BBC Television's premier science programme, Horizon is devoting two episodes in its new season to an attempt to demolish the lost civilisation hypothesis. Episode 1, which will be aired at 9.30 pm on Thursday 28 October, is entitled "Atlantis Uncovered". The preview in the London Sunday Times of 24 October (Culture section, page 83) describes the show as: "A rationalist counter-offensive against the recent revival of belief (notably in the best-selling books of Graham Hancock) in a lost kingdom destroyed by flood. Science can explain the striking parallels between cultures that Atlantis believers cite, the programme argues, and show that civilisations developed independently."
I'm flattered that my books have inspired such a counter-offensive from orthodox academics. At the very least I suppose they will have to admit that I got their attention!
Horizon tell me that I do not feature in Episode 1. But Episode 2, which will air at 9.30 pm on Thursday 4 November, is devoted almost exclusively to my work and the work of Robert Bauval.
Most of my friends in television have warned me that I must expect a ritual slaughter in which I will be intellectually dismembered and consumed by a tribe of furious academics. Apparently there was much anger and jealousy in academic circles in 1998 when my own Channel 4 TV series "Quest For The Lost Civilisation" achieved record audiences (the accompanying book Heaven's Mirror became a number 1 bestseller at the same time with hardback sales of over 100,000 copies in the UK alone). Demands were made to the rival channel, BBC2, to stage a riposte - and these two episodes of Horizon are the result.
We shall see. All I know is that the Horizon team, under Director Chris Hale, struck me as intelligent, decent and reasonable people. They spent two full days - several weeks apart - interviewing me at my home in Devon and as far as I could see they wanted to be fair and to give me the opportunity to defend myself.
So I'm still hoping for the best.
Warm best wishes,
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