As the television, and radio, appears to have been overtaken by the false idolatry of the football and that grisly programme “Big Brother”, I have been watching history documentaries on DVD.  I started purchasing DVDs last year, at heavy discounts, in preparation for what I knew would be a dire summer in terms of entertainment. 

I get home from work in the early hours of the morning, at which time, all (available on freeview) is given over to analysis of sporting games or snoring fame hunters, but I like to be able to watch something decent while I have my dinner, as I unwind before going to bed.  

A  History of Scotland“, presented by Neil Oliver, is a 10 part series exploring the birth and life of that nation.  It is more about how Scotland came to be and how it is governed to this day rather than an exploration of it’s people, customs and culture.  I found it fascinating, as I knew very little about Scotland.  I had learned much about English history in schoool, but not much on the other countries that make up the British Isles.

A History of Britain” by Simon Schama follows the same lines as the series on Scotland, or so it seems.  I have only watched the first of six discs.

As I am enjoying these visually pleasing, potted histories, I was hoping to find more of the same on Ireland, or even Wales, but it seems no-one has produced these yet.  If anyone has recommendations, please be so kind as to pass them on.

I did find a curious thing at the end of the “A  History of Scotland” series, tucked away on the last disc.  It was “How the Celts Saved Britain” presented by Dan Snow.   Not so sure the title was apt, though.  It seemed more about how Irish Christianity lifted Britain from the dark ages more than anything.   I must admit, though, I can’t be sure where it went, as I kind of tuned out; it just couldn’t hold my attention. 

Now, I am looking out for a suprise at the end of “A History of Britain“, but I am refraining from peeking ahead.


Filed under Britain, Reviews, Scotland

3 responses to “Documentaries

  1. I agree “how the celts” is not that good at all; it pretty much is a rehash of standard leaving cert texts about “the land of saints and scholars” imo.

    I can heartily recommend Blood of the Irish for prehistory and genetics. I love that subject anyway and found this really good.

    ALso there’s a fab RTE documentary “hidden history” which does the Irish nation from the 1900s – that’s very good as well if a bit more modern.

  2. solsticedreamer

    ‘how the celts’ was a huge let down and i stopped watching after about twenty minutes!

  3. I must admit I am usually intereted in documentaries on the “celts”, but this one was just a snooze-fest.

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