I am a historical documentary addict. So maybe I should try my hand at writing the perfect historical documentary script using all of my favourite clichés. What follows is my ‘one size fits all’ documentary script which I plan to simply adjust as necessary as the commissions inevitably come rolling in.
My “One Size Fits All” Historical Documentary Script
“In this programme, I will be going on a journey to tackle unanswered questions that have puzzled historians for many years. It has long been believed that the fate of whatever I am talking about would remain a mystery…until now. In a remarkable twist, this views have been challenged by a chance discovery recently unearthed after being long-forgotten and buried in the archives. Previously unseen footage provides a unique opportunity to shed new light on this crucial period in history, giving a tantalising glimpse of how our ancestors did something. I’ve been talking to some expert or other who has forced a radical rethink and produced an exciting new theory which is supported by the latest scientific research and DNA analysis. In this race against the clock, does her work provide the key to the mystery that will change forever our understanding of whatever it is I am talking about? We’re about to find out!”
*Please note: If you’re a BBC/CNN/etc commissioning editor, rest assured I do a great line in striding purposefully across fields, grandiloquent hand gestures and always wearing white gloves and talking in a reverential whisper when confronted with historical artefacts. I’m also brilliant at asking interviewees questions which I quite obviously know the answers to in advance and then feigning complete surprise and fascination with the responses.