Tim Taylor, creator and producer of the Time Team series, said the couple were ideal to lead the program into a “new chapter” and that they shared his passion for bringing the story to “a wider audience”.
Original presenter and “Honorary Patron”, Sir Tony has also supported the show’s new presentation duo, which has 150,000 subscribers on Youtube.
The inaugural excavation was filmed at a Roman villa in Oxfordshire – on the land of Martin Fiennes, cousin of Ralph Fiennes who starred in the archaeological drama The Dig – and at an Iron Age settlement in Cornwall.
The latter was suggested by fans themselves, as producers aim to include viewers as contributors and patrons, with continued funding dependent on their donations.
Time Team’s original race was known for its feuds between archaeologists with competing theories, including Francis Pryor and the late Mick Aston, and technology largely limited to trowels and “geophysics.”
The new episodes would have a greater range of technological tricks, the producers said, with drone-mounted photogrammetry capable of rendering sites in precise 3D models, and x-ray fluorescence that reveals the chemical makeup of different materials.
Fans will be able to access virtual reality tours through venues and will be treated to 3D flyovers during episodes.
Time Team will also take a broader view of the site’s history, with a forgotten heritage and a wider range of social stories highlighted.
A new behind-the-scenes feature called Dig Watch will be available to paying fans through crowdsourcing site Patreon, but new episodes of the program will be free on Youtube.
The producers said that despite the advancement in technology and the new format, the show will remain primarily about the fun of making archaeological discoveries.