The History Of The World Backwards

  • TV sketch show
  • BBC Four
  • 2007
  • 6 episodes (1 series)

Mockumentary sketch series by Robert Newman set in a world where time flows forwards, but history flows backwards. Stars Rob Newman, Jim Howick, Anton Lesser, Lucy Liemann, Richard McCabe and more.

Key details

Sketch Show
BBC Four
6 (1 series)
Rob Newman, Jim Howick, Anton Lesser, Lucy Liemann, Richard McCabe, Colin McFarlane, Su Lin Looi and Isaac Thomas
Rob Newman
Jamie Rafn
Carole Lochhead and Mobashir Dar

The History Of The World Backwards tells the history of an alternative Earth. Here, time flows forwards as normal, but history runs backwards. For example, someone born in 2007 will be 60 years old by 1947.

Here we see a very different world. People are so worried about climate change that the Chinese are demolishing coal-fired power stations at the rate of one per week; "technology collapse" has resulted in many scientific discoveries being forgotten; and Nelson Mandela enters jail a Spice Girls fan, only to come out as an terrorist threatening to overthrow the state.

Witness a world in which in the 1970s people are mad to get their hands on manure as Britain shifts from IT to farming; in which Alexander Graham Bell makes the last premium rate phone call; in which the Southern United States believe that the only way to keep their privileged lifestyle after shutting off all oil is to enslave the black population; in which Kepler is hiding from Galileo that he has discovered a source of electricity so he can listen to disco music; in which in around year zero a man with the Latino name of Jesus gives up parables in order to take up carpentry; and in which a ice age results in the last humans to eventually fall.

Additional details

Music composed by Astrid Williamson. Theme song The Wrong Way (lyrics).

Website links

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Tuesday 30th October 2007 at 10pm on BBC Four

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