist? And if so, was he really the folk hero as portrayed by the myth? Tony, who appeared in a children's TV series about Robin, travels all over England looking at historical records and talking to experts.

Visit Channel 4 History for initial programme details

 More Information? Go to the Channel 4 historyheads, Footnotes series
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Secret History: Funny Money
Shown on Channel 4, Thursday 17 August, 2000 at 9.00pm

Funny Money traces Britain's tortuous transition from the Imperial 'LSD' system to a decimal currency. What became known as Decimal Day, or D-Day, is a tale of politics and high finance, of beleaguered housewives and 'decimal dollies', dogged resistance, and for some the end of civilisation as they knew it.

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Secret History : Natural Born Americans
Shown on Channel 4, Thursday 14 September, 2000 at 9.00pm

American Indians have played many roles: the passive pastoralist, the scalping savages, the adversary in cowboy movies. More recently Indians have been held up as icons by environmentalists, portrayed as the guardians of nature, conserving everything and wasting nothing. But is this latest image any truer than the rest?

From the earliest contacts between Indians and Europeans to the present day, Natural Born Americans separates myth from reality.

Here are some other sites that maybe of interest

Site on Native American spirituality

Who are Native Americans? This web site by tries to answer the question as well as the Theories about Ancient People in the Americas
NATIVE AMERICAN SITES Maintained by Lisa Mitten, a mixed-blood Mohawk urban Indian, formally a librarian at the University of Pittsburgh, now the Social Sciences Subject Editor for anthropology, history, and sociology of a Magazine
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Secrets of the Ancients
A five-part Series
Last part shown on BBC 2, Saturday 16 December 2000 at 8.10pm
A repeat programme shown in 2002

Documentary series which unlocked the mysteries of ancient people by recreating their extraordinary achievements.

BBC 2, Saturday 18 November, 2000 at 8.10pm
Viking Voyage: First in the series. In this edition, an international crew headed by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston accepts the challenge of sailing a Viking replica ship across the North Sea with only a primitive sun-compass to help them navigate.

BBC 2, Saturday 25 November, 2000 at 8.10pm
Caesar's Bridge: Caesar claimed his troops built a huge timber bridge across the Rhine. Was he bragging? In this programme, engineer Chris Wise tests Julius Caesar's claim to have built a sturdy wooden bridge in just ten days over which he marched an army. Using Caesar's own account in his history of the Gallic Wars, Wise attempts to recreate Caesar's engineering feat working on the North Tyne.

BBC 2, Saturday 2 December , 2000 at 8.10pm
The Claw: was a war machine invented by the genius mathematician Archimedes. Can engineer Jo da Silva recreate this legendary weapon and use it to sink a Sicilian fishing boat?

BBC 2, Saturday 9 December, 2000 at 7.20pm (3.03.2002)
Olmec Heads: The oldest and most mysterious of all ancient civilisations in the Americas carved colossal stone heads, but no one knows how the Olmec moved these huge stones.

BBC 2, Saturday 16 December, 2000 at 8.10pm
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon symbolise power and wealth. But these legendary gardens are shrouded by mystery. Experts meet in Jordanian desert to try to discover some of the facts and to solve how the gardens were irrigated.

Visit BBC History and the Secrets of the Ancients website for further information

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Secrets of the Dead
A six-part Series

A series in which forensic science and good old-fashioned detective work was used to re-interpret past events.

Murder at Stonehenge (17.7.00) : The Syphilis Enigma (24.7.00) : Murder in Jamestown (31.7.00) : Bewitched (7.8.00) : Blood on the Altar (14.8.00) : What Sank the Mary Rose (21.08.00)

Repeats shown of Murder at Stonehenge (17.05.01) and What Sank the Mary Rose (24.05.01 & 22.12.01)

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Secrets of the Incas
A two-part special

Channel 4, Thursday 28 June 2001 at 8.00pm
Could the stars hold the secret to the downfall of one of history's greatest empires? From Ecuador to central Chile, the Inca Empire was once powerful, knowledgeable and wealthy, but in the face of just 170 invading Spanish conquistadors, their vast society mysteriously collapsed in the mid 16th century.

Channel 4, Thursday 5 July 2001 at 8.00pm
Concluding this fascinating To the Ends of the Earth special, this documentary follows historian Dr. William Sullivan as he unlocks the mysteries of the lost world of the Incas. In the Spanish chronicles of the conquest of Peru, he has uncovered a code that links the Incas to such great civilisations as the Egyptians and the Greeks.

Visit Secrets of the Incas for more information about the programmes

Part of the To the Ends of the Earth series 1

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Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
(A Drama-documentary series)
Last in Series

Shown on BBC 2, Thursday 16 October 2003 at 9.00pm
A (Daily) series repeat over Xmas 2004

A Drama-documentary series recreating epic moments in the industrial revolution.

The Great Ship (4.09.03): In the 1850s, the world's most brilliant engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, dreamed of creating the largest ship ever seen. The Great Eastern would come to destroy him and all who were associated with it, leading some to believe it was cursed.
The Brooklyn Bridge (11.09.03): In the mid-19th century, a seemingly impossible scheme was devised to unite Manhattan with Brooklyn with the longest suspension bridge ever built. The ambitious dream of engineer John Roebling fast turned into a nightmare dogged by gross political corruption.
The Bell Rock Lighthouse (18.09.03): The deadly Bell Rock Reef, eleven miles off the east coast of Scotland, terrorised seamen for centuries. Robert Stevenson's plans to build a lighthouse on the almost permanently submerged rocks was widely ridiculed, but against all odds, he succeeded, and it continues to save lives.
The Line (Transcontinental Railway) (25.09.03): (6.04.04) In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act authorising the construction of 1800 miles of track. Two corporate giants were pitched against each other in a race to join the East and West coasts of America: to shrink the continent and change the whole world.
The Sewer King (2.10.03): Joseph Bazalgette's ambitious scheme in the mid-19th century to create a network of sewers under a London where outbreaks of disease, caused by dirty water and unsanitary conditions, killed thousands. His vision required extraordinary and novel engineering solutions involving watertight tunnels and vast steam pumping engines.
The Panama Canal (9.10.03): French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps was hailed as a national hero on finishing the Suez Canal in 1869. Thousands raced to invest in his next plan, a canal across Panama that would link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Work started in 1880. It was completed in 1914 after 35 years of struggle, rocked by financial scandal, and the deaths of at least 20,000 men, including its designer 20 years earlier. Theodore Roosevelt and his engineer John Stevens finished the job just before World War One broke out, in which the canal played an important strategic role.
The Hoover Dam (16.10.03): The Colorado River was once one of the world's most dangerous and unpredictable waterways to cross. But in 1902, engineer Arthur Powell-Davis dreamed of creating the largest dam ever and taming the wild river. With electricity and irrigation, the deserts of the West would bloom and the face of America would change forever.

Visit BBC History and the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
website for more information

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Speed Machines
An eight-part Series
Last in series

Shown on Channel 4, Monday 10 November at 8.00pm

A Series on the history of speed and the rivalry between ships, planes, cars and trains in their bid to be the fastest.

Ocean Liners (22.09.03): The opening programme revisits the 1930s, a golden era for ocean liners and a competitive period for British and French shipyards as they built extravagant ships - namely the Queen Mary and the Normandie - with the hope of winning the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing.
Flying Boats (29.09.03): They came to the fore in the 1930s and were a luxurious way to travel - the Empire, for example, was a British classic which could carry 24 passengers. This programme looks at the competition between Pan American and Britain's Imperial Airways to establish the first trans-Atlantic commercial airline service.
Steam Trains (6.10.03): In the 1930s, the east and west coast railway companies in Britain were competing to provide the fastest services from London to Scotland. The Coronation Scot and A4 Pacifics were the fastest trains in the world and the competitive market pushed the machines to new extremes.
The Speed Boat Kings (13.10.03): In the 1920s and 30s Britain and the US would go head-to-head in the Harmsworth Challenge, a kind of America's Cup for the power-boating world. The rivalry was intense with the Brits relying on technical ingenuity to counter the USA's powerful aircraft engine-powered boats.
Breaking the Sound Barrier (20.10.03): The race to break the sound barrier began in World War II when the British uncovered German plans for a 1,000 mph aircraft. When the Messerschmitt 262 was launched, the British responded with the M52 and the DH108 Swallow, and by the end of the war, the Americans entered the race with the Bell X1.
Cutty Sark and the Great Clippers (27.10.03): In the mid-19th century, cargo ships known as clippers dominated world trade routes. Tea was a popular commodity in Victorian times, resulting in competitive races on the 15,000-mile journey from China. The Great Tea Race of 1866 inspired the design of super-fast clippers, including the Cutty Sark.
Bentley v Mercedes (3.11.03): The evolution of high-performancecars during the 1920s and 1930s, focusing on the rivalry between Bentley and Mercedes, and the part played by Hitler in the battle for superiority. Bentley and Mercedes played a key role in the evolution of sports cars and motor racing the 1920s and '30s. Three successive victories at Le Mans ensured Bentley's status, but a new challenger - Mercedes - was about to emerge from Germany
Land Speed Record (10.11.03): The last in the series centres on the battle between Malcolm Campbell and Henry Segrave in the 1920s and 1930s to break the land speed record. For these former fighter pilots, speed was everything - so much so that they each risked their lives to become the fastest man on earth. The final programme explores the battle for the land speed record between Malcolm Campbell, who drove the famed Bluebird into the record books, and Henry Segrave, the man who earned a knighthood for setting a record in 1929 but lost his life while attempting the same feat on water.

Visit Channel 4 Science and the Speed Machines websites for further information

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