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Edwardians, The (1972)

2.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Edwardians, The (1972) (DVD)

The turning points in the careers of nine Edwardian figures are explored in this 8-part series. Mr. Rolls and Mr. Royce looks at the relationship between Mr. Henry Royce (Michael Jayston), the electical engineer who had just made his first car, and Mr. Charles Rolls (Robert Powell), a motor dealer looking for a reliable model to sell. Horatio Bottomly - Timothy West plays the financier, founder of John Bull, fraud and swindler. E. Nesbitt - Judy Parfitt stars as the author of "The Railway Children" who lived in a menage a trois with her husband and his mistress. Conan Doyle - Nigel Davenport stars as the author of Sherlock Holmes, who starts behaving like his character. Baden Powell - Is our image of the heroic Boer War General correct? This closer look at the founder of the scout movement stars Robert Moody. The Reluctant Juggler - A look at music hall performer Marie Lloyd (Georgia Brown) and her role in the 1907 Music Hall strike. Daisy - Virginia McKenna stars as the mistress of Edward VII, who became a convert to socialism. Lloyd George - The paradox of a government politician (Anthony Hopkins) who was a force for social change and a great negotiator but an untiring philanderer as well.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Run Time: 635 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001C71IGK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Edwardians, The (1972)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Watching an old BBC series or play is an exercise in concentration. There are long monologues and dialogues where the viewer has to pay attention. While this series would have been considered excellent in its day, TV has now moved on to action and short sound bits, with lots of fast editing. Still, once you have adjusted, the series is absorbing. Some of the episodes are framed as a device for exploring one particular aspect of the character. Baden Powell, the hero of Mafeking, is cross examined by a journalist on his activities in the Zulu and Boer wars which were either extremely brave or bordering on criminality, depending on your grasp of the facts and which side won. The episode touches on his interest in scouting aimed at teaching teach aimless youths self reliance, discipline and an honor code, but mostly centers on his explanation for his actions in the wars.

The Lloyd George episode covers a brief period in the domestic life of the future prime minister, a notorious philanderer, and his relations with his family. His political life is only touched on, more as a background story. Anthony Hopkins is superb in the role. The other great episode is about the music hall and ends with a number of popular songs by the wonderful Georgia Brown. The worst episode by far is the one with Virgina McKenna playing a scandalous courtesan in the style of Joan Littlewood's 'Oh what a lovely war'.

It is a great pity that the original color tapes have been lost, allegedly purged. I do recall hearing that the TV companies did reuse tapes of old programs as tape was expensive! It beggars belief that with the amount of money and effort spent on these programs, not to mention talent that is no longer with us, that they would be junked.
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Format: DVD
I am appalled at the other reviews here for this DVD set. Is this the first 1970s BBC production that the reviewers have seen?? Where they expecting Hollywood?

I also get the impression they are not familiar with the fact that we are lucky to have these episodes at all now. The black and white episodes were "junked" by the BBC (look up "missing Doctor Who episodes" on the net for a good history of this unfortunate practice). All episodes of The Edwardians were originally recorded in color, but sadly only black and white copies of the middle four episodes survived the 1970s BBC purgings. This also explains the sound quality, but of course the DVD producers had the wisdom to give us the subtitle options too. (On a side note: color copies of "Conan Doyle" and "The Reluctant Juggler" have since turned up in New York, so we will hopefully see these on a future re-release).

Nonetheless, this is an EXCELLENT mini-series. We get the alternating friendly/antagonistic relationship between Rolls and Royce (Royce standing at Rolls' grave at the end is particularly moving); the ill-fated antihero Horatio Bottomley; E. Nesbitt, the eccentric children's author with a tragic personal life; an interestingly different angle on British detective shows with "Conan Doyle"; and a Victorian/Edwardian who's who with "Daisy." This release is absolute gold for those of us who love archival British television.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love historical entertainment, but plowing through this collection of extremely boring programs was more than I could do....never watched the complete set.... first, the sound is awful, volume had to be turned way up to hear it....and the B/W wasn't crisp and clear... I was looking forward to this set, and was sorely disappointed. Wasted my money - and will donate it to the Friends of the Library book sale....
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Format: DVD
Filmed in the early 70s, "The Edwardians" (which I rented from a movie rental site) focuses on some key figures of the Edwardian Age and among the actors are some who went on to make big names for themselves such as Anthony Hopkins, Judy Parfitt, and others.

Disc 1 contains the episodes "Mr. Rolls and Mr. Royce" and "Horatio Bottomley"
Disc 2 contains the episodes "E. Nesbit" and "Conan Doyle"
Disc 3 contains the episodes "Baden Powell" and "The Reluctant Juggler"
Disc 4 contains the episodes "Daisy" and "Lloyd George"

"Mr. Rolls and Mr. Royce" portrays the dynamics of two very different individuals who collaborated to create one of the most prestigious names in the automobile industry. The first episode is actually one of the finest in this collection and definitely merits a watch. I had no idea who "Horatio Bottomley" was when I first watched the second episode. Apparently, he was a fraudster/con artist (but also a writer and orator who was also responsible for the establishment of the Financial Times newspaper). The actor who portrays Bottomley (Timothy West) does such a credible job that the episode engaged my interest. I loved "E. Nesbit" not only because I happen to like the author's works but because Judy Parfitt (an excellent actress) plays the title role convincingly and credibly. The episode also provides insights into Nesbit's domestic life, especially her open marriage to Hubert Bland.

"Conan Doyle" examines a real-life case undertaken by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes - a case that eventually resulted in the founding of the Criminal Appeals Court in England. Nigel Davenport shines in the title role and this production is well worth watching for his performance as well as the interesting case portrayed here.
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