Troy: Unearthing the Legend
is a hodgepodge of programs that relate, more or less, to the legendary city of Troy. The best of the bunch actually has little to do with the Trojan War: The Rise and Fall of the Spartans
is a three-hour study of the history and character of Sparta, the Greek city-state with the famously rigorous approach to life and war. A gallery of historians do a lucid and engaging job of tracing the strengths and weaknesses of Sparta, with special attention to the Battle of Thermopylae. The other disc consists of "three" shorter TV programs; one, Treasure! The Ancient Gold of Troy
, is an A&E special digging up the story on the controversial jewelry found by Heinrich Schliemann at the Troy archaeological site, and what happened to it after the Soviets spirited it away from a German museum in the waning days of World War II.
The other two offerings, Ancient Mysteries: The Odyssey of Troy and The Trojan City appear to be almost exactly the same program, except the former is narrated by Leonard Nimoy. It's a standard look at the connections between The Iliad of Homer and historical fact. But including two different versions without alerting the consumer seems like misleading padding. --Robert Horton