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In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

62 customer reviews

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In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great + In Search of the Trojan War + Michael Wood: In Search of Myths and Heroes
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Editorial Reviews

Combining popular history with adventure and travel, charismatic historian Michael Wood (In Search of the Trojan War) embarks on an odyssey of discovery, following the ancient triumphal march of Alexander of Macedonia from Greece to India, to bring us the truth behind one of history's most famous and enigmatic heroes. Alexander's expedition was a turning point in human history. His conquest opened up contacts between Europe and Asia, the political consequences of which reverberate down the ages. Michael Wood retraces Alexander's epic expedition through 16 countries and four war zones, following as closely as possible the exact route taken by Alexander. Travelling by bus, jeep, helicopter, steam train, camel, mule and foot, he combines a fascinating, present-day odyssey of discovery with the story of the young warrior king.

Special Features

Interview with Michael Wood
Alexander's Greatest Battle: Michael Wood travels through Syria and Iraq to uncover the story of Alexander's decisive battle against the Persian Empire in 331 BC

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Wood
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010
  • Run Time: 234 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0039208QW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,921 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Scott Chamberlain VINE VOICE on October 21, 2004
Format: DVD
While in grad school studying history (not ancient history, by the way) I got this and watched it with one of my fellow historians and his wife. We started off thinking: "Hm, this is quite a good documentary." We ended up thinking: "Dang! This is the best documentary ever!" Three things tip the scales on this one. First, the subject is inherently interesting. Whether you lean to the right or left, whether you are a tradtionalist or a revisionist at heart, you will find Alexander a fascinating character, and his bid to conquer the world harrowing, gripping, terrible, and awe-inspiring at same time. Second, the film is a good one, good pacing, wonderful footage, and all kinds of interesting people telling their stories. But what really makes this one special is Wood's incredible, insanely idiotic mania to reconstruct Alexander's journey. My God! Surveying battle sites from AWACS flying combat missions over Iraq? Fleeing Kabul ahead of the Taliban? Schmoozing with random warlords in Afganistan? Bandit raids in the Hindu Kush? It just keeps getting more and more bizarre! You will be swept along with this one... and the current troubles in this part of the world make it particularly interesting.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on November 7, 2004
Format: DVD
Around 300 BC, Alexander The Great had conquered the known world. He was only 32. It is said that he got a fever and died when he realized there were no worlds left to conquer.

At this writing, Oliver Stone's soon to open epic "Alexander" is getting a lot of attention, so it's inevitable that similar themed digital editions will ride the publicity wave.

The four hour armchair adventure IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER (Paramount) is among the very best of all TV documentaries.

Enthusiastic, knowledgable and affable Oxford scholar Michael Wood retraces -- for the first time -- the 16 country war path of Alexander from Macedonia to India. Citing excerpts from ancient Greek and Roman historians, Woods literally treks, rides, swims and sails in Alexander's footsteps. Passing through at least four war zones, Wood observes that these regions remain "on the fault lines of history." No kidding. Along the way, Wood encounters local story tellers who perform ancient recitations that keep Alexander's story alive and current. For instance, in Iran there's still resentment of Alexander as conqueror of the Persian empire.

This exciting, engrossing documentary is loaded with numerous incidents rich in irony that puts in clearer perspective not only the world of Alexander (300 BC) but our modern, fractured world. Highest recommendation.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Pete Goetz on February 8, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this DVD, along with two books, because I wished to learn more about Alexander the Great as a historical figure. This was after having endured the recently released film disaster of the same name by Oliver Stone. Having earlier watched another of Michael Wood's documentaries, the delightful "The Conquistadores", I was willing to gamble on Mr. Wood's skills as a storyteller a second time. My gamble paid off.

As a trained historian and history teacher, I was again impressed by Mr. Wood's attention to detail and accuracy. Not once in four hours of viewing, could I jump out of my seat, play the pedant, and shout "Ah Ha!, he is wrong on this point!"

And the cinematography! I was as riveted by the beauty of the landscapes as I was the engaging and often humorous commentary of the host. "In the Footsteps.." deserves kudos for presenting the often desolate parts of the world its subject experienced as haunting and beautiful in their own right.

Wood's supreme gift, however, is his ability to tell a riveting story. And to tell it in such a warm and affable way as to convey the impression he was sharing it with me personally. It was together we traveled the Hindu Kush, tramped through the snow capped mountains of Macedonia, and sat huddled with tea drinking Iranians, listening to the tales of "Sikandur", the horned one. Mr. Wood's intention is not to persuade, but instead to educate and stimulate debate. My only regret is that the series was not longer. Whatever happened to the fruits of Alexander's labors and the labors of his men? Sadly, Mr. Wood leaves this tale for another to tell.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Scott Chamberlain VINE VOICE on December 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
While in grad school studying history (not ancient history, by the way) I got this and watched it with one of my fellow historians and his wife. We started off thinking: "Hm, this is quite a good documentary." We ended up thinking: "Dang! This is the best documentary ever!" Three things tip the scales on this one. First, the subject is inherently interesting. Whether you lean to the right or left, whether you are a tradtionalist or a revisionist at heart, you will find Alexander a fascinating character, and his bid to conquer the world harrowing, gripping, terrible, and awe-inspiring at same time. Second, the film is a good one, good pacing, wonderful footage, and all kinds of interesting people telling their stories. But what really makes this one special is Wood's incredible, insanely idiotic mania to reconstruct Alexander's journey. My God! Surveying battle sites from AWACS flying combat missions over Iraq? Fleeing Kabul ahead of the Taliban? Schmoozing with random warlords in Afganistan? Bandit raids in the Hindu Kush? It just keeps getting more and more bizarre! You will be swept along with this one... and the current troubles in this part of the world make it particularly interesting. Hope to see it on DVD!
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