July 9th, 2008


It had archaeology, a feisty female lead, Hugh Bonneville, knights templars, medieval artefacts, swords, mad Christians, virgin saints, Blake's Jerusalem, miracles and a cellar full of burning crosses. These are a few of my favourite things- so it's just possible I may have forgotten to pack my critical faculties before embarking on the journey. I gather the word on the street is "rubbish"- but I loved it. Of course it was totally barking, but why not? It was silly, not stupid.

The problem with this first episode was they tried to do too much. There was a large cast to introduce, a lot of medieval history and archaeological information to throw at us, a back story to hint at, a complete, twisty story to tell- and all in an hour. It felt hurried. No sooner had the creepy bad guy been introduced than he'd gotten his just deserts and our heroes were brushing his ashes off their sleeves and going down the pub. If I'd been in charge I'd have fought to make it a two-parter.

A lot of current TV suffers from this compulsion to rush, rush, rush.  Maybe it's because I'm old and my brain hasn't been trained up on multiplex movies and computer games, but I do like a little suspense.