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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Who's for the chop?

Watched this evening's episode of the History of Ancient Britain.  Actually it was quite interesting and informative, and they still haven't reached Stonehenge and Carn Meini, but in some ways it was the most incompetent programme ever -- somebody (who is probably for the chop) forgot to wipe off the extra editorial sound track, presumably with the editor's or director's voice.  That gave an idiot's guide to what each scene was all about -- "Neil sits on a rock", "Helicopter flies off into the distance" and such like, as if we didn't know it already from looking at the screen.  Oh dear oh dear.  Maybe they just finished the programme five minutes before it went on air, and never got round to finishing the editing........

4 comments:

TONY said...

Curiously, they had Neil Oliver on the "Breakfast" programme that morning, and he was asked if he ever felt scared when require to stand on precipitous cliff edges etc. He said that the aerial shots did make it look much more life-threatening than it really was. But he had sometimes been helicoptered in and helicoptered out.
Could he be the next James Bond? He'd grown an (appropriately) craggy beard, presumably overnight, for Breakfast.
I was actually too scared to watch th Prog live. So I shall watch it later, in a darkened room. Any mists or bagpipes yet?

BRIAN JOHN said...

You didn't think that TV presenters actually WALK anywhere, did you? Just out of shot are all the landrovers and helicopters.....

Actually Neil seems a pleasant fellow -- and I quite liked some of his takes on the mesolithic - neolithic transition.

Thinking about the extraordinary version of the programme that was transmitted, I think it was probably the OU version made specially for blind people -- to enable them to LISTEN to the programme as an educational resource. I may be wrong....

BRIAN JOHN said...

Mea culpa. I began to suspect that there was something wrong when another programme started to do the same thing -- then I recalled that we had an electricity surge a couple of days ago that caused our digibox to do strange things. I managed to find out what had happened. There is something called "Audio enable / disable." The electrical pulse must have switched it from the "disable" default setting onto the "enable" one -- so that's why I was hearing all those strange comments. Now all is well. Sorry, BBC -- you are not as incompetent as I thought!! Nobody needs to be sacked....

TONY HINCHLIFFE said...

I thought this episode was excellent.Saw it in recorded segments as I was recovering from a bad bout of rheumatism induced by the inclement weather during fieldwalking for Mesolithic artefacts etc in the Avebury vicinity as part of helping a Ph.D student's researches near the river Kennet. The construction of this episode was first -rate, in my opinion, and Neil seemed to be less of a centre of attention and more as representing Everyman, with his questions and his awe-struck reactions to some of the answers he was given (even if, as an archaeologist himself, he must have known a good deal).