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Lion moves BBC wargame show

A TEAM of war-gaming clergyman are lining up for the first part of the new Scottish-made series of Time Commanders on BBC2 at 7.15 this evening.

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The eight-part battle series was made by Lion Television Scotland at SMG's Cowcaddens studios in Glasgow for around pounds-750,000, and is seen as a sign of the improving production scene in Scotland.

Each episode involves a team of four people re-enacting a computerised version of a historic battle, based on the computer game Total Wars.

Each battle was devised in partnership with program originator Creative Assemblies.

The battle in episode one is Teutoburgwald, the Romans' failed attempt to colonise the northlands held by Germanic tribes.

Series producer Angus Cameron said: "It would be fair to say that the team of vicars in the first episode go kill crazy.

It's very entertaining.

"Time Commanders is one of the largest shows to come through [the SMG] studio in a very long time. As well as the huge set, it pushes the technology very hard. It's big in every sense."

The series was originally to be produced at the BBC Scotland studios in Glasgow's Queen Margaret Drive, but Lion switched to SMG for the digital studios and to accommodate the set.

Lion Scotland head Colin Cameron had to make the awkward decision to take the business to the opposition almost as soon as he arrived from his post as BBC controller of network development, nations and regions last September.

"It was made easy both in terms of the kind of facilities that SMG had and their absolute willingness to make the series work, " he said.

Angus Cameron (no relation) said: "When metrocentric companies started opening regional offices, people said they were manipulating the regional quotas.

"Moving a big show like Time Commanders shows Lion's commitment."

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