Tonight on BBC2: Hannibal Double Header Grand Finale

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Tonight starting at 1120pm on BBC2 in the UK, it’s the final two episodes of On Hannibal’s Trail. The Alps were spectacular – but if you like Italian countryside, Roman ruins and wine contrasted with the colourful, chaotic Maghreb, you should enjoy ‘Hannibal the Great’ and ‘Hannibal at the Gates’.  We were filming just before the Arab Spring so it’s also a chance to see what Tunisia (home of Hannibal’s Carthaginian civilization) was like before the fall of dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In fact, it’s also a chance to see what Italy was like before the fall (again) of il Presidente, il Cavaliere, Silvio Berlusconi! (not much change there). We enjoyed Tunisia a lot, the cyling was tough at times (on one occasion Ben screamed, “Get off!” when a truck looked like it was coming straight at us – not caught on film) but generally great once you were out of the city of Tunes.  As you may know, the ancient ruins scattered about the countryside in Tunisia are spectacular.  Between filming and cycling in Tunisia I have fond memories of cafes, shisha pipes, old men in their groups and a very old world, atmospheric place.  There are some sad bits in these final Hannibal films – it really takes Hannibal’s story from triumph to tragedy.  I still feel sad when, at the end of our somewhat amusing battle of Zama recreation, the music rises up and Ben describes Hannibal’s defeat. Incidentally, the theme music to our Hannibal series is also used in other places too – I was surprised to be listening to it again in the National WWI Museum here in Kansas City, Missouri.  The museum here uses it to accompany its introductory museum film, and there’s also a “WWII in HD” documentary on the History Channel that uses it as well.   Enjoy the Hannibal grand finale!