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Troy - Unearthing the Legend (History Channel)

4 customer reviews

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(May 25, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Leonard Nimoy, Carole Fontaine, Kathleen Turner, Graham Hancock, David McCallum
  • Directors: John Jopson, Patrick Taulère
  • Producers: Peter Krajewski, Craig D. Forrest, Dale Dreher, Larayne Decoeur, Lars Ullberg
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004
  • Run Time: 319 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001XARN6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,667 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Troy - Unearthing the Legend (History Channel)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Neil on June 13, 2004
If I could give two ratings, I would give disc 1 (the rise and fall of Sparta) a 5 and disc 2 a 2. I compromised by giving it a three. The review is actually quite accurate, unfortunately.
The first disc is a history channel series on the rise and fall of Sparta. They go into the cultural aspects of the region and how they evolved into a warrior culture and the mythos of Sparta. A lot of time is spent in describing how conditioned the young people were from the homoioi down to the helots.
From there, the series goes into the war with Persia and into detail about the battle of Thermopolye. After spending a sufficient time describing the battles, the series shifts into the Peloponnisian wars and all the intrigue with it and how it sowed the seeds of Sparta's demise.
Some time is spent on Athens and the democracies/oligarchies of the region but it is kept in context of Sparta instead of being diverted.
The second disc contains three A&E shows on Troy. They all three say basically the same thing and sometimes even a bit contradictory between themselves. What that disc will leave you with is some knowledge about the pre-history of troy, Schlieman who rediscovered it in the late 1800s, and the looting done in Germany by the Russians after World War II. Schlieman's items are currently located in Russia. This disc let me unsatisfied.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. Reyes on February 5, 2005
Verified Purchase
Sorry to say this two-pack is not up to History Channel usual high standard. DVD 1, on the Spartans (essentially leading up to Thermopylae) is good. However, DVD 2 is very disappointing. First of all, it has three documentaires, but in fact the first one ("The Odyssey of Troy") and the third one ("The Trojan City") are carbon copies of each other, which is somewhat of a fraud... Second, the information given by the historians is good, but the narrative itself is more than misleading -- it leaves the viewer with the impression that the Trojan Horse epic is part of Homer's Iliad. It isn't. Homer finishes the Iliad with the burial of Hector. It is in a "sequel" so to say, by Quintus of Smyrna, written many centuries later, that the story of the Trojan Horse is set down. It is also mentioned in other less complete writings, but certainly not in Homer.

To be fair, the second documentary in DVD 2 ("The Ancient Gold of Troy") is not bad, but does not correct the errors in the other "two" segements.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Foster on August 12, 2005
I echo the other comments made here. From the packaging, it was unclear to me that one of the discs was only about Sparta. That is the more interesting disc, but not what I was looking for here. It seemed familiar because I had seen it on TV not too long ago.

The disc on Troy is totally disappointing. The Nimoy show (Ancient Mysteries) is chaotic and tries too create too much . . . well, mystery. I watched the third show on the disc a couple of days later and I was having a deja vu experience - the pictures and the script were often identical; just a different narrator! Ouch! That is a rip off. The second show, on the gold of Troy, was interesting, but the 10 minutes of content are excruciatingly dragged out over 45 minutes of show.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John A Lee III on April 18, 2005
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The title of this set is misleading. The entire first disk contains virtually nothing to do with Troy. Instead, it is about Sparta. The only mention of Troy is a passing comment that Sparta was the home of Helen. The first program is about the development of Sparta and the second is about Sparta during the Peleponesian war. Both are excellent and make for my higher rating.

The second disk contains 3 programs which actually are about Troy. Each of them is utterly unremarkable. The programs kept my interest but only just managed to do so. It was a slow day. Of the 3, the first and third contain much of the same material. The two could have been combined to produce a program that is only slightly longer than either of the parts. The second program dealt primarly with the treasure trove unearthed by Schliemann and its fate after World War II. It was interesting enough but not worth the price of admission.

Buy this set if you want a good program on Sparta and the Spartans. Buy it if would want a nice synopsis of the Peleponesian War. Don't buy it for anything to do with Troy or the Trojan War.
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