To kick off the summer, we are going to explore Time Crashers. Time Crashers is a history meets reality TV series hosted by Tony Robinson. Ten celebrities go back in time to explore six different periods of British history. The different periods include the Elizabethan Era, the 1460’s, 1913, the Georgian Era, the Victorian Era, and the Iron Age. The ten celebrities are Keith Allen, Kristie Alley, Fern Britton, Charlie Condou, Meg Mathews, Jermaine Jenas, Louise Minchin, Chris Ramsey, Greg Rutherford, and Zoe Smith. Can they survive what history has to throw at them?
In this first episode of Time Crashers, the ten celebrities go back and experience life as servants in the Elizabethan Era. This episode has a run time of 46:31.
The scene for this first-time crash is Haddon Hall. It was one of the greatest houses in English History. Kristie Alley finds herself in the kitchen. Greg Rutherford finds himself sitting in a cart with dead chickens. They are joined by Charlie Condou, Fern Britton, and Zoe Smith. It is 1588 and the height of Elizabethan England. The elite are building grand manor houses and to run those houses they needed servants. The Time Crashers are given a guide as to how to live in the 1588s. The Time Crashers are servants in the kitchen. Kristie gets told off for eating an apple. The staff will produce a Tudor Feast. Tudor Feasts were expensive with a variety of different meats. These feasts were to show off the wealth of the manor owner. It would have taken weeks of planning and would have had 100 different dishes.
The second group of Time Crashers arrives at the manor: and they are Keith Allen, Louise Minchin, Meg Matthews, Jermaine Jenas, and Chris Ramsey. This group will be household servants and they are allowed to be upstairs. This position would have been of respect. Tony Robinson and Cassie Newland are keeping an eye on things. The household steward and head cook will keep an eye on the servants and will reward them or punish them according to the standards of the day.
Fern and Zoe’s first task is to strip a boar’s head and stuff it. Zoe is finding that task a challenge. Meg and Louise are going to wash the lady of the house’s clothing and will be using urine to wash the clothes. Urine was used for cleaning because it contained ammonia. Meg and Louise are shocked at what they are using to wash the clothing.
Tony talks with Cassie about the novelty of women servants. Women were employed as servants for the first time and they were paid much less than men. So the nobility would have wanted to hide them because they did not want people to know that they were hiring cheap labor. Fern takes the lead in working on the boar’s head. Zoe is still feeling squeamish about the head. Kristie helps Fern with the boar’s head.
The feast will take place in the great hall, where the master showed off his wealth. Only the most trusted servants would have prepared the hall. The household steward gives the household staff a lesson in manners, etiquette, and deference. Chris is finding the instruction challenge. Tony and Cassie talk about the etiquette books of the day and the rules that were involved.
The Lord and the Lady arrive and the household servants are confused as to where to stand. The house steward is not impressed with their manners. Kristie and Fern are working on sewing the boars in order to stuff the boars’ heads. The pair manage to break the only needle that is strong enough to sew the head together. Boars head is official off the table. What will the kitchen serve?
How will the Time Crashers handle life as Elizabethan Servants? How will the Kitchen staff cope with the tasks? Will the household staff learn their manners and etiquette? Will there be a rebellion among the kitchen and household staff? Who will rise to the challenge of being an Elizabethan Servant? Who will crash and burn? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out.
This was a series on my list of reality-based history to show, especially since it was hosted by the delightful Tony Robinson. It was cool to see how celebrities handle living in a different historical period. Time Crashers would be something fun to show in a classroom, not something for serious research nor serious watching.
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