The following was posted on the Time Team Facebook page tonight. Seeing as I hate leaving things unsorted, or loose ends blowing in the wind, I figured I’d post Prof. Mick’s words. If you’ve been following any of this, it is important you read:
A Statement by Professor Mick Aston. (13 Feb 2012)
As a result of my interview in British Archaeology there have been many comments and articles which misinterpret completely the points I was trying to make, which were about aspects of the television production side.
There is nothing that I have said in the interview with Mike Pitts that is in anyway to do with the archaeological side of Time Team.
Nobody should draw any conclusion from what I have been quoted as saying that I am at all unhappy with the standard of archaeological work that has been carried out over the last few series including last year.
I think the archaeology that was done this year, including the sites I was not on, was really, really good and this has been the case for several years now.
I have complete confidence in colleagues like Francis, John, Jacqui, and the digging team. People like Jim in development and Tim Taylor, as well as the post excavation work done by Wessex Archaeology, and these people will make sure that the archaeology is done properly, whatever happens on the TV production side.
I don’t think there has ever been a doubt that the archaeological work (the science and proceedure) performed on this series is anything less than exemplary. Again, I think a lot of people have been up in arms about the way the program has been structured as of late and the very forboading words that network wants to “cut down the informative stuff about the archaeology.” While I certainly think that Prof. Mick’s words offer a degree of clarification and take him out of the fray, I feel an aura of uncertainity still hangs about the show.
So if that’s settled, then the ball is in the series court now. If quality televisions continues to flow from Channel 4, this will be nothing more than a footnote in the legacy of a legendary series. But if the viewership continues to vent qualms about the current and future incarnation, this could be apex of a mighty terrible bell curve.
Time will tell.