Walking Through Time is back, and this time we got a whole series!
I spent three glorious weeks this summer filming in some of the most beautiful, and fascinating, parts of Britain. The result — thanks to the amazing production team — is three episodes that are beautiful and warm and suffused with joy, and which celebrate the incredible geology of the British Isles.
A quick summary:
Episode 1: Scotland’s Lost Asteroid 24th September, 8pm, Channel 4
An asteroid hit Britain 1.2 billion years ago — but we’ve only known this since 2008, thanks to the work of Ken Amor and colleagues… Mike Simms and I go in search of its impact crater, to find out where it hit, and just how big the asteroid was. Our quest takes us across the stunning, epic landscape of Northwest Scotland. Think white sand beaches, and soaring inselberg mountains. It is ridiculously beautiful. And I get to check out the Moine Thrust (with the brilliant Laura Hamlet), and the Bone Caves of Inchnadamph (where Dorothea Bate was supposed to excavate, but didn’t). Sharp eyes will spot a baby with her daddy and auntie in the background. And a fine glacial erratic.
Episode 2: Britain’s Last Mammoth 1st October, 8pm, Channel 4
Thirty years ago, Eve Roberts was walking her dog when she spotted some bones in a spoil heap at a gravel quarry near Shrewsbury. These turned out to be the bones of the most complete woolly mammoth skeleton ever found in Britain. Excavations turned up the remains of four more mammoths, all babies. At around 14,000 years old these are also Britain’s last mammoths, part of the population that returned to our shores after the last ice age… before going extinct. Adrian Lister and I talk mammoth extinction. Matt Pope and I talk ancient humans. Alex Liu and I talk precambrian fossils and fossilised raindrops. Peter Toghill shows me Shropshire in its full geologically diverse glory (Britain’s most geologically diverse county). And I go up in a hot air ballon. I got married in Shropshire, and I love it. And now you will too. Plus: bonus invertebrates.
Episode 3: Jurassic Coast 8th October, 8pm, Channel 4
The Jurassic Coast needs no introduction, really. But I think you’d be hard pressed to find a more stunning shot of the Lulworth Crumple. I go from Kimmeridge Bay to Budleigh Salterton, investigating anoxia from local to global scales with Paul Wignall. I get to meet palaeontologist Simon Penn, who is rapidly becoming the heir to Steve Etches, and his gorgeous fossils. I have a cuppa with Kevan Sheehan, who discovered an incredibly complete giant Pliosaur skull at Osmington Mills (and had it named in honour of all the Kev’s in the world). Hillary Ketchum is my expert guide to that pliosaur. And Eliza Howlett and I have the most trowelblazer-tastic time talking Mary Anning and Eliza Philpott in Lyme Regis. And we have a bit of a Landmark Trust love in. Oh, and underwater robot vehicle REX returns, ably assisted by Adrian Glover and Leigh Marsh.
Do watch! And here’s hoping for a second series!