Monday, February 8, 2010
Academic Crush of the Week!
It was a tricky choice for academic crush of the week this week as there are a couple of great history programmes on the BBC at the moment whose presenters were very much in the running. Eventually I decided to go for Dan Snow for his performance in Empire of the Seas: How The Navy Forged the Modern World on BBC 2. Kudos to the BBC for taking a different approach with this programme. There is no denying that the Beeb make wonderful history programmes but some of them are a bit samey. Looking at the history of Britain through the development of the Navy was a new perspective. Not only can Dan handle a boat with impressive skill but he managed to imbue the series with a patriotic fervour that was inspiring without being jingoistic. He didn't gloss over the failures and the losses either. And if some of the claims for the influence of the Royal Navy made me raise my eyebrows a little (I particularly liked the suggestion that the Navy was almost single-handedly responsible for the restoration of King Charles II) I also learned plenty that was new. A series that is well worth catching if it comes your way.