More exciting television tonight as we watched HANNIBAL with SPECIAL ELEPHANT GUEST STARS (oh and that chap from DEEP SPACE NINE again).
This was the story of the FAMOUS general Hannibal – who we known from DOCTOR WHO – during the PUNIC WARS which were fought between Rome and Carthage. Half documentary, half adventure story, half an excuse to use the BBC's CGI box to make great big battles… that adds up to television-and-a-half! (Minus marks for no CARS though.)
Hannibal was also known as Hannibal Barca. Daddy Richard’s Mummy was known as Miss Barker before she was married. I am saying nothing.
At the time when all this started, and Hannibal's Daddy was in charge of the army of Carthage, Rome was in fact not very important at all and Carthage was the most rich and powerful city in the Mediterranean World.
Which is worth thinking about.
We watched some of the extra features too and learned that Carthage had had a very powerful NAVY made up of big boats with oars. However, one of their boats crash landed in ITALY and the Romans found it and took it all to pieces so that they learned how they could build boats like that too! Then the Romans built lots of their own ships and took control of the sea away from Carthage.
This is why Hannibal had to do his famous crossing of the ALPS so that he could get an army into Italy, because they could no longer get there by going across the sea to Sicily. Hannibal's attack took the Romans completely by surprise and he kept on surprising them, and BEATING them!
On the Roman side was SCIPIO who was played by ROSE TYLER'S DAD! Like they had done with the BOATS earlier, Scipio learned Hannibal's and used them against him, first outflanking him on the sea to attack Carthaginian lands in Spain, and then to invade North Africa and attack Carthage itself.
(He wasn't half helped by the Senator in Carthage, though, who didn't like Hannibal and so made him stay in Italy unable to win against the Roman defences there and unable to come and save Carthage either!)
I am not sure what happened to the ELEPHANTS in the FINAL BATTLE because Daddy covered my eyes so that I could not see. However, the titles at the end started by saying that no elephants were harmed, so I ASSUME that all the Elephants got away safely and lived happily ever after.
[R: and don't ANYONE tell him otherwise!]