Bonekickers – giving archaeology a bad name

The trailers should have been warning enough. The BBC evidently wanted to make archaeology sexy, but has succeeded in putting out pure hokum, even worse than the da Vinci rubbish.

The Times agrees:

Bonekickers is the BBC’s big new drama of the summer, and while I’ve sat through some rubbish in my time, this is in a league of its own. And this from the guys behind Life on Mars. Here, a team of improbable archaeologists (played by well-known actors who it would be rude to name) excavate a site in Somerset, where they think they might have found a relic of the True Cross brought back from the Holy Land. Their discovery prompts a latter-day Christian sect leader and his followers to declare a modern crusade and go around chopping off the heads of Muslims with swords. Last week, the BBC broadcast the most accomplished drama series of the year with Criminal Justice. With Bonekickers, it has produced the tackiest.

One Response

  1. Agreed the dialogue was some of the worst I’ve ever heard. It took me several minutes to work out if it was serious or some sort of Chris Morris ironic comedy with the opening line about the playground. I’ve not seen any of Julie Graham’s previous work but on this outing hope she goes back to doing it, whatever *it* is. “OOOOOOoooo” we are supposed to utter as her character doesn’t so much appear as blast on to screen, in an explosion of nonsensically terse and rough sentences. “She’s hard nosed, but she gets results (and quite possibly) but she’s got a heart of gold (as all maverick, loose pieces of siege equipment tend to do)”. Unfair on Julie Graham? Possibly. As Hugh Bonneville is one of my favourite actors ever, just listen to “Married” currently running on BBC 7 ( for an example of what a good sense of timing and overall gruff talent the man is. But largely he was the main offender with lines like “They couldn’t have been fighting Saracens here! That’s just nuts!” In summary Dear BBC please, please, PLEASE, PLEASEEEEEEE don’t turn Tony Robinson into a maverick.

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