TV Highlights

Going Medieval

H2 - 9pm

Who's in it?

Mike Loades had some serious fun, ye olde style, in this epic documentary about life in medieval Britain.

In a nutshell

Historical reenactments rank somewhere around trainspotting and button collecting in the "uncool hobbies" department. But really, that's very hypocritical given that we as a nation are hooked on all things Tolkien and Game of Thrones, which are basically historical reenactments only with millions of dollars thrown at them. And, in the case of Game of Thrones, significantly more female nudity.

Anyway, last night history buff Mike Loades confirmed that historical reenactments can indeed be a heck of a lot of fun, and really rather educational to boot. This doc, which was as long as a movie (though not a Tolkien one), delved into every aspect of medieval life, from the finer points of castle construction to how to (not) survive the plague. There was fun stuff (longbows, falconry), practical stuff (medieval cooking, ploughing using oxen) and icky stuff (leeching), and lots of people looking like extras from a Robin Hood adaptation. And jolly good fun it all was too.

What's the verdict?

A bit like Time Team crossed with an episode of Doctor Who, this would have converted even the most strident scoffers to the cause of dressing up in funny costumes and running amok in mud. Simultaneously naff and brilliant, silly and enlightening, it was a real telly treat.

Star rating: 4/5

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07-07-2011