Time Commanders

Time Commanders


When this show first ran on BBC2 a decade or so ago, the first series was presented by Eddie Mair and the second by Richard Hammond. Whatever became of those two? This time it’s an excitable Gregg Wallace who urges on two teams of contestants to re-enact the Battle of Zama between Rome and Carthage as a big, testosterone-y video game. (“You’re getting mullered in the middle there!” he bellows.)

As a way to teach military history, the show has some baffling moments, but go with it and you get a nice sense of how the manoeuvres of ancient warfare might have felt. It’s educational too: we learn about Numidian cavalry, the way to fight war elephants, and why the Roman “pilum” spear was designed to break on impact – so the enemy couldn’t return it with interest.


The military strategy game returns after a break of more than 11 years, with Gregg Wallace taking over presenting duties as teams fight against each other in virtual reruns of the world's greatest engagements. The first edition sees the Battle of Zama from 202 BC being restaged, with three wrestlers taking the side of Hannibal and his Carthaginians against a trio of historical board game enthusiasts representing the Roman army led by Scipio.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Gregg Wallace
Director Julian Smith
Executive Producer Alan Tyler
Executive Producer Lisa Hazlehurst
Executive Producer Bill Locke
Series Producer Jo Scott
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