Time Team: Season 21 - Dig One - Cornwall
April 11, 2022 11:21 PM - Season 21, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Time Team officially returns for its first brand new episode in a decade. New presenters Dr Gus Casely-Hayford and Natalie Haynes join team members old and new to investigate an Iron Age settlement in Cornwall with mysterious underground passages, known as a fogou. Armed with new technology, and with help from Site Director James Gossip and the Meneage Archaeology Group, Time Team have just three days to shed light on this fascinating prehistoric site on the Lizard Peninsula. Can they do it?

Time Team was a long running staple of British television built around the conceit of an archaeology team having just 3 days to attempt to unravel the mysteries at the site. The original program ran from 1994-2014 before cancellation. The show in a great many ways got a rebirth during the early days of the pandemic when loads and loads of the episodes were released to YouTube by the production team. ("Time Team Classics" has the older episodes for free "Time Team Official" Channel has the new content including commentary on older episodes)

Producer Tim Taylor and crew put together a Patreon campaign to bring the program back. Together they've produced 2 new digs for the year and released the episode in three thirty minute parts to YouTube.

Not in the new digs: Long time presenter Tony Robinson is retired. Mick Aston, the brightly colored sweater professor, sadly passed after leaving the show prior to its cancellation. Phil Harding, chief digger and enthusiast for demonstrations, has been working on the battle of Waterloo site.

Returning is a whole slew of folks including John Gater, the master of geophys.

Episode Links
Day 1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8_sbq37AUs
Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEiOj-ZufaQ
Day 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXeuNTEfO4s
posted by drewbage1847 (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just watched this! It was delightful to see The much older Carenza Lewis and John Gater (and the fancy new geophysics rigs and that BEARD). I wish wish wish that the LIDAR cave people would stop swishing their rendering around at high speed. We get that you have sponsored monitors… it’s not helping make things intelligible.

This is maybe because I didn’t see nearly any of it in real time, but the original show always had a bit of a scruffy lo-fi vibe about (even when they were clearly pretty well funded). With a bit of a bird tossed at the inevitably sniffy local English Heritage suit-wearing killjoy. This new version is much more slickly Discovery Channel ‘produced’ looking. Although that could totally be that it’s always been that way at the original showing and it just seems quaint and scrappy in retrospect.
posted by janell at 11:37 PM on April 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

I agree they definitely were out there enjoying their new toys.

I see what you're saying in the sense that the way the original TT episodes gave that sense of a close crew having a laugh: Tony being excitable, Mick being the grouch, Phil being the ham, everyone bashing geophys and Stewart being the guy who's in his own head, wandering in the woods and ultimately being right. But that also took time.

I appreciate that Gus/Natalie take a different tack on presenting. Gus's voice is so damn soothing I want him to narrate a bed time story. Natalie definitely brought more comedy in the second episode.

And I loved to see more of both Carenza and Helen. The floatation tank is awesomely low tech and effective.
posted by drewbage1847 at 8:50 AM on April 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

I binged through all the old episodes last year, and was really reminded what great television it was. So I was excited by the idea of the new digs, and I did enjoy them; but I’m not sure they’ve quite got it right yet. I just hope they do well enough that they can make more.

I always liked the way that Time Team struck a balance between the reconstructions — Victor Ambrus's illustrations, as well as computer graphics — and the unspectacular reality of UK archaeology. There was a lot of time spent looking at brown stains in the soil and small sherds of pot. Maybe the balance is a bit out with the new series? The whizzy stuff needs to be in the service of the archeology, not the other way round.

And without Tony and Phil particularly, the tone is a bit different; the rest are all very likeable but not as entertaining. I guess also it makes a difference that, like all of us, they’ve just got older; as good as it is to see familiar faces, maybe some more young blood would bring a different energy.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:03 PM on April 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

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