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Channel 4 to air last Time Team series

Channel 4 to air last Time Team series
Staff Reporter
23 October 2012

After 18 years, 20 series and more than 40 specials, Time Team will air its final series on Channel 4 in 2013.

Channel 4 will increase its focus on innovative history programming, with new commissions from Darlow Smithson, Windfall Films and Oxford Scientific Films. Shows with exclusive access to archaeological discoveries include the recently announced The King in the Carpark: Richard III and the The People of Stonehenge (w/t), The Hood (w/t) and Attack of the Zeppelins (w/t), with Hugh Hunt.

Further one-off Time Team specials are planned for at least into 2014 and the series will continue to be repeated across both More4 and Channel 4.

Head of Factual Ralph Lee says: "As well as providing hundreds of hours of education and entertainment on Channel 4, Time Team has invested, over and above production costs, more than £4m in archaeology in Britain over the past 18 years. Time Team will continue to be on our screens for at least a further two years and we are discussing other ideas around archaeology with Tim Taylor, Time Team's creator and the production team behind it.

"Time Team was one of our first returning factual formats and entirely original when it first aired, but with innovation vital to Channel 4's DNA, 2013 will see a renewed commitment to history programming with bold new approaches and formats as well as a range of one-off programmes."

Commissioning editor for History Julia Harrington says: "Channel 4 history is all about bringing the past to life in eye-opening, entertaining and innovative ways, from the best archaeological scoops, to big factual dramas such as The Mill, to experiential formats such as Hilary Devey's Dole Office, and Guy Martin on our industrial past in the current series How Britain Worked."

Channel 4 is working with broadcaster Tony Robinson on a new history series Walking through History (w/t) for which he has devised four walks through major stories in British history: from charting the Second World War along the Dorset coast to the progress of industrial revolution in the Derbyshire Peak district, the Jacobin rebellions in the Scottish Highlands and the source of Tudor noblemen's' power in the Kent Weald.

The People of Stonehenge (w/t) will transmit early 2013. The 90-minute special from Oxford Scientific Films has followed the world's leading Stonehenge expert Mike Parker Pearson and his colleagues as they complete a decade-long study, analysing over 400 human remains including the ‘Stonehenge 63' - the cremated remains of 63 individuals discovered within the monument itseld, some of which are believed to have been buried when the first stones were laid.

Producer/director is Nick Gilliam-Smith and executive producer is Alice Keens-Soper.

The King in a Carpark: Richard III (w/t) by Darlow Smithson is about the hunt for the remains of Richard III, beneath a council car park in Leicester.

Having followed the project for the last two years, the Darlow Smithson team have been filming the archaeologists from University of Leicester leading the search for the burial place of King Richard III. The human remains, which show evidence of near-death trauma and curvature of the spine, will now be sent for forensic tests to establish whether they have indeed discovered the last English King to have been killed in battle.

Darlow Smithson executive producer  is Simon Young .

Darlow Smithson is also making The Hood for early in 2013, following an expedition to solve the last mysteries of HMS Hood: the greatest British warship of WWII.

Attack of the Zeppelins (w/t) is another programme for 2013. Windfall Films tells the largely unknown story of the first Blitz, the first aerial bombing campaign in history. It will be told through the engineering arms race that unfolded between Germany and Britain.

Engineer Dr Hugh Hunt (Dambusters: Building the Bouncing Bomb & Escape from Colditz) will investigate the technical challenges that each side had to overcome in their war in the air.

Ian Duncan is executive producer for Windfall Films.

Time Team will run in a 12-part series in 2013 with four Time Team specials, including the sunken wrecks of two of the earliest prototype submarines dating back to before the First World War, Lincoln Castle, one of Britain's finest medieval castles, housing one of the four copies of the Magna Carta, an attempt to reconstruct a bronze age Dover Boat using just materials and tools from the time and an investigation into the evidence for a devastating tsunami that flooded huge areas of land at a time when the first permanent inhabitants of Britain were just beginning to settle as farmers.

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