Time Team SL

timeteam[For those of you fortunate enough not to hale from this sceptered isle – the Corporate Democracy of Her Majesty’s UK – i should perhaps explain that the following will make little sense to you without some understanding of British popular TV programmes. The following links may help, but then again, the chances are, they won’t. My apologies for any inconvenience. 

About Time Teammore Time Team; Time Team at its best; Tony Robinson; Baldrick; Ancient wordage]

Run VT: Opening titles

Cut to a muddy field, somewhere in sl. It is raining.  Pan right to reveal Baldrick, erm Tony Robinson, and the beardy guy with the hat, striding across the field in animated conversation.

Tracking shot across horizon then cut to CU on Baldrick, looking excited.

Welcome to a very special edition of Time Team! We’re here in a muddy field, somewhere in sl, where it’s raining steadily – but it takes more than that to dampen our spirits, especially when we have such an exciting site to explore. Isn’t that right, beardy hat man?

OTS to beardy hat man, pull back slightly to spare the viewers the full horror of his face. Run VT – West Country ST.

Oh, argh that’s roight me dearie, being as what we ‘ave ‘ere is summat, well speshul, my precious plumpkin. Oh, indeed yes, that it be.

Cut back to Baldrick, as beardy hat man is despatched to nearest hostelry for rest of programme.

Yes, exactly – whatever it was he said – it’s really awfully exciting! Anyway, let’s get down into those trenches we’ve opened, before the landowner gets wind we’re digging up his field…

Fill-in shots for next 40 minutes – stock footage of trenches being dug, trenches being filled, scruffy guys waxing lyrical over shards of pottery, beardy hat guy drinking cyder, Baldrick getting childishly excited over a lump of wall and post holes, geeks sticking electric things into the ground, etc. All the usual stuff the audience loves, but indistinguishable from any other episode…

After 40 minutes, or when stock footage runs out: zoom in to Baldrick, excited grin on his face, staring down into a trench. Pull out to reveal bra-less, muddy woman with wild, ginger hair and loose t-shirt (try not to focus on breasts too obviously). Cut to CU of Baldrick.

Well, Credenza here has managed to find something completely unexpected in trench twenty-three and… (Baldrick starts to jog towards marquee, stuffed with cables, laptops and film crew drinking styrofoam cups of tea – follow, unsteadily, trying not to drop camera in process),  over here in the technical tent, we’ve brought together all our findings, which the local history society have been using to build up a picture of what life might have possibly been, perhaps, something like, back in the distant past. Digitalographer, Tarquin has made us a computer model showing us exactly what it could possibly, maybe have looked like.

Cut to Tarqin, then randomly back and forth to laptop screen – we can splice some sort of graphics in later.

Yes indeed Baldr… erm, Tony – it’s all very exciting. What we have here is, in fact, a seventeenth century monastery of an obscure order of SL monks. even more remarkably, we have found real, tangible evidence of what we can only describe as a medieval ‘virtual world’! It seems that the monks here were engaged in recording some sort of vision that had been ordained to them – a vision of a world that resembles our own, yet has many strange aspects that are difficult to understand. And then, without warning, the monks – and their remarkable vision were lost without trace.

dig_001Take a look at our reconstruction, where you’ll see rows of monks, sat in the great abbey library. One row of monks are dilligently illuminating manuscripts – where you can see miniature people indulging in all sorts of pursuits of the day: trying on clothing, dancing merrily, and even – pretty frequently, it has to be said – indulging in the carnal pleasures of the flesh! Look more closely, and you’ll notice that many of these people take on fantastical appearance – some are portrayed as cats and dogs; others swim in the sea, sporting mermaid’s tails; others, we see portrayed with fearful fangs and we even see depictions of people flying like birds!

Snap cut to ECU of Baldrick, looking bemused, then two shot of both as Tarquin continues:

One of the most exciting things we’ve found however, can be seen depicted in this row of monks at the front of the library – a section of the monastery that was know as the chattorio logustinus… literally, ‘the records of speech’. Here they would scribe a record of the conversations that took place throughout the monastery in great books that would then be kept for posterity – and, we believe, in some cases could be quoted at will – often out of context. In fact, we have a few fragments that have survived…

Cut to rostrum: scraps of stained paper, (any will do – we can digitise them later).

Here’s one that bears the words, “{12:32} hanc amavi et mores! Hooo!” – which means, “My heart thrills to this music!” – We’re not really sure what the last word means exactly, but it’s some sort of expression of joy.

And, here’s another: “sexus placet. dicito mihi ubi diam libero”… rather rude in places, I’m afraid! It’s something like, “I would like to have sexual congress. Tell me where I can find the things that have no cost”. 

Quite remarkable, and here’s another…

Snap cut to Baldrick.

Thank you, Tarquin. (Aren’t we forgetting who the star of this show is? I have played alongside Mr Bean, remember!) (F/X – please edit this audio out). Ah, here’s cuddly, colourful jumper chappy… perhaps he can tell us what eventually became of the monks?

Pan left to colourful jumper chappy, stay tight on face to avoid colour blending problems from the jumper.

Well the thing is, Balders, we don’t really know. The historical records indicate that some of the monks may have found their way to other monasteries, for example, the Order of Blue Mars and to the Nation of Avi, but the truth is, most just disappeared.

We do have one tantalising glimpse of impending disaster from a fragment of manuscript we’ve recovered from the site.

ECU of photograph colourful jumper chappy is now holding up and which is catching the full glare of the lights, making it unreadable.

It says: “haec agunt, non secundum opera draconian possumus – possumus iura proprietatis intellectualis certus securus? Sed non possunt reddere possumus ordine.” – “How can we survive under these draconian terms of service to our lords? How can we know the fruit of our intellect is secure? Also, we have no funds to pay…”, and then a word that looks something like ‘tears’.

The final piece of the jigsaw appears at the bottom of the fragment – “Nihil iam durum venalia niti – hyacintho libro videtur mors destruuntur” – “We can no longer depend on our durable wares… it seems we are doomed to the blue scroll of death!”

Final tracking shot of Baldrick striding across the field.

Well, there you have it – a bunch of monks inventing a world that couldn’t possibly exist, and then mysteriously disappearing, just as if someone had pulled the plug on them. Time for the pub, I think!

Roll VT: end credits.

s. x

I’m digging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I’m digging in the dirt
Peter Gabriel – Digging In The Dirt

 

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