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Crusoe: The Complete Series

4.4 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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(May 05, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Philip Winchester stars as Robinson Crusoe in this exciting series based on the classic Daniel Defoe tale. Set in the 17th century, CRUSOE follows the famous castaway as he navigates the wilds of an uncharted island using his wits and a handful of ingenious gadgets wrought from primitive materials. This captivating set includes every episode of the entire series which was canceled after its first season, featuring Sam Neill THE TUDORS as Crusoe s friend Jeremiah Blackthorn, and newcomer Tongai Arnold Chirisa as the castaway s native ally, Friday.

Amazon.com

Though its network run was short-lived, the 2009 TV series Crusoe, based on the enduring and frequently adapted novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, provides an impressive level of derring-do over the course of its 13 episodes, all of which are included in this DVD set. Philip Winchester plays Defoe’s famous castaway, imbued here with not only the resourcefulness of the character in the novel, but also a MacGyver-like knack for building all manner of contraptions to protect his island home. He’s aided, of course, by Friday (Tongai Arnold Chirisa), who is as much the faithful companion of past adaptations as sort of Robin/Kato-esque sidekick in numerous fights against cannibals, mutineers, the Spanish Guard (led by Joaquim de Almeida), and some very Disney-esque pirates. The excitement is not limited to Crusoe’s island: back in England, wife Susannah (Anna Walton of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army) must contend with the villainous Jeremiah Blackthorn (Sam Neill), who has designs on the Crusoe family fortune. As period action goes, Crusoe delivers. The battles with various island foes aim for--and largely achieve--Indiana Jones-level thrills, albeit on a more limited scale. Where the series bogs down is with Susannah’s sudsy travails and the fleshing out of the source material, which invents an aspiring female doctor (Mia Maestro) who disguises herself as a man and winds up aiding Crusoe and Friday. Those issues, combined with the traditional difficulty faced by weekly period shows on television, most likely contributed to Crusoe’s demise (which was posthumously referred to by the network as a miniseries in order to explain its brief run), but those who don’t mind the abbreviated length may appreciate the show’s positive attributes. In an offbeat touch, the extras on the three-disc set are limited to a paperback copy of the Defoe novel. --Paul Gaita

Product Details

  • Actors: Philip Winchester, Tongayi Chirisa, Anna Walton, Mia Maestro
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009
  • Run Time: 551 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001RXDM2M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,813 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Crusoe: The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. B. Jrr on February 22, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Strong characters, high adventure, a beautiful backdrop, appropriate flashbacks, historical value...this show is a gem. What a refreshing departure from the usual network fare of reality shows and crime dramas. And how often does a modern TV show or movie present a lead character who doesn't have a dark side, but has total integrity and honor. Winchester's protrayal of Crusoe is admirable, as is the character himself. Can't say enough good about this show. And I agree with those who'd like to see a movie made to tie up the loose ends at the end of season 1. Anyway...bravo Crusoe!
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Format: DVD
Crusoe:
An action packed television series loaded with pirates, cannibals, flying musket shot, and a dog called Dundee. Crusoe: the Complete Season is a swash-buckling tale based on the famous novel of which almost everybody has heard but almost no one has read. However, if you are searching for an exact portrayal of the story, you will be disappointed. Or if you are merely wishing to be entertained, love adventure, don't mind a smattering of romance, enjoy seeing committed love between a husband and wife, and take delight in two friends who are as close as brothers, then Crusoe is definitely a movie series you will enjoy time and time again.
For the most part, Crusoe is very family-friendly. There are a few scenes with bloodshed, and once in a while a lady tries to romance Crusoe (a very forward pirate lady in the first episode and another in the later episodes), whom he gently tells that his heart is given to another and he will remain faithful to that one. I was amazed to see his steadfastness in this area; few movies/television series have this theme continuing throughout the duration. Another caution for parents is that there is a nude scene with one of the women; nothing sexual takes place, but Crusoe has fallen down a cliff side and needs to get back up, so she's trying to make a rope with everything she's got on . . . a rather awkward situation. It happens to be in my least favorite episode (in which Friday falls ill from eating poisoned honey). In fact, I personally believe it is one of the more stupid programs, but every television series out there has at least one boring installment. So those are my warning to parents. Adults, of course, view at their own discretion.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I just stumbled upon this show when it was on TV and was lucky enough to see it from the very first episode all the way through (thanks to Tivo -- it wasn't easy to find it otherwise with all of the scheduling changes it went through). I am so happy to see that it is being released on DVD! It will be fun to watch it again. If you haven't seen this show, or if you missed some of the episodes, I highly recommend it. It's a lot of fun and a great family show too. I hope the DVD set includes some extras not seen on TV. It would be great if they made some kind of movie to tie up everything not resolved in the series. Or, continuing the series to another season would be even better!
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Format: DVD
We bought this DVD set and have enjoyed it tremendously as a family. Our son is 11 and each time after watching an episode, he would charge around the house with his "pirate" sword stuffed into the waistband of his jeans/shorts as they do in the movie!!! What WONDERFUL characters to emulate.... full of integrity and honour.
We are South African and have lived happily in Canada for 3 years now. This series was filmed in South Africa and the scenery - oh the beauty of Africa..... Buy this and watch it when it is minus 40 degrees outside!!! It will take you around the world... all from the comfort of your living room.
Do yourself a favour and watch this - it is money well spent.
*Did I mention the eye-candy??? Oh Yummy.....
However, the word 'sex' is never mentioned (we're on episode 8 or so)- how refreshing???? We need more of this, we honestly do. Not that I am a prude, but it is wonderful just to be able to watch something together without ME worrying what the next scene is going to bring....... and then have difficult questions to answer!!!! "Mommy, what does XYZ mean when he says..."
This man REALLY loves his wife and his children. We need to see more of this too instead of people just falling into bed together. This is true commitment - true commitment.
GREAT characters - incredibly well acted - BEAUTIFUL scenery - exciting action sequences - McGyver type gizmos - and of course, the eye-candy!!!
WE'VE ALL LOVED IT - MOM, DAD AND 11 YEAR OLD CRUSOE/PIRATE/McGYVER/SWASHBUCKLING HERO - depending on the episode!!!
Hope you enjoy it too.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I started watching this show when I was in the hospital, and ended up ordering the entire season. Its really good - it figures, you find a decent show to watch, and they cancel it. Anyway, this is truly worth the $5.00 I spent for the whole season's episodes, plus it came with a paperback book of Robinson Crusoe. Not too shabby : )
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I would recommend this for anyone to try. Gorgeous cinema, swashbuckling action and compelling human drama, all rolled into one. I had concerns based on a previous review that the excitement would be broken up by long, boring stretches of "the wife back at home" but in fact those scenes are woven very organically into the storyline and compelling in their own right. (Like such intelligent films as "Usual Suspects" and "Memento" it behooves you to pay attention to the trail of little clues that's laid in those scenes.)

The acting overall is excellent, with such well known names as Sam Neill and Sean Bean and I can't say enough about the lead actors. In a show based on two men trapped on an island together the chemistry is all important and these two have a palpable brotherly bond. In addition their physicality adds a tremendous dimension of realism - it appears to me they perform much of their own fight and stunt scenes. Are some of the gadgets and gizmos improbable? Perhaps, but you're too caught up in the adventure to care.

In this day and age of reality tv and maybe two basic genres of shows produced in a neverending supply, this was a a great find and it's depressing that such a unique drama was killed after only one season. As other reviewers have pointed out, however, that shouldn't deter you from watching as the story arc was brought to an emotionally satisfying conclusion and the one season is complete in its own right.

The dvd package art is beautiful and it even comes with the Robinson Crusoe book! (Follow-up Note: I ordered this item as a Christmas gift and this time it wasn't packaged together with the book. A little disappointing as it makes a nifty gift presentation that way. I'm not sure why it came with a book last time and not this time or if there's a way to pre-determine that when you order.)
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