Episode 67: Invasion! & TV History

Friday, April 6th, 2018

For this episode let us join Professor James Daybell, the gardener of all of yesterday’s roses, and the historical gong farmer of the past, Dr Sam Willis, as our two raiders of historical knowledge bring you the unexpected history of invasion and television history.

James and Sam take you on a marauding journey of pillage and plunder from the Norman conquest of 1066 to the invention of the rampaging vikings, from the costume dramas of modern British television to how to make a history documentary, and from sound bites and interviews to the definition of public history.

James and Sam discover that this unexpected history isn’t all armies and warfare but is actually all about: knowledge and dissemination, centralisation and bureaucracy, processes and budgets, expectation and uncertainty, spin, agenda and agency, controversy and integrity, entertainment and education, popularisation and emotion, communities and ownership. Oh and tv historian Simon Schama’s leather jacket.

Whilst we are talking about commissioning programmes, how about this for a new history documentary … “Nazi Tudor Cowboys from Space” … it might need some work …


“Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World” (Attributed to Christopher Columbus)

“History shows that there are no invincible armies”    (Joseph Stalin)

More Podcasts

Episode 30: Toilets

11, 4, 2017 - ‘Then his Grace rose to go upon his stool which, with the working of the pills and the .... Read More

Unfairness! Homeschooling Chartism and Electoral Reform

1, 6, 2020 - Unfairness! Homeschooling Chartism and Electoral Reform James and Sam tackle the history of .... Read More

86. End of summer catch up

8, 10, 2018 - Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell talk about just what on earth they’ve been up .... Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with Histories of the Unexpected