First of all, I love how Boyle's just accepting a level of defeat already. That's so British of him. Secondly, the Jubilee factor is a good point. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which was quite the ... thing, just happened. With that fresh in the mind of the world, but more importantly the local Brits, the Olympics have to do better than rotating boats and bored British royalty.
The director has ignored the age-old maxim about never working with children or animals. The opening scene features real grass, real ploughs, real soil and – said Boyle – real clouds that would supply "rain" if there was none in order to ensure an authentically British atmosphere. With no Glastonbury festival this year, the event will be evoked with a replica of Glastonbury Tor and mosh pits at either end of the arena.
One of those pits will have a Last Night of the Proms theme and the other a festival atmosphere, with around 100 young people in each.
But the director underlined that it was not a musical show, but a narrative set to music. The electronic group Underworld have already recorded two lengthy tracks at Abbey Road to score the action. The closing ceremony will be a more traditional celebration of British music.
If the jubilee weekend was a festival of pageantry and heritage, it already appears that Boyle's opening ceremony will be a more playful and anarchic treatment of British culture.
"You're bound to fail, that's built in. But you hope that on the journey, you hope people will find enough in it to feel that it is representative of us," said Boyle.
It's all quite the undertaking, and in general, the Opening Ceremony, for good or for bad, provides some of the best television the Olympics has to offer. As for the presentation, who knows how it will all look like. We only know it will be big and ridiculous, and for that we're thankful. The only thing I can say: There better be some croquet going down somewhere on that pitch. It cannot be authentic without mallets and wickets.