Time Commanders (2003–2005)

TV Series  -   -  Documentary | Action | History
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Each week four contestants come together as a team to recreate a historical battle via computer simulator. With two of the group playing generals with an overview of the battlefield, the ... See full summary »

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Title: Time Commanders (2003–2005)

Time Commanders (2003–2005) on IMDb 8/10

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



2   1  
2005   2003  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Lynette Nusbacher ...
 Himself - Military Expert (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
Eddie Mair ...
 Himself - Presenter (16 episodes, 2003)
David McAlister ...
 Narrator (16 episodes, 2003)
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Storyline

Each week four contestants come together as a team to recreate a historical battle via computer simulator. With two of the group playing generals with an overview of the battlefield, the other two play Lieutenants who are more in touch with the progress of the battle. When they lose or win, two military historians take them through on the simulator what actually happened in the real battle. Written by bob the moo

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war reenactment | simulation


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4 September 2003 (UK)  »

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Trivia

The voice of the computer was provided by Kate Humble, who is married to series producer Ludo Graham. However, she was not credited under her usual professional name, but using her married name of Kate Graham. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Alia iacta est ...
24 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

... but it's loaded against the competitors in this game. Four contestants are designated as 2 generals and 2 lieutenants and given an army to command in a computer simulacrum of a historical battle. On the technical side everything is perfect. The computers doing the simulation are running the engine written by The Creative Assembly, which is behind the Total War series of computer games (Shogun, Medieval and Rome). I can only dream about the hardware it must be running on, even 4 years later my quite modern PC doesn't make it look half as good! So far so good.

My main issue with this program is that they set the contestants up to fall. The one criticism from the reprehensibly smug military experts which was made every week (except on the rare occasions that the team doesn't fall into the carefully laid trap) is that no-one took overall command of the four man team. In which case, WHY DID YOU CALL 2 OF THEM GENERALS?? Surely it would have been more appropriate to call them General, Colonel and Lieutenants if you expected one to take overall control. The other common criticism is that the generals tended to micro-manage the action on the battle field rather than giving high level instructions and letting the lieuts decide the details of implementation. In other words, the generals spent too much time dictating tactics at the expense of enforcing an overall strategy. I feel this *is* something the contestants should have figured out for themselves.

It's probably obvious that I have played the Total War games ad nauseam. There are a few things that I learned very quickly from battles which would have stood these people in good stead. First and foremost is the eternal triangle of the battlefield: Cavalry kill archers, archers nail spearmen and spearmen are death to cavalry. There are exceptions, but 9 times out of 10 it plays out that way. I feel that they should have been told this before battles, I was not entertained by the humiliating routs caused quite often by tactical blunders which that maxim teaches against.

All in all, the part of the program I found most interesting was the computer playing out how the battle actually happened and the information given about the character and genius of old military commanders, snippets about how the different troop types, armies, weapons etc. functioned. And it is completely obvious that Aryeh has enormous respect for the Roman army and the way it went about its business, he repeatedly refers to it as a "meat grinder"!


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