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In Search of the Trojan War

60 customer reviews

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(Jan 04, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The tale of the Trojan War has fascinated and intrigued people for thousands of years. But is there any truth in Homer's epic poem? Charismatic historian Michael Wood brings to life the heroes and the romance of the Bronze Age in this award-winning archaeological detective story filmed in Greece, Turkey, Ireland and Berlin.

Originally broadcast in 1985, In Search of the Trojan War followed the successful formula established by his first historical detective series, In Search of the Dark Ages, and firmly established Michael Wood as the most personable of TV historians. Wood is not only a born TV presenter, he's got both the academic gravitas and the narrative skill to craft a compelling mystery from the archaeological, literary and mythological sources. Over six hour-long programs, Wood marshals the disparate strands of evidence to present as fully rounded a portrait as possible of both the historical and the legendary city of Troy, its central place in Western culture, and the Mycenaean Age itself. From Schliemann's initial cavalier bulldozing of the mound at Hisarlik, to Homer's epics, the Hittite Empire, and the role of slave women, Wood journeys back and forth across the Aegean and elsewhere, from a pre-unification Berlin to Liverpool, to illuminate the dawn of Western literature, myth, and history. Did the Trojan war ever happen, or was the city destroyed by natural causes? Wood doesn't claim to find a definitive answer, of course, but for the viewer it's rewarding enough simply to accompany him on this fascinating journey. The DVD includes a new 25-minute interview with Wood, who looks back affectionately on the making of the series. --Mark Walker

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • 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: January 4, 2005
  • Run Time: 330 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001KL5BW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,619 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "In Search of the Trojan War" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 96 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Volmar on March 15, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is, without a doubt, one of the best historical documentaries ever made. In Search of the Trojan War combines archaeological adventure, historical investigation and a charming presentation by historian Michael Wood to bring to life one of the best known Greek legends: the Trojan War. Sifting through vast sources of information, from the ancient to the contemporary, visiting fabled cities, and walking on the footsteps of the people of times past Michael Wood discards speculation to present an objective view on the history of the city of Troy.
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.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By M. Ramos on May 31, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This one is a milestone in TV historical documentary making!
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!
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Mitchell on July 10, 2004
Format: DVD
This is one of the best presentations concerning the Trojan War. In a clear and erudite manner Michael Wood has made a documentary that touched on all aspects of the war itself and the late bronze age world.
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.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Ron N. Butler on May 24, 2004
Format: DVD
I'm laughing as I write this because... Well, it's a long, disjointed story.
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.
'Well, _yeah_!'
'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.
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