Monday, March 08, 2010


I had never heard of Bonekickers until Netflix recommended it a few weeks ago, but I decided to give it a try since there's pretty much no British show I won't check out (which trust me, does not always work out--Demons, I am looking at you. But more about that in a future post).

Bonekickers is pretty easy to sum up: it's a BBC show about a group of archaeologists. I thought it would be a pseudo-Indiana Jones type thing, with archaeologists traveling around the world investigating supernatural objects and having incredible and often wacky adventures. But there's really nothing supernatural about it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's more like CSI meets...well, it's really just like CSI but with really really old stuff instead of murders.

It's only got one season, but I was pleasantly surprised with the overall quality of the program. Each episode investigates a different period in history: ancient, medieval, colonial, WWI, etc. etc. and it's not just limited to British history. The characters are a team of archaeologists who work at the fictional Wessex University. The show tries to drum up interest in a season long arc as every episode contains a reference or clue to a certain ancient sword. A sword that the main character, Dr. Gillian Magwilde, is convinced is the sword of King Arthur. I'm 4 episodes in out of the total 6, but honestly right now I am kind of meh on the whole magical mysterious ancient sword thing.

Overall, it's a solid British procedural with an interesting twist and tells some pretty interesting stories with its characters. I can't speak as to the authenticity of the science and archaeological techniques, but I do appreciate how the show doesn't flinch from showing that most of what archaeologists do is dig in the mud and look up shit in really old books. It's kind of refreshing not to depict archaeologists as running around the globe having ridiculous adventures all the time.

Oh, and the best part of the show is Hugh Bonneville, whom you might recognize from Notting Hill. He's kind of hilarious, and yes, he wears a fedora. Apparently all male archaeologists do.

All in all I give the show a solid B. If you like history, old stuff, and socially awkward people, consider giving it a try.

NB: I would just like to point out that I spelled the word "archaeology" wrong every single time I typed it in this post. That takes talent, people.

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