King Arthur's Britain: The Truth Unearthed

King Arthur's Britain: The Truth Unearthed
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Review

Despite the title, this involving new documentary doesn’t focus that heavily on a certain Mr Pendragon and his knights of the round table, instead delving into the murky historical period that Arthurian legends first sprang from – the Dark Ages.

Beginning at around 410BC following the departure of the Romans, this 200-year period famously saw British society and the economy collapse while bands of overseas invaders put the local Britons through hell (stylishly re-created using animation here), all while the written word nearly died out.

But how true is that interpretation? Professor Alice Roberts isn’t so sure, describing the Dark Ages as “one of the most mysterious and misunderstood periods in British history” – and as she uses the latest archaeological techniques to uncover new secrets, some fresh light is cast on the old stories.

Summary

With access to a major new excavation on the Tintagel peninsula in Cornwall, Professor Alice Roberts pulls together the latest evidence to reveal what Dark Age Britain was really like. Long known to have been a Dark Ages settlement, the new evidence reveals that Tintagel was also a seat of power, and Alice explores the link between the location and Arthurian legend, tracking down the early sources for the period and the first written reference to King Arthur.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Professor Alice Roberts
Director Kenny Scott
Editor Francis Robertson
Editor Andy Lloyd
Editor Hugh Lewis
Executive Producer Belinda Cherrington
Producer Susannah Zeff
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History