Fectio, Late Roman re-enactment society

What's New I Sitemap I Bibliography I Vortigern Studies l POLLS I LINKS l Games I Sitemaster
Vortigern I Wansdyke I Arthurian Collection I View Guestbook I Sign Guestbook l Webrings

Vortigern Studies > Fectio > Fort Vechten > Filming at Fectio > Filming by Time TeamNederlands

Fectio Index

VORTIGERNSTUDIES HOMEPAGE
FECTIO SITEMAP
WHAT IS NEW IN FECTIO
FECTIO BIBLIOGRAPHY
FECTIO LINKS
CONTACT US!

 

Fectio, the group
click here

Time Team
Friday 24 June 2005

By Robert Vermaat

Filming at Fectio
click here


Time Team Home pageTime Team is a very succesful TV series now in its 12th season (started 1993), a very respectable feat. This series, taking a fast approach at archaeology has, besides the ubiquitous criticism, generated immense support and enthusiasm with the public. Their formula, a speedy dig in just 3 days, has become a very popular format.

The normal Time Team format is a one-hour programme documenting a 3-day, archaeological excavation at a chosen site in the UK, but there have also been Time Team Specials with live reporting over the course of several days or showing what goes on 'behind the scenes'. In the early summer of 2005, Time Team visited The Netherlands on one of their very rare shoots outside of the UK, allowing me one such rare look 'behind the scenes'.

Panoramic shot of the tower during filming.
Panoramic shot of the tower during filming.

The special characteristic of the Time Team format is that, on each site, a fairly down-to-earth, local historical question is being investigated by excavating in front of the cameras. The regular team featured in the series consists of presenter Tony Robinson (formerly seen as Baldrick in the comedy series Blackadder) and the professional archaeologists Mick Aston, Carenza Lewis, and Phil Harding who have all become minor celebrities. In addition, there is a large team of support staff and a pool of experts that are consulted when evidence in their area of expertise comes to light. Besides excavations, the programmes also involve experiments and demonstrations with recreated techniques and reconstructed artifacts. This time though, the focus was not on a new excavation, but on an old one, the 're'-excavation of a Roman ship, while only a limited number of experiments (in woodworking) took place.

Filming the first intro.
Filming the first intro.
Shot from below for the first intro.
Shot from below for the first intro.
Getting ready for the second intro.
Getting ready for the second intro.

I had been asked to lend a hand before (with a draco), so when I was asked to make some arrangements for filming at the tower, I took the opportunity to meet the people of Time in the flesh. They arrived on a very hot Friday morning, with temperatures going past the 30 mark (signalling an official heatwave, the earliest in the year on record), but without the cameras, a minor inconveniance. And while waiting for the rest of the crew to retrieve these, Dennis and Graham went on researching, looking for the best angles and what to shoot where. After I had managed to find a ladder, me and Dennis prepared the tower by unscrewing some modern information signs that might get in the way. Tony, meanwhile, prepared his lines in the airconditioned car.

At last the crew arived in their vans with the cameras, and shooting commenced in the already high tempratures. Tony's first line was something like "As a Roman soldier, where would you rather be, on Hadrian's Wall facing the Pictish hordes, or here on the Lower Rhine, amongst the swamps?" After finishing that shot (plus once from underneath as well), it was time for the second one. This time, Tony descended the ladder (and I must add that it was not a particularly steady one) while speaking of the invitation by the Utrecht archaeologists to the Time Team.

"Where would you rather be as a Roman?"
"Where would you rather be as a Roman?"
My usual shot of the tower.
My usual shot of the tower.
A local bike was requisitioned for the third intro.
A local bike was requisitioned for the third intro.

Finally, we could move into the shade, for Graham had thought of an intro for the third day, in which Tony was supposed to ride a bike. The team liked the lines of trees along the Marsdijk (the road along the tower) that much that they wanted to do that shot as well. The problem was just that, although this is a major bicycle route, no bikes happened to be found anywhere.. At last a young lady on a very new bike arrived, and she kindly leant her bike to Tony, who then did his job like a true professional. With a big thank you they then loaded the cars and drove back to the site of the excavation to do a last afternoon of filming. Just in time, the next day we had some thunderstorms that not only cooled us down a bit, but also made it very wet all around the countryside..

Dennis and Graham on the tower for first impressions.
Dennis and Graham on the tower for first impressions.

Toni, Graham and Dennis.
Toni, Graham and Dennis.

The camera crew on the tower.
The camera crew on the tower.

Second intro - Toni gets a 'feel' for the ladder.
Second intro - Toni gets a 'feel' for the ladder.

Second intro - Toni gets down to earth again.
Second intro - Toni gets down to earth again.


VortigernStudies is copyright Robert Vermaat 1999-2005. All rights reserved