Time Team

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (499)

  • Tony: Once upon a time, there lived the greatest hero we've ever known. He was brought up by the wise wizard Merlin; he became king of the Britain's when he pulled the sword from the stone; he married the beautiful Guinevere; he rode out of Camelot protected from harm by his magic sword Excalibur; he sat in council with the chivalrous knights of the round table and sent them to find the holy grail. But as all hero's will be, he was betrayed. First by the brave Lancelot, who fell in love with Guinevere, and then by his sister, who persuaded him to fight without Excalibur. Mortally wounded in battle with his treacherous son, his body was carried to the Isle of Avalon. From where it's said in our hour of greatest need, one day, will rise again. This king was called Arthur, and his stories known to us all. But actually he's shrouded in mystery, some people say that he was a chivalrous medieval king. Others, a gritty Dark Age warrior, others again, that he never existed at all. Time Team are setting out on a quest of our own to see if we can find out who he really was. It's a journey back in time through centuries of myth and legend, on the way we'll visit sacred lakes, pull our own sword from the stone and uncover the very first archaeological host.

  • Tony: It's October 2000, and this salubrious Hampshire girl school is about to play host to the almost permanently travelling circus we call Time Team. From just four programmes in year One, just a nice little hobby really, we now make thirteen a year. I keep thinking I've seen it all, but then reality strikes and sure enough this shoot was to have its surprises.

  • Mick: (looking at the cooled clay mold) Is this going to involve Science? Andrew: No. Mick: No? Andrew: No, just hit it with a hammer.

  • Tony: In our Forensic greenhouse our investigation has just taken a very macabre turn. Andy: This is a human femur, a thighbone, look at the fracture down the middle, that’s a very very unusual fracture. Margaret: I’ve examined thousands of human skeletons and I’ve never seen a femur fractured in that way. Andy: I’ve seen material like this in late glacial sites, down at Cheddar, not far from here. But only in association with sites where we know people have been eating each other. This is the kind of fracture you would get if you wanted to split that bone open to extract the marrow in the middle. Tony: If it is cannibalism it’s a stunning discovery. Until now there has been no evidence of cannibalism since the Bronze Age, but we’ve been able to date this bone to the Iron Age, no more than 2000 years old. It’s a chilling thought and needs further investigations.

  • Tony: What do you think might have caused all these bits to be in that cave Andy: My gut feeling is that it’s hole in the ground and people have been chucking bits of animal in it, and maybe some of the dogs are going in after the bits. Tony: That’s not as exciting as ritual is it? Andy: No, no, sadly but it could just be real life.

  • Tony: The entrance to the cave is at the bottom of an overgrown dell, even today it’s got a mystical feel to it and it’s easy to see why Mark is convinced that 2000 years ago this was a sacred place.

  • Tony: I can understand how you might lose something like a roman coin, but how do you lose a complete viaduct? Mick: I think the answer to that is the whole landscape has been transformed, there is nothing left of the original landscape here and the whole thing is buried in tip material and waste material from the industries, and so they fill the valley up and buried the viaduct at the bottom.

  • Tony: So this isn’t just archaeology, this is a blow for the workers, I like this.

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Notes (406)

  • This pilot episode of Time Team was never broadcast but was made in October 1992.

  • This site would be revisited for the 100th programme aired in 2003.

  • This episode was recorded 16-18 april 1993

  • This episode was recorded on the 4-6 September 1993.

  • Featured Finds: 13th Century Samson Post

  • This episode was recorded on the 9-11 April 1993.

  • This episode was recorded on the 16-18 September 1993.

  • Featured Finds: Mesolithic Flints

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Trivia (16)

  • It appears that John Gater, the chief Geophysicist is a vegetarian, as he queries the content of a sandwich, hoping it has no meat in it.

  • The reconstruction armourer is referred to only as 'Master M'. The Master being his title as an accredited armourer, and the M in some way related to his first name Emrys. His family name is never revealed.

  • Carenza Lewis was pregnant with her third child during the filming of this episode.

  • During the course of the episode Phil Harding managed to sneak a chocolate bar into Jim's cell whilst the turnkey was busy elsewhere.

  • The legs Phil discovered in the orchard trench ended up belonging to a dog.

  • RCAHMS is the abbreviation for the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

  • Phil Harding rode a horse for the first time in his life during the filming of this episode.

  • John Taylor's 40-mile journey stood as the world-record distance travelled in a paper boat until Tim FitzHigham broke it for Comic Relief in 2003.

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Allusions (30)

  • Mick: Well there’s been a lot of the midnight oil burnt last night. Before they had electricity, people used oil-burning lamps to read or work in the darkness at night. When your work or study requires you to be up until very late to solve a problem you are 'burning the midnight oil'. Seems quite apropos for a show dedicated to the past.

  • Tony: Meanwhile Stewart is also in Sherlock Holmes mode. Sherlock Holmes is arguably the most famous literary detective ever created. He is famous for his intellectual prowess, and is renowned for his skillful use of deductive reasoning and astute observation to solve difficult cases.

  • Diodorus Siculus Diodorus Siculus was a Sicilian Greek historian who lived from 90 to 21 BC. He wrote a world history in 40 books, ending it near the time of his death with Caesar's Gallic Wars. Fully preserved are Books I-V and XI-XX, which cover Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Indian, Scythian, Arabian, and North African history and parts of Greek and Roman history.

  • Tony: Just a Roman Little Chef? Little Chef is a roadside restaurant chain first opened in Reading in 1958, the same year Britain got its first motorway. As of 2008 it has 192 branches from Scotland to Cornwall.

  • Tony: A Berm? Peter: A Berm, it doesn’t explode. This is a reference to a famous scene from the Pink Panther movies where the accent of Inspector Clouseau once again leads to confusion as to the threat of a bomb.

  • Helen: How many swallows make a summer, how many graves make a cemetery? Helen Geake is referencing a famous quotation by the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) when he said one swallow does not a summer make. He was using it as a warning not to assume a single instance proves the whole, a point Helen is attempting to reinforce.

  • Tony: It’s a game of Battleships isn’t it? The game Battleship is a board game for two people. Although popularised in the US as a commercial board game, first published by the Milton Bradley Company in 1931, it was known throughout the world as a pencil and paper game probably created by the French during World War I.

  • Phil: Will nobody rid me of this turbulent scientist? Phil has cast himself in the role of King Henry II and Chris Gaffney as the ill-fated Thomas à Becket in this reference to a somewhat disputed quote by the King made to four of his knights about the trouble that the Archbishop was causing for him in the winter of 1179.

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