The ABC is presently running the British Time Team show every night at 6pm.
I began watching by accident. We normally watch SBS News at 6.30 and I rarely watch TV before that. However, one night I was on my own, cooking, and so switched Time Team on for background noise.
Time Team is reality TV applied to archaeology.
The basic concept is simple enough. Start with an archaeological/historical problem such as a story that there was once a roman house or a castle at a place. The team then has three days to resolve the problem using the latest archeological techniques.
It was the three days constraint that initially made me feel that the show might be dangerous, risking sloppy work. However, I then became fascinated in the techniques and unfolding stories, aided by the almost breathless enthusiasm of both the presenter Tony Robinson and the professional team.
Human occupation of Britain has a long history. Further, the phases in that occupation lap and overlap across the landscape. All this means that you can never be sure just what you might find. -
The program must have been very expensive to produce. The resources, people and technical, available to the team would make the normal archaeologist drool. The three day constraint is obviously artificial, but it is important in creating suspense. Will the team solve their problem in the time?
The team also uses multimedia very well to present evolving pictures. This is what we thought the building looked like, this is what it actually looks like.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects lies in the background history whether it be the fall of Rome, warfare on the Welsh Marches or a the industrial evolution and a railway construction site.
My knowledge of British history adds to my enjoyment, but you don't need to know this to enjoy the program.
I really do recommend the program. The British web site provides a lot more information about it.