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Reviews & Ratings for
"Bonekickers" More at IMDbPro »

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48 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Appalling. Truly cringeworthy, patronising garbage!

Author: Malaegar from Durham, England
9 July 2008

Appalling. Truly cringeworthy, patronising garbage! I happen to be a 1st Class Durham Archaeology graduate (ala the character on the show) and I am appalled that they have the nerve to name places, and institutions in association with this show.

Perhaps, perhaps, if no one had ever seen Time Team, the awful archaeological practice might have slipped us by.

But in the light of a more sophisticated audience and a viewing public who are increasingly curious about the past, this was gratuitous, misleading, dumbed-down rubbish which would not even have made it into the most fevered wet dreams of a young George Lucas! Leave Indy to the Americans and Time Team to Channel four.

Be original BBC!

********* Oh yes… one more thing… A professor, doesn't usually equate to a dirty old man who refers to women by virtue of their physique.

It is ironic that such a character exists in such a bland show. The BBC has lost the plot on 'PC' despite its best efforts, lost the plot on licence costs and lost the plot in this show!

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27 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Worst. Show. Ever.

Author: kescross from United Kingdom
8 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We eagerly awaited the premiere of Bonekickers in the UK. At last, a prime-time programme that had it all - our nation's love of our own history, a bit of Time Team thrown in, adventure, established actors, you name it, it promised it. The trailers offered excitement, passion and a bloke with a sword.

Then we watched it.

As a nation, we stared, dumbfounded, at the screen. Was this for real? Apparently, the True Cross is under a dovecote somewhere in Wiltshire, along with a load of other crosses. An evil baddie wants to get his hands on it as a rallying point for all fundamental Christians, thus waging his own personal crusade against "Unbelievers". Mate, I got news for you. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would believe just how bad this tosh really was unless they had seen it with their own eyes.

Dreadful dialogue (Example: "This is rewriting the book stuff!"), even worse acting, some nurse with a splinter in her finger, the most suspect archaeology I have ever seen (If Tony Robinson was dead, he'd be spinning in his grave right about now) - seriously, the list of what is wrong with this show is too great to list here.

If there was the facility on the ratings system here, I'd probably push for a minus number. It really doesn't deserve the one I gave it.


Avoid like the proverbial plague...

EDIT: OK, three weeks in and, god damn it, I'm sorry, but I have to retract at least some of the above. Truthfully? It's HILARIOUS! This is quite possibly one of the funniest things on television to date. It's managed to go through bad and out the other side into side-splitting hilarity with aplomb. The pyromania (perhaps a certified Archaeologist out there can confirm for me if it's standard practice to BURN EVERY SITE YOU DIG to the ground...), the wonderful, bottom-lip-quivering speeches, the random use of cellos for background music, Professor Magrat's compulsion to burst into tears at every given opportunity, thus showing her vulnerable side, seriously, folks, this is marvellous stuff!

Just, for the love of Jehovah, don't take it seriously, will you?


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23 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Bonekickers - should be kicked into touch

Author: fariceislands from United Kingdom
9 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Bonekickers' is as dippy as I feared judging by the trailers and the hype surrounding this major new series. 'Never forget - history is now!' screamed the BBC website. I think that's the worst tag-line I've ever heard. Pre-transmission I thought it all smacked of desperation - I was right.

The series uses various 'historical', usually apocryphal, events as a jumping off point, all centred in and around Bristol - (Bath Uni masquerades as the campus of the 'University of Wessex'.) Bristol is not only where members of the hugely popular Channel 4 'Time Team' and series consultant Prof Mark Horton are largely based, but I suspect the producers thought, 'Bath-the-new-Torchwood-Cardiff'. I think not, especially as the Royal Crescent Bath is featured. The requisite 'babe' of an archaeo leader, (Julie Graham) seems to live there. Does she make that much money? She seems deeply dippy herself, at one point she hunkers down at the trench edge and murmurs. 'Come on, give up your secrets.' I always find talking to a hole really helps. She also snaps and barks frequently to establish her status as boss, turning on the hapless Postgrad (also a 'babe'), with the urgent pronouncement, 'Use your archaeological imagination!' In my day it was called thinking.

The said Postgrad, Viv Davies, whom we are to believe had her pick of placements, is also worrying; she doesn't know how to catalogue using the Pitt-Rivers method, (spuriously mentioned but not explained), nor does she seem to know how to use a trowel, as at midnight with a stranger in tow, she heaves a huge piece of the 'True Cross' out of the ground with no concern for stratigraphy, context or recording.

The 'trenches', (at one point for dimmer viewers helpfully cross shaped), would make any archaeologist cringe. At times the poor actors look like they are preparing to lay a sewer pipe. The first thing down it must have been the script. I have never seen such a preposterous use of a dovecot in my life. (You'll have to see that for yourself). Never has one episode, nor I fear a series, fitted the phrase 'holy crap' so well as this one.

The cast is starry - a cynical punt for ratings in my opinion, especially as the script is such a fumbling hoot. While Adrian Lester looks uncomfortable throughout, the wonderful Hugh Bonneville - (he must be doing it for the money) - tries to throw himself into the meagre pickings he's given. Hugh, looking uncannily like a cross between Time Team's Robin Bush, (historian) and Phil Harding, (archaeologist), hat and all, seems to fulfill the major characteristic required, i.e. at one point he pronounces, (rather too realistically I thought), 'Please, for the love of Jehovah, can we go the pub!?' A cry for which I think I will adore him forever. I await with bated breath, next weeks 'Dolly' gem, 'Does anyone else have a brown trouser situation?'

That's not even to mention the names: they rejoice in some wonderful handles, Julie Graham is Professor Gillian Magwilde, - Mug-wilde would have been better as she does a fair bit of earnest mugging to the camera. Gillian is the driven daughter of an archaeologist who is clearly carrying the torch and secretly in search of the treasure that seems to have sent her Mum to the madhouse. Adrian Lester is Dr Ben Ergha, to be honest, I'm not quite sure what he does. The resident evil is an arrogant TV historian, Professor Daniel Mastiff, played by Michael Maloney. Hugh is Professor Gregory Parton - who introduces himself airily to the young Postgrad, with the words, 'Everyone calls me Dolly'. I assume this is purely to illicit the line, 'Hello Dolly'. Not to mention he becomes Prof. 'Dolly' Parton, - a 'joke' so lame, it's surely only funny to six year olds and writer/producers who've downed a few pints...

For a series made by the same team who produced 'Life on Mars' and the wonderful 'Ashes to Ashes' I am deeply disappointed. I think this will get an award - for the worst, but maybe funniest series on TV. Will it sink without a trace or fall into the cultish so-bad-it's-good category - in which case I think the fans should re dub it 'S--tkickers'.

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21 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

It had it's moments.

Author: Nephilims_child from United Kingdom
11 July 2008

It had it's moments and I think they were all in the trailer. Hubby fell asleep through it and normally I would save it on Sky+ for him.

I didn't.

The cgi was dire, the acting was dire (even the rather yummy Adrian Lester couldn't save it) - oh and what was with the re-dubbing of Paul Nicholls??? I will give it a second chance next week but I am not holding my breath!!!

A lot of things I love are a little far fetched but usually have at least one toe in the waters of believability. This fell flat, the characters were all over the top, the lines in places were cringe worthy to say the least, and the storyline, possibly not the best choice for the first episode.

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Ridiculous show!

Author: Turethir from United Kingdom
11 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This review is only of the first episode, and if the show improves I will change my rating accordingly! I would have expected better from the creators of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. The dialogue was incredibly cheesy and clichéd, the characters flat, the acting hammy and the whole show was so ridiculously PC (especially coming after a show which features such an un-PC character as Gene Hunt). There were times at which I thought I was watching a comedy or spoof. Reading over viewers' opinions on the BBC message boards it seems that hardly anybody liked it - and those that did were more in the "so bad it's good" camp.

Spoilers follow… One of the scenes I found funniest was one in which two people have just been burnt to death under a dovecote in somebody's back garden - after a ridiculous swinging rope fight and the defeat of the bad guy by *singing* (if you haven't seen it, just don't ask). There are also a load of Roman crosses down there - including Jesus' cross - and yes, the fire is still blazing. These people are supposed to be professional archaeologists. There's a chance they may have found one of the most important artefacts known to man. So what do they do? They decide to go to the pub.

Will probably give it another chance in case it's just a case of a duff pilot (having said all that it was fairly watchable, in the sense of it being train-wreck TV), but am not really prepared to take it much further than that if it continues at this standard. It also has a lot of potential – the idea behind the show is interesting, and as I am a fan of Indiana Jones the genre does appeal to me. But with golden lines such as "identify yourself, creepy caller" and "two men with medieval swords just broke into your flat" (seriously), I think it needs to rapidly improve to keep me viewing!

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Poor man's Indiana Jones

Author: charlotte-183 from United Kingdom
9 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just watched this last night, though the acting was fairly dire and massively stereotyped (hard woman with heart of gold, defensive young woman, lecherous old man etc) and the plot ludicrous. Glad to see the writes didn't restrain themselves and went straight for the jackpot on their first outing, I wonder what is left for the team to find that might top the true cross of Christ. I would suggest the Holy Grail but Indy already got that one.

As a Christian, I also took some offence from the derogatory comments directed at some of the characters, along the lines of "You're a believer aren't you?", said with lip curled and look of disgust. Although I totally support the condemnation of fanaticism in all its forms. It was worrying to see that Joe from Eastenders still isn't taking his medication.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

This is my job???

Author: Anti-bonekicker from Essex, GB
23 July 2008

Okay, I'm a professional and not an academic, but even so. I've managed to avoid this series up until now, but last night featured the Roman Baths Museum and I had to watch it for the background. Pity the actors got in the way..... Not going to comment on the archaeology side (yeah I know it's fiction) but the whole thing was just nuts. And not in a good way either. I could have assembled a better plot from an Ikea flat-pack and the dialogue sounded like they'd shredded the script and picked up random lines off the floor. And the big surprise at the end? - anyone not get it before the programme was half over? And in answer to cake-26, I know of a few black archaeologists and worked with people from various ethnicities when doing work with the public, so the presence of Adrian Lester and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is valid but they are so under-drawn as characters as to be 2-dimensional. Hugh Bonneville played his part as if he was half-cut and I really wished I was too.

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18 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Truly Awful, A Real Disappointment.

Author: Jason-346 from Northampton, England
16 July 2008

My love of History and the strong cast convinced me to watch the first episode of Bonekickers. I didn't expect that much, the trailers and cast interviews, seemed to promise an Indiana Jones rip-off, all be it a low budget one. In fact I would have settled for a low rent National Treasure. As it was, even with my meager expectations, it managed to disappoint.

The awful story, terrible dialogue, criminal waste of an excellent cast, and archaeology that anyone who had ever stumbled across an episode of Time Team would find laughable. This was a truly dreadful program.

Having said all that I still had hope the series would improve, I thought maybe I was being a bit harsh on what after all was meant to be a bit of harmless entertainment. So I decided to watch the second episode before writing my review. Somehow they managed to out do themselves, I would never have believed Bonekickers could get any worse, but they managed it, and now I've wasted two evenings watching this dross.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A Poor Man's Indiana Jones

Author: freemantle_uk from United Kingdom
6 August 2008

Bonekickers is a poor man's Indiana Jones, but with less action and a lot less believable (and that's saying something if you seen Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls). The programme is about the fictional University of Bath archaeology department (the department not the university), and somehow this team find amazing discoveries and come across major conspiracies. The problems with the show are numerous. Firstly the programme takes itself too seriously and make out that it is a gripping thriller: it's not. The show is not well written, full of plot holes, bad dialogue and stereotypes. Whilst the West Country does have a rich history involving things from Stonehedge, King Alfred, the Rome Baths and the English Civil War, it is unbelievable that its involved with American conspiracy and having items like the true cross. What surprises me about the show is that Adrian Lester is in it, and he is a very good actor. He has been in Primary Colors, the Day After Tomorrow and Hustle. Some people have criticised the acting in the programme: I personally think that it is okay, nothing special. The show is not the worst one ever made, but there is a lot better around. The only good think about the show is it is made in the West Country which is under-representated in television, but it needed a stronger vehicle.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:


Author: DWaterson from Birmingham, UK
12 August 2008

Bonekickers is easily the worst BBC programme of 2008. That much is obvious: absurd, illogical, incomprehensible story lines; huge plot-holes and plot twists that make no sense; awful, cringe-worthy dialogue; downright wrong archaeology.

Yet, somehow I am compelled to watch it, week after week. Like a drug, it keeps me coming back for another hit, despite knowing how harmful it is to my braincells.

Quite simply, Bonekickers is the most hilarious show in ages. Utterly, insanely preposterous, once you stop taking it seriously it's incredibly funny. Treat each dreadful line of dialogue and each implausible coincidence as a joke -- or better still, a drinking game -- and you'll soon realise how fun this show can be.

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