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parrot_knight [userpic]

Bonekickers meets King Arthur

August 12th, 2008 (09:11 pm)

Now I know how scientists feel when Doctor Who tramples physics underfoot. 'Artognou' meaning 'Arthur' indeed, just like that...

eta 'Sword of Albion'? Could this be a Robin of Sherwood revival in disguise? Things might be looking up!

eta 2 "The king and the land are one..." now we are quoting John Boorman. Might as well show your sources...

eta 3 All over the place, with little clue of what the historical imagination might consist of. The concept needs radical surgery before the second series, and it needs to find a soul, because it's not got one at the moment.

Comments

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: August 12th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
merlin

*wails* You mean I finally noticed Bonekickers when it was on, rather than when reading muuranker the following day, and I got distracted and watched Taggart instead, and I missed the Arthurian episode??? Woe.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 12th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
arthurelaineletr

This was indeed the Arthurian episode, leading ladies of the lake and all...

Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 07:32 am (UTC)

I missed it too, being late back from tai chi, saw two shots of Dark Stuff, and then my mother rang.

A long conversation later, I saw another Dark shot, and a Sword, and decided that I was never going to catch up and turned over to the millionaire in Ladywood, which is slightly more grounded in reality, although upset-woman-talking-about-her-mother and coming-to-terms-with-the-fact-that-not-everyone-is-able-to-do-what-they-want seemed to be the storyline here, too.

ExmemSec however, tells me I missed a couple of lines that archaeologists will pin on their office walls (nothing as great as Douglas Adam's "there's nothing more useless than a bored archaeologist", though), and feels that it gives a whole new meaning to 'censership' (joke works only when spoken).

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)

There was potential for something very good in that episode, but there were too many elements imperfectly understood and thus imperfectly developed. It really needed the near-decade long gestation period of the same team's Life on Mars, I suspect, to really have been thought through.

Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: August 14th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)

Life on Mars team??? Feels very ignorant!

But it makes sense. I have on the back-burner a paper about material culture, Life on Mars, Lord of the Rings, and Always Coming Home. Having not written more than the abstract, I now want to find out how much the team knew about archaeology before Mark Horton got involved!

Posted by: romancinger (romancinger)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
me

I must say I enjoyed this episode (well it was Arthurian) - in a slumming-it, 'spot the reference' kind of way. I hope my long-suffering partner wasn't too annoyed by my constant pointing out of inaccuracies (well he does the same with other programs - I get to do it with this and the Tudors).

I got the feeling that this series was deliberately set up to appeal to young adults - lots of excitement, personal quests, never let facts get in the way - in order to spark interest in archaeology. I suspect if I was about thirteen, it might just do that (but I was already hooked on history by then anyway).

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)

Over at lil_shepherd's LJ, she proposed that the 9-13 age group was about Bonekickers's level. I responded that there might be a good children's TV series in there, but it isn't present yet.

I can't think who they made it for, really - it's very scattershot, but fails to hit enough targets at once.

Co-creator Matthew Graham has been reported somewhere as saying that the impetus was watching Time Team with his son and thinking that a drama series could make archaeology exciting, which I found odd given that Time Team is already archaeology packaged as a television event.

Posted by: romancinger (romancinger)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
cooking

Yes, it is odd. I can't help thinking that it was basically a good idea, but gone altogether wrong.

Posted by: louisedennis (louisedennis)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 08:33 am (UTC)
history

I forgot it was on. Says it all really.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)

The concept seemed so unlikely and unworkable to me, that I have missed most of the series, and won't be rushing to buy the DVD when it comes out on Monday.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)

I agree with romancinger that it was a good idea, and I don't think it would have been unworkable, but it was just very sloppily done. Shame, really.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
dunwich

The whole of Bonekickers for me has been a mix of shouting at the screen, cringing, and for some bizarre reason, enjoying myself.

The episodes with least reference to actual archaeology somehow seemed to work best, including this one, which I think was pure fantasy (I could't even get worked up about Arthurain inaccuracies, there was so little attempt at accuracy in the first place).
By contrast, there were some crimes against Latin in the Boudicca episode which were much worse anything in this one, or than certain complaints I made about the Fires of Pompeii. And no ripping out and throwing about of finds here either, as was common in other episodes.

I admit I was quite forgiving at the start and rated the enjoyment factor higher than the inevitable (semi-professional) screen-shouting, but by now I hope there won't be a second season. The only trace of character/soul the whole thing had was Hugh Bonneville (who actually made the line "don't mess with me - I'm an archaeologist" work :-) ). I suppose that is one for the office wall (or desk surround)...

Sorry, had to get that off my chest, now I haven't got a flatmate to do the screen-shouting with. Incidentally, I described the series to him when it first started as "Indiana Jones in the West Country, but not quite pulling it off". I stand by that, especially the second bit :-)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)

I've only watched about one and a half episodes, so my overview on the series is by no means that of an expert; but I think the episode could have been more fantastical and made better and greater use of the source material at the same time. I do agree with you on Hugh Bonneville's delivery of that particular speech, even if the line itself missed the mark somewhat.

The word earlier in the run was that there was definitely going to be a second season, but the word on the internet is that the cast have been told the options on their contracts won't be taken up.