Time Trumpet opening title screen
|Created by||Armando Iannucci
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||approx. 30 minutes (per episode)|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|Original release||3 August– 7 September 2006|
Time Trumpet is a six-episode satirical television comedy series which aired on BBC Two in 2006. The series was written by Armando Iannucci, Roger Drew and Will Smith in a similar manner to Iannucci's earlier one-off programmes 2004: The Stupid Version and Clinton: His Struggle with Dirt. One sketch was later spun off by Irish network RTÉ into the cult TV series Soupy Norman in 2007.
Time Trumpet is set in the year 2031 and is a retrospective documentary on the first thirty years of the 21st century. Actors and actresses played the parts of 'today's stars' thirty years on, who were interviewed as part of the show. These 'older selves' included David Beckham, Anne Robinson, David Cameron, Sebastian Coe, Charlotte Church, Ant & Dec, June Sarpong, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Charles Clarke, Noel Edmonds, Chris Moyles, Gordon Brown, David Miliband, Bob Geldof, Natasha Kaplinsky, Prince Harry, Jamie Oliver and the woman who released the doves at the end of the Michael Jackson trial.
The show also included interviews with comedians, billed in the show as "top cultural commentators slash TV pundits", speaking about the events of the past. These included Stewart Lee (also appearing as the baldheaded 'Stu Lee', the implication being that he was contractually obliged to shave his head and change his name), Richard Ayoade, Jo Enright, Matthew Holness, Adam Buxton, Mark Watson and David Sant.
Iannucci himself is seen once per episode interviewing guests, but at an oblique angle and with a different physical appearance. Series co-creator Will Smith also appears in the series, as the host of a TV show My Name is Phil, where he attempts to convince members of the public that his name is Phil rather than Will.
Each episode had a main theme running throughout, such as The Olympics or the War in Iraq. The main running gag was the promise of a catch up with "an increasingly odd Tom Cruise" and would feature the elderly actor making bizarre claims such as to be "pound for pound the world's strongest man".
|Episode||Airdate||Main Theme||Featured Content|
|Episode 1||3 August 2006||Early 21st Century Politics|
|Episode 2||10 August 2006||Binge Drinking in Britain|
|Episode 3||24 August 2006||The War on Terror|
|Episode 4||17 August 2006||The Royal Family|
|Episode 5||31 August 2006||Iraq War|
|Episode 6||7 September 2006||The 2012 Olympics|
The third episode, which featured a jumbo jet crashing into the British Houses of Parliament and the subsequent assassination of Tony Blair, was due to be screened on 17 August 2006, but was cancelled in the wake of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot and substituted by another episode. The cancelled episode was subsequently shown a week later, without the footage of an assassinated Blair. However, a related sketch was aired, involving a play on the events of 9/11, where two towers are flown into an aeroplane.
A DVD of the series was released on 27 April 2009. The assassination of Tony Blair sketch was removed from this, as were some sketches that included footage of the Olympic Games.
- One sketch depicted real-life Polish soap opera Pierwsza miłość becoming a hit across Europe, which was followed by a scene dubbed into English in a humorous way, changing the setting from Poland to Ireland. This ended up forming the basis of the cult TV show Soupy Norman on RTÉ.
- Alan Moore's final issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen includes a reference to "Rape An Ape", as well as several references to Iannucci's The Thick of It.
In December 2011, US network Comedy Central announced they would be remaking the series, with Iannucci as producer. Ultimately the series was not picked up by the network, and Iannucci has since moved on to other projects.
- Time Trumpet official credits URL accessed November 2006
- Chortle.co.uk, URL accessed 5 November 2006
- Amazon.co.uk, URL accessed 12 February 2009
- "Armando Iannucci's Time Trumpet to be adapted in US". British Comedy Guide. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- Bradford Evans (5 July 2012). "8 Promising Series That Comedy Central Didn't Pick Up This Year". SplitSider. Retrieved 15 April 2015.