Vindolanda on TV

Andy
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Andy
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Joined: 2:15 PM - Sep 11, 2006

7:27 AM - Oct 20, 2011 #1

SHOWING TODAY IN THE U.S.A. – Oct. 20, 2011 - On Nat Geo Channel
A body is found beneath the floor of an army barracks in the north of England. At first they think it is a monkey. Then they realize it is a child, possibly bound with blunt force trauma to the head. It’s murder. And justice must be done. A homicide detective and forensic scientists are summoned to investigate. The only problem… the child died 1800 years ago. And the last words they said were probably in Latin.

MURDER IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE

8 pm – Thursday, Oct. 20 – National Geographic Channel

Also, 11 pm – Thursday, Oct. 20. (Conveniently after World Series Game #2)

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/c ... edule/ngc/
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Badger
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Badger
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1:28 PM - Oct 20, 2011 #2

Remember the time zones here in the states. 8pm eastern. 7 pm here in the midwest. etc, etc.

getting the popcorn ready.

T.Wolter
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Andy
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Andy
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2:37 PM - Oct 20, 2011 #3

good stuff Tim,

You can let me know tomorrow whether or not to include the director - one Rick King - on my Christmas card list or not. In other words we have not seen this at Vindolanda yet, although with all drama-docs we wait with a certain amount resigned trepidation on how they handle the material and those that feature as well.

cheers,

Andy
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SacoHarry
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Joined: 9:29 PM - Aug 22, 2006

7:42 PM - Oct 20, 2011 #4

Hooray! Been waiting for this for ages, can't wait to see it. Thx for the heads-up.
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Badger
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Badger
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1:04 AM - Oct 21, 2011 #5

Yep, put him on the Christmas card list. Quite well done.

I detected only two errors, one by you!

There was an implication that the men of the 4th Cohort came from outside the empire.
And, someone expressed surprise that there were no buttons found in the burial. Roman buttons?

But a fine effort. I can tell you from experience that anyone can be edited into lookin' good, with about a 100:1 ratio of film shot to film shown.
So, Andy, how many weeks did you work with them? :D

Tim Wolter
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SacoHarry
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1:13 AM - Oct 21, 2011 #6

Excellent show!







*spoilers*









The Nat Geo crews worked hard to get their facts right -- how many soldiers, the relationship of Vindolanda to Hadrian's Wall, the politics & laws of the time. Andy, your spots are great, really geat! And Trudi comes off as a star. (To think, one time she stared at me and admitted she was imagining my skull.) Dr. Allason-Jones and the rest of the experts all add a lot. The uncertainty of the identity & circumstances is brought home at the end by different experts giving their own fully plausible ideas on what happened.

There are hints of the violent times, the nature of the sword-wielding haughty Gauls, but nothing over the top. Nice little side bits showing the Severan skull found in the ditch some years back. And the loaded dice suggesting revenge for cheating at gambling was well done.

The children are, of course, portrayed as beautiful & angelic -- you're supposed to feel for them, and even though you know you're being played, it works. (I have a 4-yr-old girl, the thought of anything happening to a child gets me.)

What was -really- impressive to me is that Vindolanda "usuals" were skipped -- no mention of the tablets, no big history of the Wall, or the long history of the excavations. The time was spent defining the Roman world & the Roman army of the 3rd C, and putting the science & forensics front & center.

The best line was early on, when Andy says (paraphrasing): "We knew early that something was not right, so not right it's rotten. And so rotten that it's murder."

An hour well spent!
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HelenG
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HelenG
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3:29 PM - Oct 21, 2011 #7

I've found this link on the National Geographic Website which shows the first few minutes of the program.

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/vid ... stery.html

Rather irritatingly for those of us in the UK, it ends abruptly a few minutes in with a "location restriction" message, but what there is is pretty good stuff.

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Justin-T
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Joined: 4:30 PM - Aug 19, 2009

7:17 PM - Oct 21, 2011 #8

Dang it, missed your post and therefore the program. Doesn't seem to be a repeat scheduled judging by the online listings, unless you know different Andy?

EDIT:

Managed to find a repeat via my DVR's search function: Thursday Oct 27th, 4pm Eastern.
Last edited by Justin-T on 3:25 PM - Oct 22, 2011, edited 1 time in total.
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Andy
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Andy
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6:34 PM - Oct 24, 2011 #9

hmmph,

Can't account for editing! Oh dear. Some of the soldiers of the 4th cohort of Gauls may well have not been from within the Empire, but there is no way on earth i would say the whole unit, so not sure about that one. As for buttons? can't remember!

they filmed with us for about a week, a long week in terrible weather, then back again for a few days. good to hear you guys enjoyed it :-) The intense interviewing went on for 3 hours under a spotlight with the director, so they will have had plenty of things to splice together... so to speak. One day I would love to actually have proper editorial power, like we did on the Edge of Empire Film. Also I think this is why I can't actually watch these things myself.

best,

Andy
Last edited by Andy on 6:44 PM - Oct 24, 2011, edited 1 time in total.
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Badger
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6:57 PM - Oct 24, 2011 #10

Andy, it was the narrator who had the gaffe about auxilliaries from outside the Empire.

As to the weather it looked rather balmy. No snow. Drab mud and grey skies.......just like May in Northubria!

Drop them an email they will surely send you a copy on CD.

Lots of Roman re enactors marching about. I rather thought they had borrowed from the Eagle Eye film. Guess that means it was of equal realism.

T.Wolter

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