the old and the new

8 October, 2015


#TBT: archery on primetime British TV, as a strong historical VT segment on the re-enactment of the battle of Agincourt in northern France bleeds into a slightly dumbed-down live piece featuring GB internationals Becky Martin (recurve) and Jo Frith (para compound) ‘against’ Nick Frost‘s local darts team. The whole thing overseen, for some reason, by Geena Davis, who has several well-known connections to archery, but wasn’t shooting – she was in town to talk about something else.

The Agincourt piece is pretty strong (NB am going to write an extended piece for publishing on the anniversary on the 25th), but the ‘dartchery’ piece I have problems with.

I’m always a bit torn with TV exposure like this. On the one hand it’s going to expose archery to a lot of people, some of whom might make it part of their lives. On the other, the dumb, jokey format reinforces the popular public opinion that it’s more a frivolous pastime than a serious Olympic sport that can change your life. Like archery is the ‘giant chess set‘ version of darts, played in the pub back garden. In the long run, I think this is detrimental to the sport, because it diminishes popular respect for it.

It should be pointed out that this has nothing to do with Becky or Jo, who did a great job, and everything to do with the lazy TV researchers who decided to go with the first dumb idea in their heads. Enjoy.

UK readers can watch the full episode here for a while. 



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