The Dig (1)

We watched The Dig last night, a perfect piece of lockdown therapy exploring the circumstances surrounding the excavation of Sutton Hoo just before the outbreak of the Second World War. I wasn’t sure how close it is to what happened, based as it is on John Preston’s fictional account. Carey Mulligan is definitely a great deal more attractive than the real Edith Pretty. Ralph Fiennes is totally convincing as the rustic excavator. Stuart Piggott who joined the dig at the invitation of Charles Phillips was definitely gay. So, it feels convincing, but possibly only in the way that The Crown is convincing, taking liberties with the truth in the interests of dramatic invention. Anyway, it’s extremely enjoyable, not least for its depiction of the intellectual snobbery of Charles Phillips, the Cambridge archaeologist who arrives to supervise the excavation and take all the credit.

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5 thoughts on “The Dig (1)

  1. joan says:

    Looking forward to watching this as it shares some of the same DNA with Angus Wilson’s Anglo Saxon Attitudes and the excellent TV adaptation that was made of that. It will also remind me of when my children were small and we used to stop off at Sutton Hoo on our way to the youth hostel at Blaxhall near Snape Maltings – a good cheap place for family holidays.

  2. Leslie Hills says:

    Oh dear. I have not watched it yet. I’m surprised that Stuart Piggott is portrayed as definitely very gay in the film. Though I am sure he was, it was not how he presented in public and was his wife not with him at the dig? .I remember him very fondly and laughing a lot in his company. I spent the evening before giving birth to my first child, nearly fifty years ago, drinking his sloe gin with him. Different times.

  3. kruppers says:

    Loved it – especially as we stumbled upon it as we dredged the listings for something to watch. It reminded me of Anglo Saxon Attitudes too! It was a lucky streak following Pawn Sacrifice on iPlayer the night before – also highly watchable.

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