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Civilisation 2: how should Kenneth Clark’s masterpiece be rebooted?

9 April 2015 7:45 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The witty series could be remade, shot for shot, with Benedict Cumberbatch as its presenter – or perhaps a naughty standup should take the helm? Series consultant Jonathan Jones dreams up a 21st-century version – and busts the myths about the great champion of high art

The BBC’s plan to remake Civilisation, the great 1969 television series written and presented by Kenneth Clark, is a topic to set hearts racing. What an ambitious idea, what an audacious project. Can British TV in the 21st century match the heights it reached in the era of Civilisation, not to mention the similarly ambitious television essays it inspired and provoked, from The Ascent of Man to The Shock of the New?

The proposed new show was mentioned this week, naturally enough, in a Guardian editorial speculating on what retiring British Museum director Neil MacGregor may do next. MacGregor is plainly a man who could step »

- Jonathan Jones

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