Follow TV Tropes


Series / Bonekickers

Go To
Now, for the love of Jehovah, can we please go to the pub?
Professor Gregory "Dolly" Parton

A BBC1 series that aired at 9pm Tuesdays from 8th July to 12th August 2008.

A show that could be described as Time Team meets Waking the Dead meets Indiana Jones, it involves a bunch of archaeologists who have increasingly ludicrous adventures, usually culminating in the destruction of whatever precious artifact they're after this week.

This show contains examples of:

  • Artistic License History: This show is practically built on this trope. Do not try holding a drinking game.
    • In "Army Of God", Gillian and Dolly claim the Knights Templar had been suppressed by the Church (along with French King Philip IV) for being troublesome religious fanatics who (it's implied) advocated poverty too much for the elite's liking. However, this is far from the truth. While the Templars were sworn to poverty officially, like monastic orders generally, over time the Order acquired massive wealth due to charitable donations, noblemen joining them placing their assets in the Order's trust, them accepting fees for protecting Christian pilgrims' property while in the Holy Land, and being entirely tax exempt. The Templars grew into bankers, inventing highly innovative financial techniques and establishing what some have described as the first multinational corporation. Over time, they also acquired large tracts of land across Europe, not only churches and castles for Templar soldiers, but also fields or vineyards. As their power grew, so did distrust. Philip in fact took advantage of this because he was deeply in debt after taking out loans from the Order. He pressured Pope Clement V, who dissolved the Order after many of the Templars were arrested, then tried on charges of blasphemy, sodomy and fraudulent financial dealings (which most historians regard as wholly trumped up). So the motive in fact stemmed from the opposite of what they said here.
    • In "Warriors", the characters find a slave ship that is dated about a decade after slavery was really outlawed in the British Empire.
    • "Warriors" also invented a group of Great Dismal Swamp Maroons (i.e. black people descended from escaped slaves in North Carolina/Virginia) who sided with the Americans to fight at the Battle of Yorktown, led by a fictional leader named Oban. The Maroons stayed in the swamps except for occasional raids, and none sided with the Americans. Also, the Battle of Yorktown was also a siege rather than open combat as is portrayed.
    • In "Cradle Of Civilization", Magwilde claims that 4000 years ago Egyptians and Greeks were much more advanced than the people in the UK who were doing nothing but "picking their teeth." They completely failed to mention that one of the oldest known human settlements, Skara Brae, was built off the coast of Northern Scotland, is still yet standing and they had a working drainage system.
    • Magwilde dismisses Stonehenge as just a bunch of rocks and ultimately unimpressive compared to things like the pyramids or Petra. Stonehenge is the center of a huge complex that was one of the absolute greatest technical accomplishments of its era and and the stones themselves were likely a gigantic functional lithophone.
    • The entire Boudica episode is based around the idea that the Romans really captured her alive, but spread the story of her suicide to discredit her. Even leaving aside how utterly pointless this is, both the Iceni and the Romans considered a defeated leader committing suicide to be an honorable death and being captured alive the ultimate humiliation (especially as they would have publicly displayed her in a "triumph" within Rome before a cruel public execution).
  • British Brevity: A six-episode series.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Dolly. He often makes open sexual comments toward women (mostly Viv). She realizes he's joking though, and doesn't cross the line. He clearly does care about Magwilde and her as well.
  • Church Militant: An evil example are the antagonists in "Army Of God", the series' pilot, a far-right Christian group who based themselves on the historical Knights Templar. They wanted to wage a new crusade against Muslims and all other people whom they considered "ungodly" in the UK. Accordingly, the members arm themselves with Medieval swords and wear tabards like knights.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: They discover and subsequently destroy the true cross, along with causing the death of a leading politician/religious leader, in just the first episode. Despite this and all their other history-shattering discoveries, it's a frequent plot point that the department has zero public awareness.
  • Faux Action Girl: Boudica, the Celtic Warrior Queen. They talk up her skills in battle throughout the episode, but in one flashback she's taken prisoner by one Roman guy without a fight, and in another flashback she's again menaced by a single Roman soldier and kills herself rather than be captured, again without even trying to defend herself. Her actress is also about five feet tall without a scrap of muscle on her body.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The team has two men (Ben, Dolly) and two women (Magwilde, Viv).
  • Get Out!: Magwilde tells Viv to do this and says she's fired after they have a fight.
  • Happily Adopted: Viv mentions that her adopted parents were the best.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Dolly considers religion just a cause for violence, and when Viv expresses some mild Christian sensibilities, Magwilde dismisses her with a crack about "God bothering parents" brainwashing her (while also sharing Dolly's opinion).
  • Knight Templar: "Army of God" features a far-right Christian group whose goal is to drive all "infidels" out of Britain, with inspiration from the actual Knights Templar. They are firmly convinced of their own rightness, and especially opposed to Muslim immigration. As a means to that end, they seek the True Cross, since it would prove Christianity right and they believe bring them support enough for their goal. They also don't have any problem with violence against Muslims (or anyone else who opposes them) to achieve this.
  • Long-Lost Relative: It's revealed that Viv is Magwilde's half-sister, as they share the same birth mother. This is mostly unexplored due to the series getting cancelled.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Senator Simon Joy is blatantly Barack Obama.
  • Off with His Head!: The infamous decapitation scene from the first episode.
  • Only Sane Man: Ben comes off as the most sensible, easy-going member of the team.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Dolly. He's a drinker, a womaniser and has rather un-PC views.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Excalibur, The Round Table [of Arthur], the True Cross.
  • Punny Nickname: Gregory Parton being called "Dolly", after the singer Dolly Parton.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Magwilde has one concerning Excalibur.
  • Sinister Minister: Edward Laygass is a very American style fundamentalist televangelist that barely even exists in the UK, and one that would probably not even get a TV show like the one he appears in. Oddly enough, if the series was made even a few years later he would seem like a blatant parody of a mainstream UKIP politician.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Muslim man who goes to meet the crazy Christian fanatic Jack alone, in a deserted place, after Jack and friend threatened him and said he wanted to start a holy war with the Muslims. Did I mention that Jack thinks he is a modern day knight and carries a broad sword around with him? Yeah, this meeting goes about as well as you think it does.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Edward Laygass is killed in the first episode. He is relatively famous in this universe and no one seems to care that he died and that the Bonekickers team is completely responsible for it. Also in the first episode is a woman who apparently gained miraculous healing powers after unknowingly touching the true cross; her claims are never examined by the characters beyond being a clue, and she's never mentioned again.