WCSFP ’13: BBC, CBC unite for “Stonehenge” copro

BBC2, France 5, the CBC, Smithsonian Channel, Austria's ORF and ZDF Germany are among the broadcasters uniting for Stonehenge Empire, a two-part doc looking at Britain's ancient Stonehenge site (pictured).
December 4, 2013

BBC2, France 5, the CBC, Smithsonian Channel, Austria’s ORF and ZDF Germany are among the broadcasters uniting for Stonehenge Empire, a two-part doc looking at Britain’s ancient Stonehenge site (pictured).

The 2 x 60-minute production is being made by UK indie October Films with Canada’s Lightship Entertainment and Austria’s Interspot Film.

October has gained exclusive access to an international team of scientists conducting an archaeological project at Stonehenge, and the two-parter will combine new archaeological evidence from the international survey, drama reconstructions and CGI, to produce “the most complete and interconnected picture of the how the whole site looked in its heyday; revealing Stonehenge to be a Neolithic Valley of the Kings,” the indie promises.

The partners unveiled the project at the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers in Montreal today (December 4). It is being executive produced by Adam Bullmore, Terence McKeown and Heinrich Mayer-Moroni.

The series was commissioned by Martin Davidson for BBC2; Sue Dando for CBC; Chris Hoelzl for Smithsonian Channel in the U.S., Perrine Poubeau for France 5; Andrew Solomon for ORF Austria; and Georg Graffe for ZDF Germany. The coproduction was set up by Lilla Hurst at Drive.

In a statement, October creative director Adam Bullmore said: “Stonehenge Empire will dramatically change the way we understand Stonehenge and the prehistoric culture that flourished around it.

“Instead of seeing Stonehenge as an extraordinary achievement of an otherwise relatively primitive, prehistoric people, it will reveal Stonehenge as the epicenter of a truly remarkable and highly sophisticated ancient civilization.”

Davidson, the BBC’s commissioning editor for history and business programming, added: “This is a really exciting project which will, using drama, CGI and the latest archaeological discoveries, allow us to properly understand the achievements and character of the people that built it; people who mastered deep mining, sophisticated engineering, textile manufacturing, ship-building, ‘micro’ gold-working, metallurgy, glass making, overseas trade and complex astronomy and mathematics.”



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