Although it is extremely sad that this is the last series of Time Team (at least in its current format), I have to say, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Series 19 took some serious flak, although while I confess there were elements of it I wasn’t that comfortable with, I don’t think it was the total disaster that some critics seem to regard it as. Series 20 however has thus far been brilliant.
At Dropshort for example (which I helped with the pre-evaluation), where things didn’t fully go to plan, you get to see the the “process” of archaeology that in this instance didn’t lead to the result that I’m sure everyone wanted. To me, this was one of the best, it reflects it as it is, sometimes things just don’t work out.
Then there was Brancaster. A fabulous dig which I also had the privilege of attending. Some magnificent geophysics, some excellent finds and finally, some decent weather! To be honest there hasn’t been one episode so far that I can say I’ve been disappointed with. It’s just so disappointing that it’s the swansong. Time Team has been part of my life for the last twenty years. It opened my eyes to what I previously (as an engineer) thought a particularly dull subject. Come Christmas, I’ve always been looking forward to the Sunday in the New Year around 6pm when the new series started. Please note Channel 4, I do not appreciate the constant buggering around over the last few years with the schedule. Time Team had its “spot” which everyone knew, to start messing about with it was just plain bloody stupid. It’s the same as the BBC deciding to air Match of the Day at 3am on the Wednesday.
Apparently there are plans to “re-invent” it, moving it back to its early days of fewer people and more of a “wing it” approach in filming allied to following developments in the archaeology as opposed to the recent scripted version that it had tended towards. Either way, it needs to continue. Sure, some of the “characters” are getting a little long in the tooth, but like any good team, new blood can be brought it to allow for a smooth transition. The trick is not to change everything at once. It simply has to continue, somehow life would never be the same without it.