I’ve said it before, but the BBC is the best TV channel I’ve ever watched. It’s programming is exceptional–varied, informative and endlessly creative. They’ve made a science of infotainment, in the best sense of that ugly term.
A recent invention (well, from 2003, but I missed it entirely) is Time Commanders, a history-based game show that pits players against each other using the Total War gaming engine. Total War is a series of PC games, including Shogun: Total War, Medieval: Total War and Rome: Total War. I’ve played the first two and really enjoyed them–they’re very playable and avoid the most common pitfalls of real-time strategy games.
As far as I can figure, there’s no homepage for Time Commanders on the BBC site. There’s plenty of information on the Total War site, here’s a review and here’s a first-person account by somebody who watched an episode. I wonder if this show ever ran in North America? I can’t find any bittorrents, and nothing shows up on the file-trading networks.