Friday, 10 October 2014

The Depiction of Detectorists (Part two)


Not only "stubble surfers", the wrong
end of the gate, what do they
teach them in detecting school?
The BBC4 comedy show "detectorists" is already wearing thin, the character development and main themes now over, episode two consists of shallow repetition of the same motifs. Lance is still nicking stuff at work and being pathetic about his ex-wife, Andy is mistaken for a paedophile hanging around outside a school. There are excruciatingly juvenile exchanges between the two rival groups and a cringe-worthy depiction of a typical 'club'. Throughout, the pair still get enthusiastic about the next signal only to find it's rubbish, which seems to be the comedy's main standing joke. The revelation by the farmer that "Old Man Adam" ploughed up Anglo-Saxon gold and garnet personal ornaments produces a dilemma. The couple (with vacant Sophie tagging along) decide not to enlighten the landowner what it is - because then he'll "phone the beardies" and the couple will not be able to profit from the discovery. "We don't have any responsibility [to report it]!" declares Lance the food thief. How typical is that sort of attitude?


Currently available on You Tube (posted by Rom 14)

[As a footnote, the Saxon king they are after, Sexred of the East Saxons did indeed exist and was killed c. 616 in battle with the West Saxons, though he was a pagan, rejecting his father's faith (and therefore earned a mention in Bede's book) there would be no grounds to propose he was given a ship burial in the Danbury region  (some decade before the Sutton Hoo Mound one burial). I'd be interested to know where the programme makers got the rather nice replicas of the Sutton Hoo sword buttons and strap fitting, Ipswich Museum?].

3 comments:

heritageaction said...

I haven't seen it yet but isn't "The couple decide not to enlighten the landowner what it is - because then he'll "phone the beardies" and the couple will not be able to profit from the discovery" the depiction of a fallacy. If it's treasure they WILL profit by it if they report it. Only if they don't inform the LANDOWNER will they benefit as they'll have the whole value not half the value.

As for....

"We don't have any responsibility [to report it]!" declares Lance the food thief. How typical is that sort of attitude?".... well, not even PAS in all their fibbery would dare say most detectorists report most of what they find. Only in one particular do most of them probably report most of their finds - treasure - for they get rewarded for it and would be prosecuted if they didn't. Such is the British "voluntary system" innit!

Paul Barford said...

It is a bit more complex than that (in the story) the find was made thirty years earlier - so not Treasure Act but would come under Treasure Trove.

The tekkies were offered the box of "trinkets" but inexplicably turned it down. The reason for that is, I suspect, that the writer realised that if they'd taken them, they'd then come under article 8A of the Treasure Act and they'd have to report them.

heritageaction said...

"t is a bit more complex than that (in the story) the find was made thirty years earlier - so not Treasure Act but would come under Treasure Trove."

Actually, although apparently not Treasure Act, anyone that gave a damn about heritage would be thinking about telling the archaeological authorities. The farmer might be lying, he might have dug them up yesterday - and anyway the existence of such items on that land ought to be made known.

A decent bunch of people - amateur archaeologists for instance - would have accepted the items not refused them - and would have rushed off to the museum or FLO with them, not judged the situation in terms of what advantage THEY would get out of it.

The truth is, 17 years of pretending there isn't a problem has inured us all to morally reprehensible behaviour even when it's portrayed in an apparently "affectionate" sitcom.

Blow them I say. The pair of them. Nasty non-community minded self seeking yobbery. McKenzie Crook reckons he knows detectorists. I think he does and has portrayed them rather more accurately than he intended to.

 
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