Adam Hart-Davis uncovers how Britain's iconic cities were built.
Runtime: 60 minutes
How Britain Was Built - How to Train Your Dragon - Netflix
How to Train Your Dragon is a series of twelve children's books written by British author Cressida Cowell. The books are set in a fictional Viking world and focus on the experiences of protagonist Hiccup as he overcomes great obstacles on his journey of Becoming a Hero, the Hard Way. The books were published by Hodder Children's Books in the UK and by Little, Brown and Company in the US. The first book was published in 2003 and the last one in 2015. As of 2015, the series has sold more than seven million copies around the world. The books have subsequently been made into a franchise consisting of two feature films of the same name, several short stories and a animated television series produced by DreamWorks Animation. A third movie is due to be released on March 1, 2019.
How Britain Was Built - How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse (2006) - Netflix
This book is the fourth in the series. During a hunting-with-bows-and-arrows-on-skis expedition, Hiccup finds Fishlegs acting strangely when they spot a group of Hysterics, a tribe of scary lunatic Vikings, who chase Fishlegs. Hiccup shoots an arrow at the chief Hysteric (known as Norbert the Nutjob). Hiccup and Fishlegs flee on their skis, with the Hysterics behind in hot pursuit. Hiccup falls off the side of a cliff. At first One-eye, the Saber-Toothed Driver dragon which had pulled Hiccup and Fishlegs to the top of the mountain, refuses to rescue Hiccup; but when Hiccup points out that if he does not save him, Snotface Snotlout (who had previously treated One-eye very badly and given him a good whipping) will become Chief of the Tribe, One-eye saves Hiccup after all, and he and Fishlegs return to the village. Hiccup is worried about Fishlegs and takes him to see Old Wrinkly. Old Wrinkly examines Fishlegs and tells Hiccup that Fishlegs is suffering from Vorpentitis, a disease caused by the sting of a Venomous Vorpent, and the only cure to this disease is a vegetable called a potato, which can only be found in America. Hiccup does not believe him, because all Vikings, except the Hysterics, believe that the world is as flat as a pancake, and there is NO such place as America. Old Wrinkly tells Hiccup that Norbert the Nutjob's father, Bigjob, had actually gone to America and made friends with the Americans, which he called “feather people”, and brought back the potato to prove he was right about America being true. However, he was attacked by a Doomfang. Old Wrinkly predicts the potato might be in the Hysteric Territories, and tells him that he must bring it back before ten o'clock the next morning, or else Fishlegs will die. Hiccup brings Camicazi and Toothless (Toothless was supposed to be hibernating like the other hunting dragons, but he did not dig his hibernating hole deep enough, which could cause him to sleep for a long time, so Hiccup dug him up) on the journey to Hysteria, with One-eye pulling them on a sleigh. The two children enter through the roof of the great hall where the Hysterics are celebrating Freya'sday Friday. They lower Camicazi through the chimney, but Hiccup accidentally falls into a giant pot of onion soup, and gets discovered by Norbert the Nutjob. Hiccup makes Norbert show him the potato by pretending not to believe in the potato. Norbert finally reveals his father's preserved body, and in Norbert's father's hand is a glass case with the frozen potato which has an arrow stuck in it. Hiccup tries to persuade Norbert to give him the potato, but Norbert refuses. Norbert soon gets annoyed with Hiccup, and decides whether Hiccup should or should not die by throwing his double-sided axe into the air. If it lands on the black side, Hiccup will die, if it lands on the golden side, he will live. Hiccup cheats by catching the axe just as it is about to land on the black. Norbert is annoyed that Hiccup cheated, and locks him in the cage. After the Hysterics fall asleep, Camicazi picks the lock of Hiccup's cage; freeing him (Toothless took the key to cage from Norbert's pocket, but swallows it, and accidentally sets fire to a carpet). Camicazi lowers herself down with a rope and grabs the potato, but sees Norbert's ticking-thing in the glass case and takes that too. Suddenly, the preserved body of Norbert's father falls on a row of Squealers (a type of dragon that Vikings use as an alarm), who give ear-piercing screams. All the Hysterics suddenly wake up. Hiccup, Camicazi and Toothless get out of the Hall through the chimney. The three, along with One-eye, escape in Hiccup's boat, but get attacked by the Doomfang, which lives under a frozen sea called the “Wrath of Thor”. The Doomfang breaks out of the ice and uses its tongue to grab the potato and eats it. Hiccup realizes that his mission has failed and guesses that the Doomfang had Vorpentitis, as it showed the symptoms. Once he gets back, he realises that Fishlegs had only caught a cold, and Old Wrinkly had made a mistake. Stoick (Hiccup had lied to Stoick saying that he was spending the night at Snotlout's house, but instead he went to get the potato) yells at Old Wrinky for making Hiccup go on the quest for nothing and almost get killed by Norbert. Hiccup suddenly falls on the same bed Fishlegs was lying on, and his entire body goes stiff. Old Wrinkly examines Hiccup and says that it is actually Hiccup who has Vorpentitis. Hiccup desperately tries to speak, murmuring “Oot me!”, and tries to point at the arrow on the table next to him which had been stuck in the potato for a long time. Fishlegs realizes that Hiccup wants him to shoot him with the arrow, which is soaked in the juices of the potato. Fishlegs shoots Hiccup on the foot, and Hiccup recovers. In the epilogue, Hiccup buries the arrow that saved his life and a seed on the end of it grows another potato which is used to cover the island with potatoes so no one dies of Vorpentitis ever again. In the epilogue, Hiccup explains that the Doomfang that ate the potato thanked Hiccup by following his boat and assisting in keeping Hiccup safe in impossible situations.
How Britain Was Built - References - Netflix