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

110. Spies!

25, 10, 2019 - Welcome to Histories of the Unexpected where we demonstrate how everything has a history and .... Read More

Episode 46: Chalk and Valleys

8, 8, 2017 - ‘Don Juan now saw Albion’s earliest beauties, Thy cliffs dear Dover! harbour and hotel;       .... Read More

Episode 28: Monsters

22, 3, 2017 - ‘I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created’ (Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, .... Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with Histories of the Unexpected