How Italians made our nation
The British Sky1, 9pm
IT HAS been a jubilant summer for Britain. Not just the Olympics, but a reduction in the hourly rate at the main car park in Filey.
Now Sky Atlantic joins the revelry by telling the ultimate story of our great land. The British takes us back to where it all began – the Italians.
From the invasion of the Roman conquerors to the coronation of Elizabeth II, over the next seven weeks more than 2,000 years of struggle and success is explored, with state-of-the-art special effects, modern archaeological discoveries, and a moving re-enactment of the Plague in Wolverhampton.
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An exploration of the different components of national identity rests at the heart of the programme as the heritage of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland is dissected to reveal critical turning points, unsung heroes, and the characteristics that epitomise the nation – moaning, queuing, and indigestion.
The first episode transports us to the fall of the Celts. It's 58AD and Rangers have beaten them to the title.
These early Britons are a formidable clan capable of extraordinary endeavour. They've erected Stonehenge and are famed for their warrior queens.
But the land faces irrevocable change with the arrival of the 10,000-strong Roman army. Their villages are cast aside, replaced by giant pizza ovens.
These imperialists will launch a deadly attack on the Welsh Druids (I'm assuming that's a rugby team), face repeated assaults from the Scottish lowlands, and forge a culture that bred the man who became St Patrick.