Puneet Varma (Editor)

Battlefield Britain

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Country of origin  UK
No. of seasons  1
Executive producer(s)  Jane Aldous
Network  BBC
Cast  Dan Snow, Peter Snow
8.2/10 IMDb

Presented by  Peter & Dan Snow
Original language(s)  English
No. of episodes  8
First episode date  6 August 2004
Genre  Television documentary
Battlefield Britain wwwgstaticcomtvthumbtvbanners337927p337927

Awards  British Academy Television Craft Award for Special, Visual & Graphic Effects
Similar  20th Century Battlefields, A History of Britain, Andrew Marr's The Making of, Reel History of Britain, Andrew Marr's History of

Battlefield Britain is a 2004 BBC television documentary series about famous battles in the history of Great Britain. From Boudicca's destructive rebellion against the Romans to the incredible feats of The Few who saw off the Luftwaffe, these battles all had wide-reaching consequences and implications for the future of the British isles.

Contents

The series is presented by father and son team Peter and Dan Snow with Peter explaining the battleplans of the generals while Dan explores the sites to give the perspective of the common soldier, sailors and airmen.

The episodes also featured "interviews" with soldiers from both sides, re-enactments of the battles and computer generated scenes with bird eye views and blocks to show troop movement.

In Australia, all eight episodes aired on SBS TV in its As It Happened history timeslot each Saturday at 7:30pm from 22 January until 12 March 2005.

Production

Dan Snow has stated that he had never intended to work with his father. This, however, had changed when someone at the BBC saw a video-diary about the 2000 Oxford and Cambridge boat race that Dan had recorded. Peter Snow was then telephoned and asked if he wanted to do a history series with his son. Peter originally rejected the proposal claiming that it was a ridiculous idea. Dan was able to talk him round and a pilot was filmed. Dan has stated that he didn’t find the work easy.

I was very wooden and I had to go on a steep learning curve. In the process I developed a huge respect for Dad's ability to explain really complex things in simple language, without ever dumbing anything down.

After the success of this pilot a full series was commissioned, although Dan Snow has admitted that he was told which battles to discuss by the BBC, rather than being free to select engagements about which he had gained some knowledge from his undergraduate studies.

Media information

A companion radio show Battlefield Ramblings was broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 to accompany the series. Each week a guest would join the presenter Muriel Gray for a walk in areas linked to the people and events featured in the TV show. The first episode was broadcast from Boudicca's Way in Norfolk with guests Dan and Peter Snow who argued constantly during the program and drew a reprimand for Peter from Gray for admitting to having carried his son up a Welsh mountain just 27 days after he was born.

Companion book

  • Snow, Peter & Dan (29 July 2004). Battlefield Britain. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-48789-0. 
  • DVD release

  • Battlefield Britain: The Complete Series (3-disc box-set), Region 1 (NTSC) and Region 2 (PAL), BBC Worldwide, 23 October 2006
  • Online game

    A popular online game Battlefield Academy was created by Solaris Media (now Playniac) to accompany the series. The game features four historical scenarios based on episodes from the series and was produced with Dan Snow, Matthew Bennett from Sandhurst and the BBC History team.

    Reception

    The series won Best Visual Effects at the BAFTA craft awards in 2004.

    Episode 1: Boudicca's Rebellion Against the Romans

    Find out what really happened when Boudicca stood up against the mighty Roman Empire in 60AD.

    Episode 2: Medieval Warfare at the Battle of Hastings

    Heralding the beginning of the Norman Conquest, the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when William the Conqueror faced King Harold on the south coast, was one of the bloodiest and most important battles ever fought on British soil.

    Episode 3: Owain Glyn Dwr and the Battle for Wales

    A look at the Battle for Wales in 1403 and the leader of the Welsh rebellion, Owain Glyndwr.

    Episode 4: The Spanish Armada

    England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 was a victory against one of the great seagoing nations. The dramatic events helped seal the British reputation as a seafaring people.

    Episode 5: Routing the Royals: The Battle of Naseby

    The Battle of Naseby in 1645 saw Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army win the decisive battle of the English Civil War, effectively bringing an end to the absolute power of the monarchy.

    Episode 6: A Clash of Kings: The Battle of the Boyne

    The story of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 - the effects of which are still having consequences in everyday life in Ireland today.

    Episode 7: Culloden: The Jacobites' Last Stand

    The Battle of Culloden in 1746 was the last pitched battle on British soil and brought an end to Bonnie Prince Charlie's rebellion, securing the crown of Britain for the House of Hanover.

    Episode 8: Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain

    The final installment looks to the skies for the Battle of Britain and the RAF's struggle to prevent a Nazi invasion in the darkest days of World War II when Britain stood alone. It looks at the incredible feats of The Few who saw off the Luftwaffe.

    References

    Battlefield Britain Wikipedia