The Real Da Vinci Code, Channel 4

by | Feb 3, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Tony Robinson’s acerbic analysis of one of the great literary sensations of the past decade that claims Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and bore his daughter.

What to say if you didn’t like it

An utter waste of two hours in which Tony Robinson drifted around the globe seeking the truth behind Dan Brown’s The Real Da Vinci Code that obviously held such little historical truth, Tony would have had an easier job proving the Earth was flat.

What was good about it?

• The flagrant stupidity of readers who have swallowed the warped facts that “support” the fiction in Dan Brown’s novel being exposed for the gullible buffoons they are. Additionally, people who buy these trashy books at airports shouldn’t be able to hold public office, vote, have children and be ordered to stop breathing the moment they transmit their deluded enthusiasm to another member of their squalid circle of friends.

• Tony Robinson’s cynical presentation where he refused to be duped by the ludicrous half-truths that were the foundations of each facet of the theories about the Da Vinci code (at least until the very end).

• The clips from Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

• An English historian claiming an egg cup sized utensil was a close relative of the Holy Grail, when he could have bought it at M&S.

What was bad about it?

• Each element of Tony’s search shattered with only a cursory glance at the known facts. The worst examples included:

1 – The Real Da Vinci Code was inspired by a book called Holy Blood Holy Grail that posited the Holy Grail was the blood of Jesus passed down from his daughter to the modern day, when in fact “Holy Blood” was the result of a medieval scribe’s error who

translated San Greal (Holy Grail) as Sang Real (Royal Blood).

2 – The Priory of Sion, a supposedly secret society made up of Christ’s descend-ants, was in reality a jolly hoax by some French intellectuals in the 50s.

3 – The Cathars, a medieval religious sect who allegedly had the Holy Grail in their possession, were under an oppressive siege and their fortress was about to fall. One of their priests slipped out with “something”, which advocates of the Holy Blood theory

claimed with no basis at all that it was documents proving the existence of Christ’s descendants when it could have been a collection of erotic etchings or the music to the Medieval equivalent of Girls Aloud and to be captured in possession of them would have led to an even more agonising death.

• Tony, perhaps realising the whole exercise had been a futile waste of everyone’s time, futilely disputing Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper with an eminent art historian. Tony argued that in the painting St John was a Mary Magdalene, while the art historian said St John was drawn with effeminate features because of Da Vinci’s sexual predilection for effeminate young men. Of course, Tony was so determined to have at least one piece of evidence he didn’t ask how Da Vinci would be privy to such heretical knowledge almost 1500 years after the actual event.

• Quite often the “fact” that Tony Robinson was tested the veracity of was already hugely flawed. For instance, why should the Grail have survived to the modern day? Why the word of the Bible is considered God’s unequivocal word when it is more likely the billionth chain in a game of Chinese Whispers spread over 1000 years? And why wasn’t the credibility of the Gnostic Gospels, which claimed Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ favourite disciple analysed more closely instead of being unquestioned feminist propaganda?

• Tony’s great revelation that somebody living today could be the descendant of Christ and have his Holy Blood isn’t particularly startling as the blood would have become so diluted over 2000 years that while Jesus could perform a miracle of feeding the 5000 with just a loaf and a fish, his modern descendant could perhaps cause one more pea to grow in a pod.

• The wild theories about the Grail were presented with such little conviction. A typical case in point is concerning the myth that the Knights Templar secreted the Grail documents in Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. The narration went: “Some have claimed Grail secrets were buried in the pillar”, “but others are convinced…”, “but some people…”. All of which was utter waffle without a shred of factual detail.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

03/02/2005

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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