Digging for the Dirt (True Blood Post Mortem) and Dead Ringers

I'll be putting up a book review tomorrow, but I just discovered this and had to share it because it made me laugh so much I almost lost a mouthful of Scotch (which would have been a disaster).

This is a 'post mortem', a short clip attached to an episode of True Blood - some of them explain elements of the show, some, like this one, are comic skits based on the episode. This is from season 3, episode 5, in which we learn that Eric the Viking's parents and baby sister were murdered by werewolves under the control of vampire king Russell Edgington, way back before Eric was vamped (for those unfamiliar with the show, yes, it is always that mad-sounding).

The reason I love it is that this packs such a perfect satire of a particular type of archaeology show into its tiny 47-second running time. There's an attractive woman who wears a tight top but doesn't do anything and looks like Lara Croft, the presenter (who's British, for some reason - have we cornered the market in these kinds of archaeology shows?) uses terrible jokes ('there's something rotten in the state of Denmark') and over-familiar language to sound less scholarly and more 'approachable', there's a desperate attempt to dramatise a thousand-year-old event by shouting and waving the camera around over-enthusiastically and there are references to crazy legends and rumours (which, this being SFF, are in fact true).

While we're on this subject, I couldn't find my other favourite archaeology sketch, which I think was from Dead Ringers and involved finding a Coca-Cola can in a field and developing a theory that Roman forts were built from Coca-Cola cans, but I thought those who hadn't seen it might also appreciate this Dead Ringers sketch, in which Simon Schama and David Starkey go to war...

And finally, this clip, also from Dead Ringers, which perfectly encapsulates the ludicrousness of some history shows' attempts to use illustrative props

I'll probably regret posting all this when I make my popular prime-time history show, in which I wander around Rome, coincidentally at the height of the British non-summer, talking about things you can read in a library ;)


  1. So funny. I love it. Luckily I was not drinking whiskey. ;-)

  2. I find it's best not to have a drink of any kind when watching comedy! ;)

  3. I'd forgotten how brilliant the Simon Schama impression is. I must watch this when I'm not in the office (and can have the sound on!)


  4. I love that sketch - I think Time Team coming over the hill at the end is my favourite bit!


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