THe Normans: Wednesday BBC2 9pm

I read a review before watching the first episode of this new series: “Fascinating stuff, but very drily presented” was the concluding comment from the reviewer.

I would disagree. It was fascinating, informative and perfectly well presented by a knowledgable expert in the field, Professor Robert Bartlett. It came as a refreshing change to have a documentary that placed its focus on its subject rather than the whistles and bells so often a part of the contemporary genre: Things like “celebrity” presenter, CGI mock-ups, acted reinactments and incessant repeating of the same information, all of which seem to dominate much of documentary programming these days.

This programme served to remind us how documentaries used to be before the ten second sound bite of dumbed down television took hold.

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