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Britain's Most Historic Towns

  • 2019
  • Season 2
  • 6 episodes
  • History

Summary

Professor Alice Roberts is back on the road as she tells the story of key periods in British through the stories of individual historic towns.

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Episode 1: Wartime Dover

Summary

Alice Roberts explores the Second World War history of Dover, visiting an underground base beneath the famous white cliffs, from where the Dunkirk evacuation was masterminded. She also talks gets a first-hand account of the town's wartime history from a 90-year-old local and experiences what life was like for members of the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Battle of Britain. Plus, aerial archaeologist Ben Robinson takes to the sky to survey the challenges faced by Royal Navy vessels deployed in the English Channel.

Review

How do you give a fresh coat of paint to tales from history worn down with retelling? You get Alice Roberts to visit the towns where they played out. For this start to an engaging series she is in Dover exploring its vital role in the Second World War.

That produces good insights on, for instance, how the women of the ATS plotted waves of German attacks during the Battle of Britain. Or on the Dunkirk evacuation, where an aerial view of the breakwater, on which troops queued to be evacuated, shows how absurdly vulnerable it was: if anything, the film underplayed it.

And when Roberts dresses as a Land Girl to drive a vintage tractor, she ploughs a very respectable furrow.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

Streaming

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterProfessor Alice Roberts

Crew

rolename
DirectorTheo Williams
Executive producerDominic Bowles
ProducerTheo Williams
Series producerLiam McArdle

All episodes

  • Episode 1

    Wartime Dover

    Summary

    Alice Roberts explores the Second World War history of Dover, visiting an underground base beneath the famous white cliffs, from where the Dunkirk evacuation was masterminded. She also talks gets a first-hand account of the town's wartime history from a 90-year-old local and experiences what life was like for members of the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Battle of Britain. Plus, aerial archaeologist Ben Robinson takes to the sky to survey the challenges faced by Royal Navy vessels deployed in the English Channel.

    Review

    How do you give a fresh coat of paint to tales from history worn down with retelling? You get Alice Roberts to visit the towns where they played out. For this start to an engaging series she is in Dover exploring its vital role in the Second World War.

    That produces good insights on, for instance, how the women of the ATS plotted waves of German attacks during the Battle of Britain. Or on the Dunkirk evacuation, where an aerial view of the breakwater, on which troops queued to be evacuated, shows how absurdly vulnerable it was: if anything, the film underplayed it.

    And when Roberts dresses as a Land Girl to drive a vintage tractor, she ploughs a very respectable furrow.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

    Streaming

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterProfessor Alice Roberts

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorTheo Williams
    Executive producerDominic Bowles
    ProducerTheo Williams
    Series producerLiam McArdle
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