The Story of the Costume Drama 1 Season 2008

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
(28)

5. A Call to Arms TV-NR CC

Costume dramas spawned an army of dashing heroes in uniform, but not all fought with the aplomb of Sharpe or Horatio Hornblower. The Monocled Mutineer opened a controversial chapter of WWI and A Piece of Cake's flying stunts rewrote the Battle of Britain.

Starring:
Keeley Hawes, Paul Annett
Runtime:
45 minutes
Original air date:
December 5, 2008

A Call to Arms

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Richard Makinson
Starring Keeley Hawes, Paul Annett
Supporting actors Moira Armstrong, Sean Bean, Roberta Brown, Richard Carpenter, Henry Chancellor, Malcolm Craddock, Michael Grade, Andrew Grieve, David Haig, Christopher Halsted, Sarah Hanna, Dorian Healy, Alex Kingston, Hans Matheson, David McCallum, Daragh O'Malley, Anne Pivcevic, Clifford Rose
Season year 2008
Network Acorn Media
Producers Jason Beresford, Elspeth Hanna, Richard Makinson, Mark Robinson
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
I especially liked the interviews of the actors and producers.
Mums
This is a fascinating series that gives you the back-story on the great BBC costume dramas.
DebiDubya
Would recommend to anyone that enjoys watching the costume dramas.
Cynthia Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Very Merry Shakespeare on August 10, 2012
Format: DVD
Real television. Not reality television (YAY!) but real television! This DVD brings back all the memories of the most iconic television shows, movies and miniseries that we all wish would be on all stations at all times of the day in order to step away from an age that seems to be filled with nothing but `Real Housewives' and silly competitions.

This DVD set is all about the Brits - the `best of the best' when it came to the BBC - and offers clips, interviews, backstories, behind-the-scene looks and a history of images that are still embedded in our minds. Remember Jeremy Irons in Brideshead Revisited? Not only was this one of the most romantic and best-written tales, as well as the first that actually opened the door to `gay' characters, it was also a story that offered pure sophistication, stunning locales and fashion that the world absolutely fell in love with.

From The Adventures of Robin Hood (the first show that was ultimately aimed at young boys who wanted to be heroes); to the only `soap opera' that was beyond impressive, Upstairs, Downstairs, which offered a look at the separate worlds of the wealthy and their servants - these costume dramas were unforgettable.

The DVD takes a look back at when the costume drama changed; when it suddenly turned into something that the world swooned over. Yes, that was Pride and Prejudice, when Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy) stepped out of a lake and became the sexiest man in television history. Viewers also receive `nuggets' of information such as the fact that vicars changed the time of church in order for people to run home and watch The Forsyte Saga on television - one costume drama that spawned a national debate.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 10, 2012
Format: DVD
Entertaining informative docu- series about UK miniseries. All costume genres, romance to war. Star interviews. Feature clips. Behind-the-scenes, like a mini-series of bonus material that is a history book of the UK TV costume drama existence. This DVD's as astounding as the drama epics themselves. Keeley Hawes (Upstairs, Downstairs) narrates all 5 episodes, but you hear directly from stars, writers, & directors. Hours of footage behind and in front of the lens. I've watched dozens of the covered epics, but found 19 `new to me' and likely future purchases.
SUBTITLES are provided

=====1 The Greatest Stories Ever Told
A history. Learn the history of the genre, from `Robin Hood' to world-wide hits like Upstairs, Downstairs; Forsyte Saga, I Claudius & more, so much more.

=====2 The Stars
See how 1000s of UK & US stars evolved due to their association to period costume epics. Helen Mirren, Alex Kingston, Keira Knightley, Jillian Anderson, Jeremy Irons, John Hurt, Daniel Radcliff, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ioan Gruffudd, Robson Green, Colin Firth, to name drop just a few.

=====3 Affairs of the Heart
Romance from `Dr. Zhivago' to `Poldark' and `Brideshead Revisited' to Mr. Darcy & many Austin adaptations. Perhaps costume never will be done as well as UK TV. Bodice bounty in beautiful Brit mini-series--"Scrumptious telly."

=====4 Picture Perfect
Location, location, location = how to sell a costume drama. Costume perfection as well as sets and props all add to the elegance viewers have come to expect.

=====5 A Call to Arms
Of course costume drama must include men in uniform, and women, and wars, battles, and swashbuckling. TV action epics on a Hollywood scale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ec05 on November 19, 2012
this is a wonderful documentary and brings back lots of superb memories. While it doesn't cover all the shows it COULD, it is well done and has interesting info for fans of all the major shows. It's just too bad it was done just before Downton Abbey, which brought in far more fans than Cranford.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mairead McAlister on September 30, 2012
This series had really interesting behind the scenes footage and interviews about a panoply of costume dramas. I've added several of the TV shows to my various rental and watch lists. If you love costume dramas from the earliest days up through today, you will enjoy each episode! Loved info on Poldark, Arthur of the Britons, all Jane Austen incarnations, and so very much more. Please try it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cat on November 24, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
The five-part documentary series was interesting, with a few stand-out moments. I found the stories behind the production of phenomenal dramas such as "I, Claudius", "Elizabeth I", "Brideshead Revisited" and "My Boy Jack" were fascinating.

The faults I found with this documentary were:

1. Too much early history of costume dramas was omitted. Though "Robin Hood" was recognized as an early British costume drama (rightfully, as the series had world-wide syndication), there was no mention of the numerous theatrical productions and television adaptations of classic literature that aired on either ITV and/or BBC during the 1950's through the mid-1960's.

2. Many excellent series/mini-series were ignored. As examples, the beautifully filmed color version of "The Forsythe Saga" (aired in the US on "Masterpiece Theatre"); the 1979 mini-series, "Kidnapped" (the first UK mini-series to be aired exclusively by a US cable network [TBS]); and the wickedly charming Victorian-era series, "Raffles" had essentially no mention.

3. Too many dramas that were mentioned received little attention, while certain dramas - mostly the "bodice-rippers" - were revisited several times during the five episodes of the series. After the second or third revisit, there wasn't much significant or new information provided.
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