18 November 2011

History: What inspired you initially?

I was musing about several things recently, and wondered what my inspirations were regarding history.

It transpired that both Michael Wood's unreleased "In Search of the Dark Ages" 1979-81 BBC documentary series, ie. Offa; Alfred; Athelstan (and five other subjects) and also ITV's 1983-6 drama "Robin of Sherwood" (starring Ray Winstone and Clive Mantle) struck the nail on the head to inspire me!

But why especially, despite me liking history at school anyway? Well, aside from sheer charisma, enthusiasm and stirring graphics & theme music in the former, and gritty re-enactions and warm English humour in genuine woodlands and lavishly re-created sets as the latter, these brilliant shows grabbed me by the short and curlies and 'dragged me in' to the wonderful world of History!

In an age before the all-consuming internet and mass media when even the now-defunct and fiddly VHS was in it's infancy, these shows were surely even back then a revelation? Maybe it was simply that they were just very very good! Perhaps near-perfect?