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The Games that Time Forgot

July 31, 2010

Ok, so I haven’t blogged in a really long time, and it’s been even longer since my last meaty entry. Ok ok you’ve forgotten to even read me. Fine, I should thank you for returning to read this blog with great pomp and circumstance. But I really have to tell you this now! It can’t wait. I’m sorry.

You have to make an hour of time to watch this on iplayer: The Games that Time Forgot. You only have until this Monday! Go now!

In this one-off documentary, comedian Alex Horne strives to reinstate forgotten sports such as the quintain (jousting, but without a horse); desperately attempts to re-enact the late XIX century oddity of a cricket game on horseback; and explores the womanly (and Sussexian) roots of cricket and baseball. Full of quirky snippets of knowledge about unheard-of games, of course, but more importantly hilarious and light-hearted throughout, with the occasional delirious, swede-biting* moment.

I loved it so much that I even forgive its deceiving substitution of the word “sports” with “games” in the title – making me think it was all going to be about wooden toys and ancient board games. On the other hand, Horne does visit the Sports Council at some point in the documentary to win sports status for some of the activities he has rediscovered…

It’s been a good week with the BBC iplayer for me. I watched a special Storyville called “Sink or Swim” on a Swedish male team of synchronised swimmers – almost tempted to say cute. I watched “Alice and her Six Dads” which, soppy title aside, was incredibly heart-warming. I watched another Storyville documentary on education in primary school in China: without the narrator, every scene on camera seemed more more poignant and more bittersweet. I watched a documentary about the selection of a special scholarship to Harrow School, a sort of high-culture version of Junior Apprentice I guess.

Plus Sherlock, obviously, but there was a kind of documentary theme evolving here.

After some rather disappointing election coverage and a couple other disappointments from British media, I’m back to believing they have the best TV over here. Mind you, my only other experiences are Spanish and Italian, but still.

*00:46′:00 and onward


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