Author Topic: A catch-up on TV  (Read 1811 times)

Offline Tony Williams

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A catch-up on TV
« on: January 12, 2009, 08:41:44 am »
Finally, neither big-screen movies nor even fiction (in the usual sense): a couple of UK TV programmes.

Life After People, shown on C4 a few months ago (I've just got around to watching the tape!) concerning what might happen if humanity vanished overnight.   An interesting analysis of the effect on human pets (cats are fine, dogs vary with breed), wildlife (pigeons do well, so does everything in the sea), plants (take over everything on land) and buildings (after a few centuries, only massive old stone buildings will still be here, with the pyramids lasting longest of all). There was some haunting real-life film of a town near Chernobyl, completely abandoned for twenty years – the extent of the decay was remarkable – together with lots of CGI of iconic bridges and buildings collapsing. Interesting if somewhat depressing, but dragged out too long with too many repetitions of dramatic collapses.

Ghosts of Glastonbury was another C4 programme featuring Tony Robinson (of Blackadder and Time Team fame) investigating a claim by an early 20th-century archaeologist that the remarkable success of his excavations of Glastonbury Abbey was due to advice from the spirit world achieved through automatic writing. While the claims made by the archaeologist were all pretty well disproved, Robinson got very excited by his own attempt (helped by a spiritualist) at automatic writing, in which he interpreted a squiggle as being a man's name (with a fair amount of imagination), and it turned out that a monk of that name had been associated at some time with Glastonbury Abbey. That reasoning had so many holes in it that I felt very disappointed - I expected better of Robinson after his comprehensive demolition of the "facts" in The Da Vinci Code. The programme would have left many viewers thinking that there could be something in this automatic writing after all.

(An extract from my SFF blog)

Anthony G Williams homepage and SFF blog