Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Real DaVinci Code

Terrible cash-in documentary on Channel 4. Does Tony Robinson take you inside the world-beating bestseller?

Or does he walk across a lot of fields looking scruffy? You decide.

The show had no structure, no sense of fun, and no real desire to actually reveal anything. It was a complete shower of cold piss for any fans tuning in for the real story behind our favourite characters such as Noted Royal Historian Sir Lee Teabing, how Dan Brown got the idea for the book, or how the book can be so cack-handed and yet rivetting.

We got a hint of it in the few opening moments, with a micro-interview with Dan Brown claiming the book is accurate in every way, cutting to Robinson failing to find a completely made-up university department. An hour of this would have been quite fun, but instead, it went rotten, abandoning the built-in structure of the book in favour of... well... stuff like this.

ROBINSON: (grimly driving a hire car at sunset) I'm off to visit a man who claims to own the real grail.
(Cut to Robinson walking alone through field. In grubby mac)
MAN: (holds out marble eggcup) My grail!
ROBINSON: Are you sure? Is this tiny object really that which held Christ's blood?
MAN: No. It's a grail. It's not that one.
ROBINSON: So this frail, cheap object with "MADE IN EDIBURGH" might not actually be the only link between mankind and our creator?
MAN: Probably not, no.

ROBINSON: (driving another hire car) I'm off to meet a priest. Does he have the true grail?
PRIEST: We think ours is from the Eleventh Century. But it's covered in nice gold bits.
ROBINSON: It looks like an Easter Egg.
PRIEST: 74 per cent cocoa. None of your Cadbury muck.

ROBINSON: (striding alone through Jerusalem) Is the real secret of God's bloodline concealed here, at the Dome of the Rock?
NICE MAN WITH BEARD: Well, the Templars dug here a lot. But they didn't find anything.
ROBINSON: Ah yes. Tell me more about the mysterious Templars.
NICE MAN: Not really. The pope killed them all.
ROBINSON: But not before they revealed their arcane knowledge...?
NICE MAN: 'Fraid so.

ROBINSON: I'm walking across this lonely field towards a castle. It was here that the last of the Cathars, a group of knights more weird than the Templars, met their end.
ROBINSON: So, some escaped? Taking with them the knowledge of Christ's true passing on earth?
WOMAN: Well... four of them sneaked out with a bundle.
ROBINSON: Ahhah! The grail! We've found it! Which way did they go?
WOMAN: Ah. Whatever it was, it took four of them to carry it. The grail's very small.
ROBINSON: What if it was well wrapped in lots of newspaper?
WOMAN: I don't think so. Sorry.

He walks away across a lonely field, hands in scruffy pockets...

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