First off I don't think the show is that fab, however I'm still watching because it's not a bad concept and the arch/history angle has got me - I dislike aspects of it but it's not so bad overall I'd stop watching. Of course I probably have tolerance for this sort of tv, as some people tend to remind me they don't think much of one of my other favourites, Primeval. But hey, here are those promised thoughts on Bonekickers.
-The name bugs me, not really in the spirit of archaeology. Bones aren't all that's dug up and it's not like they go ooh found some bones lets be disrespectful and unprofessional and kick them. I mean, WTF. It DON'T fit.
-I feel like the show is the BBC's answer to Primeval. It has the same sort of team spirit and academic Scottish lead, though it obviously has a different feel with supernatural/mythic angle to archaeology but I don't think it's hard to see a comparision to scifi/adventure angle on palaeontology, like they're attempting to use that kind of format. Which would be amusing because they had and turned down Primeval for Doctor Who in the end, thinking Who was enough but now seem to trying to draw the same crowd back to Bonekickers with Who gone apart from Specials for the next year.
-I don't dislike any of the characters, in fact I do quite like Dolly, but I feel like some of the dialogue for them makes them seem mouthy and cliched, and they alternate between that and a bit bland, like all the emotion comes out at once and there's no room for subtly. I don't think it's the acting, more the script and direction.
-Lazy cinematography. I specifically noticed it on the last episode, with the end speech Ben made. They went camera on him, camera on others, Gillian looking up poignantly, then back to Ben X 4 or the like. I'm sorry but Gillian looking up more than once a) loses poignancy and in my mind b) doesn't make sense. If she realises once he's refering to their relationship then unless she has a memory like a fish why would she be surprised when he says something more referring to it?
-I also think their (well Gillian's) OMG we might die relationship babble underground was a bit OTT and I'd have preferred more on the actual plot/historical flashback scenes. Having that suddenly crop up ep3 with, as far as I can see, not really any previous hints about it. Also please for the love of the Gods, no Viv/Ben/Gillian love triangle. I can't see Ben/Viv going anywhere much and it'd be unfortunate to have more of Gillian being petty over them dating.
-Should there not be more backlash over them illegally digging under the baths? Or them being semi-famous after the ep2 investigation/revelations? And perhaps from the first episode, the whole hostage and burning Christian situation? I know this is tvland but it'd be nice to have it mentioned, have previous events impact them, even one-liners would do - you'd think the ep2 things would warrant Gillian to be able to get a dig in at the head of Arch about maybe outselling his books or the like, or doing more meaningful archaeology perhaps.
I think really the show comes across as patchy. A friend commented on how it's like trash tv but it's not trashy enough to be that exactly as it's also trying to be potentially serious drama.
I gotta wonder with the sword that keeps showing up if it's going to be some Theory of Unification for historical figures + myths and legends - tying together Excalibur to Boudicca and beyond.