On December 4, 2020, producer Tim Taylor announced the possible return of the famous British tv-series on archaeology: “Time Team”, with a crowdfunding campaign to relaunch the show.
Time Team was originally aired on TV from 1994 to 2014 and was presented by actor Tony Robinson. Each episode featured a team of specialists carrying out an archaeological dig over a period of three days, with Robinson explaining the process in lay terms.
The Time Team program was very popular in the United Kingdom. It was on tv for 20 years (!). At it’s peak, 2.5 million people watched te program.
The series has been credited with promoting archaeology in the UK. In a 2008 report produced by English Heritage, a working group of Palaelithic specialists recognised the importance of the show in “promoting public awareness” of Palaeolithic Britain.
“Time Team has probably been one of the biggest things that has happened to archaeology for many years – to make archaeology and history accessible, and we need to keep that profile going whatever way we can.”
Stewart Ainsworth, Time Team member
But the influence of Time Team reaches well beyond the British Isles. Archaeology enthusiast from Europe and the United States have long discovered the series.
Six years after the last ‘three days dig’ was aired, the series is unstoppably popular on youtube. Some single episodes already fetched more than half a million views. With a total of 280 episodes, this means a huge and ongoing impact.
The series also has a lot of online fans and it now taps into this potential with an official ‘Time Team Classics’ YouTube channel.
Alongside this, Taylor is launching Time Team on Patreon. Patreon is a platform that will allow fans to support Time Team and see premium extra content for a small subscription fee each month.
Taylor: “Many of you have asked us to find a way to bring Time Team back. Well, we may have found a way of doing this – and involving you in the process.
From December 6th, programs from series 12 to 16 will be released on a new Youtube channel called “Time Team Classics” for free, supported with interviews, masterclasses, and insights into how the programs were made, presented by key staff from Time Team on Patreon which will be on subscription.