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Category:    Home > Reviews > Special Interest > Documentary > War > TV Mini-Seires > British > Warriors (BBC DVD/Documentary Mini-Series)

Warriors (BBC DVD/Documentary Mini-Series)

 

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: B+ Documentaries: A

 

 

Warriors is a three-disc set from BBC Video featuring an interesting approach to the standard documentary. Each hour-long production features a docu-drama about a famous warlord or leader from history. The figures covered in the main discs are Napoleon, the Shogun, Spartacus, Cortes, Richard the Lionheart, Genghis Khan, and Attila the Hun. Woven amongst the dramatic scenes detailing each conquerors life and military exploits is narration from the perspective of an individual that had been close to him. In some cases the information from these narrators has been gleaned from actual documentary evidence, written accounts of the times they lived and lead men to battle.

 

A special disc includes similar productions on Genghis Khan and Hannibal, and a special, more traditional documentary entitled Hannibal: the Man, the Myth, the Mystery. All of these productions share very similar qualities: solid casting, excellent battle scenes, and shrewd use of special effects to generate the illusion of mass battles where necessary. The narrative nature of these productions really gives them a feature-film quality that makes learning the history behind the men easy, and they would work great in the secondary school classroom as teaching aids.

 

The violence and sometimes questionable actions of the historical protagonists in these productions is never sugar-coated. Although sometimes not for the squeamish, this does lend them extra gravity in telling their tales. In his own way, each man lived on the edge, lord of a violent world where conquest was commonplace, and BBC Video provides an engaging window into those past worlds of blood and plunder.

 

 

- Scott R. Pyle


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