HISTORIANS love telling us 5,000-year-old civilisations were more advanced than we’ll ever be. But did they have telly? No. This is what they would have binge-watched:
The Han Dynasty, China, 202BC to 220AD
2,000 years ago the Chinese had already invented pretty much everything, from printing to toilet paper to kites. So they’d love The Apprentice, marvelling as corporate dickheads reinvent athletic equipment or try to sell a pink breakfast cereal to the over-50s.
Ancient Egypt, 1544BC to 1069BC
Most famous for the pyramids, Egyptians were very forward-thinking in their knowledge of anatomy and practical treatments. They’d lap up Casualty, where this knowledge would be put to the test as coaches drive over cliffs and men get impaled on lead pipes.
The Maya civilisation, 250AD to 900AD
Leading the way for modern foodstuffs by cultivating staple crops of maize, beans, squash, and chili pepper, the Mayans would be hugely invested in an episode of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, cheering on the four-letter hero as he yells at a restaurant burning their crops and demanding a human sacrifice to finish.
Classical Greece, 510BC to 323BC
Homer claimed to be the master of the epic, but 15,693 lines of the Iliad is nothing compared to 10,000+ hours and counting of Coronation Street. They wouldn’t have had to bother with philosophy and geometry and shit if they’d had a decent soap to follow.
The Inca Empire, 1438AD to 1533AD
An advanced, peaceful civilisation that flourished without inventing the wheel, they would have loved the shit out of Top Gear and positively cheered as McGuinness and the lads pulled donuts around Machu Picchu. Would also have been well into any straight-to-DVD Danny Dyer gangster movie.
The exact location and time period when Atlantis ruled the world is still debated, but as a city surrounded by sea dedicated to the highest intellectual pursuits, they would go absolutely apeshit for Love Island. When they sank beneath the waves they’d be so fixated on whether AJ would get evicted they wouldn’t even notice.