Top positive review
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Neil Oliver's Ancient Britain
on 21 March 2011
In four episodes, Neil Oliver summarises thousands of years of human colonisation of Britain and takes us on a sweeping geological and archaeological journey. With excellent computer animations, visits to spectacular sites, fabulous vistas, original artefacts and interviews with specialists, Oliver entertains and informs. He maintains interest and momentum even though there is so little known about this period of history with no identified individuals, no known events or dates, and the lives and beliefs of the people having been extrapolated from a limited number of artefacts and sites.
As well as the fabulous sites such as Carnac, New Grange and Stonehenge (to name just some of the the best known), Oliver himself is a star of the series, with his full screen facial close ups to add gravitas to his words; his wry humour and his trademark flicking behind his ears of his shoulder length hair. However, his excitement and obvious interest in the people, places and objects is infectious and at times moving.
There were a few worrying moments when Oliver joined "new agers" for the summer solstice at Stonehenge but almost immediately he took this event to a more serious level. Apart from some exaggeration e.g. "this was the greatest natural disaster the earth has ever known", referring to a 10 metre tsunami off the east coast of Scotland, Oliver generally maintains a serious historical narrative.
This is an entertaining and informative series.