03 November 2007

BBC's "Who do you think you are?" has some controversy

The show Who Do You Think You Are? is a BBC television show that explores the family history of relatively well know living British individuals (like the current Dr. Who, David Tennant or actress, Barbara Windsor). [The performance artists do make for a good show.]

It isn't available on most U.S. TVs, but several episodes can be seen online. GUBA.com has a few episodes. Search the free videos using the term, who.do.you.think.you.are. The video with the children playing isn't part of the BBC show.
Then click on the other video "finds" in order to start a show. Here is the rub, your viewing pleasure will be related to the Internet speed of your connection. I would suggest that for the first one play it with the interruptions just to see if you are interested in the show. If you want to continue with fewer interruptions, pause the video and let the buffer build up. There is a progress bar beneath the video screen as the buffer fills a yellow bar will progress across. When it reaches halfway, click play. You might want to view the show on a full screen so click the little box with the small box arrowing to a larger one. The shows run about an hour and don't have commercial breaks so while the buffer builds take care of things.

As for the controversy, check Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. It has a link that has even more detail.

If you have done much family history, you will find some fakery. It is part of the process. However throwing the baby out with the bath water is what some folks want to do. I think there is an opportunity for learning all round for the producers and viewers.

I have been letting my buffer fill while writing this. I am a Dr. Who fan and think finding out about David Tennant should be fun. As least more fun than hearing about the Spears, Hilton or Lohan women.

If you have a problem other than Internet speed, post a comment.


  1. I watched the David Tennant episode and it was superb.

    His mother's ancestors were rediscovered in Scotland and Northern Ireland; subsistence farmers and Orenge men.

    Yes, the professional genealogists and historians moved the show along. The TV camera showed the "cleared" area in Scotland and the inside of the Orenge lodge, football stadium, and battlements of Londonderry.

    I haven't much use for British genealogy, but the history and "personalized" history kept me glued to my computer screen.

    I want to see some of the other episodes now and some of the folks have roots outside of the UK so I should be fun.

  2. Sandy and I watched the show today and found it to be very entertaining. During the interruptions we had we paused the show and then came back to it soon as we could. We didn't want to miss any portion. Yes, we will watch the rest of the episodes. Thank you for telling us how to access this great programs. I do not see any controversy issues.