One of my favorite podcasts is by far “Stuff You Missed in History Class.” The two upbeat hosts take their audience on a well researched exploration backwards through the timeline twice a week. They’ve covered the things that make history come alive. On the way back from France with my daughter last year we listened to the episode about the man who sold the Eiffel Tower. There’s only one problem with the show that I can see. It’s only on twice a week and while they’re back catalog is quite impressive it doesn’t necessarily satisfy the itch to see history get dug up out of the ground.
Thankfully some people on the earth are British. Why? Because this is a problem that certainly someone from Britain has a solution to. If that’s what you’re thinking you’d be precisely correct. This is a problem someone from Britain has solved and that solution is called Time Team.
It’s a BBC program that ran from 1994 to 2014 and during its twenty year run the program followed its same three part format. The host introduces the location and its historical significance and finishes his intro with “and we’ve got just three days to do it.” A quick upbeat title sequence gets the reader excited to see what was buried and then we switch to part one where they’re ripping up an open field or someone’s pristine garden looking for buried clues about the past.
On time team each of the three parts corresponds to one particular day. For a reality TV show it’s a brilliant way to control your time doing principle photography while still being effective with the shows goals.
I have been binge watching this show on youtube for the past several weeks and it’s just delightful to see them unearth the past layer by layer and trench by trench. If you’re looking for a show to play in the background of your Sunday afternoon activities that’s got nuggets for everyone in the family, then this is a great one to get started with.