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In Search of the Trojan War
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Made in 1987 by PBS and the BBC, this six-part documentary is still the most complete and vivid depiction of Troy ever presented in television. Each one of the original episodes deals with a particular topic regarding Troy and the Trojan War as explained below:
*The Age of Heroes: presents the many legends and myths of the ancient Greeks, where they came from, the ways they influenced everyday life, and how life ordinarily went on in the Greek world during this historical period.
*The Legend Under Siege: presents the pioneering men, both believers and skeptics, who followed Greek myths into their historical past, discovering legendary cities, awe-inspiring treasures and important cultural facts, and, in the process, creating the science of archaeology.
*The Singer of Tales: presents as detailed a biography on Homer as the information about him permits - including a pleasant and entertaining look at the very old and almost unchanged art of the bard poets - and a detailed analysis of his epic: The Iliad.
*The Women of Troy: traces the evidence that places Trojan women on Greek mainland as the probable result of their abduction by victorious Greeks after the War, giving strong historical support to Homer's tale.Read more ›
After twenty years this documentary keeps all its freshness and still is easily the best cinematic account on the Trojan War. If not for the slight image discoloration, the East Berlin scenes, the cars and the clothing, this series could have been made today. All the facts, ideas and interpretations presented here are strikingly new and haven't been superseded yet.
Besides the recent find of the Treasure of Troy in the Putshkin Museum in Russia, the only missing info (included nevertheless in the included interview with Michael Wood) is that from the recent German-American excavations which changed the accepted scale of the city and its surroundings in Bronze Age times.
The documentary has a pace and an atmosphere of its own, succeeding in being both highly informative and highly entertaining: a golden association VERY difficult to achieve! This is one of the increasingly rare series which makes the viewer repeat the experience over and over!
Using common sense, solid documental sources and interviews with some of the foremost experts of the day, Michael Wood shows awesome communication skills in informing and carrying away the viewer, spreading his contagious enthusiasm for the theme but keeping always an unbiased scientific stance. This, together with excellent photography, superb editing and highly suggestive music creates a spell which makes the enduring of the six one-hour episodes surprisingly agreeable and additive. All this with very limited use of crude scale models and 80's glorious 2D low-res computer graphics!Read more ›
He makes history "come alive" and his use of experts and locales are fascinating. I especially loved the episode about Homer and the bardic traditions.
The music is also stirring and adds to rather than detracts from the series. Whether you are a casual ancient history student or a Trojan War fanatic, this series will appeal to you. It makes all the films about the war (even the newest one, despite Brad Pitt) seem a waste of time. None of them catches the true story and spirit of the age as does Michael Wood in this wonderful program.
When my wife and I first got married, money was tight and mobility was low, and one of my favorite ways to while away a Sunday afternoon was to stick in the off-air tape I had made of PBS's first run of 'In Search of the Trojan War.' (The only way it was available back then.) Which used to drive my wife nuts because A) I probably did watch it a bit too frequently, and B) she'd much rather have watched a football game. Or a baseball game. Or golf. (Sports nut.)
Seventeen years have gone by. Money's maybe a little less tight. The TV has grown to 51 inches, and the VCR has been supplanted by a DVD player. And somewhere I saw that 'ISotTW' was now available on DVD! Log onto Amazon... Search... "Hey, hon, did you know 'In Search of the Trojan War' is out on DVD?'
'Do you want it?' she asked.
'Don't order it. You'll end up with two. Happy Father's Day.'
It's good enough that I'm really looking forward to seeing it again, nearly twenty years after it came out, for the [mumble]-teenth time.
It can't compare to my wife, though.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Michael Wood is masterful at this stuff. Highly recommended.Published 2 months ago by dominic esteban
Good resource for the truth of Troy. Would like an updated version.Published 7 months ago by Wayne Jacobson
Book is popular scholarship written by a master, Michael Wood. Photos are attractive and helpful to the reader.Published 10 months ago by Francis A. Carbine
I remember when the series first aired in 1985 and how much it impressed me. It was among my favorite documentaries and I'm glad to see it holds up well even after all these years. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Michael Boruch
Very disappointed in this presentation. Mr. Wood has taken one of the most magical, romantic stories
and turned it into a dry intellectual exercise. Read more
The one flaw with this is that there is no introduction. This was not made for people whom have never read Homer, or do not already have some knowledge of The Trojan War. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jeremy Mattern