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Borgia: Faith and Fear 2 Seasons 2011

Season 1
3.8 out of 5 stars (151) IMDb 7.9/10

Before the Mafia there was the Borgia. Rodrigo Borgia's ruthless reign as pope would be remembered as the most infamous chapter in the history of the Catholic Church.

Starring:
Mark Ryder, Isolda Dychauk

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Season 1

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1. 1492

After a heated argument with della Rovere, Rodrigo convinces Pope Innocent to name King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, "Most Catholic Majesty". The Medici give a bankrupted Pope Innocent a loan to pay off his son's gambling debts, in return for Giovanni de Medici's seat as a Cardinal. Rodrigo reveals his intention to restore the Saint Peter's Basilica, if he becomes Pope.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 57 minutes Release date: July 10, 2011
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2. Ondata di calore

Alessandro and Cesare visit a Striga to predict Cesare's future. She foresees five deaths over the course of the summer that will change Cesare's life. The Borgia, Orsini, Medici and Cibo dine together to celebrate their new alliance: Giovanni de Medici is now a Cardinal, Juan is Duke of Gandia and Maddalena de Medici is married to the Pope's son, Franceschetto Cibo.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: July 10, 2011
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3. A Sacred Vow

Bells toll as the rioting has ended temporarily. Cesare returns to Pisa, where he meets in secret with a pregnant Fiametta, fearful of Rodrigo discovering his unborn son.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 55 minutes Release date: September 9, 2011
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4. Wisdom of the Holy Spirit

The Conclave continues, as no single Cardinal has received enough votes to be elected Pope. Rodrigo visits della Porta, hoping to gain his votes, and outlines the consequences of what will happen depending on who is elected Pope -- war with Naples or Milan, Rome slaughtered. Rodrigo emphasizes his neutrality on these issues, making him best suited to be elected.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: September 9, 2011
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5. The Bonds of Matrimony

Cesare and Alessandro arrive in Spoleto, where Rodrigo has told them to remain, indefinitely. They meet Cesare's new secretary, Agapito Geraldini. Rodrigo is crowned Pope, announcing plans to rebuild St. Peter's, funded by an annual tithe from each Cardinal. At a celebration at the Apostolic Palace, reserved for men, Giulia enters, much to Burchard's dismay.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: September 16, 2011
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6. Legitimacy

Spanish Ambassador De Haro announces the discovery of a New World by the legendary explorer, Cristofero Colombo. If Rodrigo grants Spain's claim legitimate, King Ferdinand will offer Princess Maria Enriques de Luna's hand in marriage to Juan. Rodrigo uses a compass, to divide the New World between Spain and Portugal, clearly favoring Spain, while appearing neutral.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: September 16, 2011
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7. Maneuvers

At the Consistory, Carafa announces King Ferrante of Naples is dead. The Cardinals debate the rightful ruler of Naples: Ferrante's son, Prince Alfonso d'Aragona or King Charles of France. Cardinal della Rovere argues in favor of Charles, despite Rodrigo's new ties to Alfonso. The Consistory concludes, as Della Rovere leaves to inform King Charles of Rodrigo's plans to study both claims.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: September 23, 2011
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8. Prelude to an Apocalypse

Milan, della Rovere, the Colonna and the Orsini have all allied with France. Venice, Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire remain uncommitted.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: September 23, 2011
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9. The Invasion of Rome

As Giulia gives birth, Rodrigo and the remaining Cardinals discuss the state of war. Della Rovere is poised to take over as pope. Switching strategies, Rodrigo gives Charles permission to pass through Rome.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: September 30, 2011
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10. Miracles

At the French encampment, Djem learns of his son's murder by his brother, Bajazet. Distraught, he falls ill. Cesare uses the opportunity to escape and informs Lucrezia that d'Este is in a hospital in Rome. Lucrezia goes to visit him, where she learns that he is suffering from the "French Disease." Heartbroken that he has been with other women, she asks Rodrigo for permission to join the convent.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: September 30, 2011
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11. God's Monster

Having learned that his wife died in childbirth, an angry Juan confronts Lucrezia about her role in Maria Enriques' escape. Lucrezia is devastated, firm in her resolve to remain a nun she visits Lucia to ask how she may be "blessed" with stigmata. Cardinal Carafa reveals the people of Naples have chosen Federigo d'Aragona to be their king.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 56 minutes Release date: October 7, 2011
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12. The Serpent Rises

Rodrigo addresses the Cardinals. Upon receiving a letter of condolence from della Rovere, Rodrigo invites him back to Rome and dismisses Giulia. After Cesare informs him that Juan killed their halfbrother Pedro Luis, Rodrigo sends him back to Valencia. Rodrigo denies Lucrezia's request to marry Pedro Caldes. He orders her to become a nun and care for Juan's orphaned children.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 1 hour, 8 minutes Release date: October 7, 2011
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As you must already know, there's two shows about the Borgia family currently running. One from Showtime, and this one here done by Canal +, an European TV channel. Ironically, both were filmed in the same country at the same time, but are completely independent productions.

People inevitably compare them both, and many often mistakenly claim the Canal + one is historically more accurate than the Showtime one, something that isn't true.

As a history aficionado focusing on the Renaissance era and the Borgias in particular, I can assure you that when it comes to historical accuracy the Canal + show is just as bad as the Showtime one.
Furthermore, the characterization isn't always credible in the Canal + version (and occasionally seems to change randomly and suddenly), while the Showtime version lacks in background details and in the people who should be surrounding the Borgias. So they each have their flaws.

Both of them have excellent points and are very entertaining as well though, even if every so often they both butcher the historical accuracy to quite amazing levels.

The Showtime version has a tendency to do shortcuts and to focus on character development (thus it succeeds in making you interested in the main characters), while the Canal + version tries to show more of the people surrounding them but fails to establish as good of a connection for the watchers, and also frequently veers off into bizarre tangents that are as bad or worse than the ones done by the Showtime version.
(A little list of some of the odd things in the Canal + version [SPOILER WARNING]: Cesare involved with witchcraft?? The whole sub-arc with Cesare trying to kill his baby??
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love Jeremy Irons. I would listen to him read the phone book. But this version of the Borgias story is quite compelling. It's written by the creative team behind The Wire" (Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana), and is a pan-European effort. It's available now on Netflix streaming.

This means that the costumes are stunning, the sets accurate, but the dialects a bit jarring, It's in english, but some actors have a German accent (Lucrezia), most are British, some are Italian (Giulia Farnese) and so on. The most jarring accent is from the American, John Dorman, who plays Pope Alexander VI. I took me several episodes to get over the fact that the nasty Police Colonel in "The Wire" was Rodrigo Borgia. But once you get over the accent thing, you realize that Rodrigo was a very virile, late-in-life man, and Dorman is actually a very good choice. Like "The Wire" the evil or criminal acts and personalities are presented "as-is" - there is no moralizing here - these are men of their own times.

I'd like to say this version is also more accurate, but what we know is from sources hostile to the Borgias, and accuracy is a nebulous goal. However, the degeneration of Rome at the time is well depicted, and the dresses are gorgeous! The actor who plays the king of France looks as though he stepped from a late medieval painting.

For lovers of period pieces such as myself, this is well worth the time. A real delight, and I'm grateful I didn't have to buy a region 2 DVD version of this!
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Format: Amazon Video
This version of the story of the Borgias is even more riveting and captivating than the Showtime version. At first I was put off by John Doman's American accent, which of course didn't fit the character of Rodrigo Borgia, a Catalan who spent much of his life in Italy. But the story line in this version, while completely fictionalized (just as Showtime's is), accurately depicted the tension between the desire to be faithful to God and to surrender to one's desires, which afflicts the entire Borgia family. I found the story of Cesare, and the character as played by Mark Ryder, to be particularly heart-stopping, as Cesare's desire to win Rodrigo's favor, and his constant rejection in favor of Juan, is a big part of this version! Overall, this is a wonderful and very dark version of the story of the Borgias, a real must watch for fans of stories about the Borgias and dark dramas! The acting, even Doman's, is quite excellent.
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Format: DVD
I enjoyed the Showtime series "the Borgias" enough to buy a copy of the season one DVD of that series, and I suppose I will watch season two of that show with interest.

However, I'm very glad to have stumbled across "Borgia: Faith and Fear." The storyline was much better and to say it was jam-packed with compelling and shocking moments (in contrast with the Showtime series) is an understatement:

1. John Doman as Alexander VI surpasses Jeremy Irons who comes across as too languid and "English" and laid back in comparison. Doman's Pope strikes me as a more authentic version of what Alexander VI might have been like...a complex mix of corruption, passion, political genius, moral blindness, and sometimes even piety.

2. The series spends much more time than the Showtime series on the conclave that put Rodrigo Borgia into the Papacy. Watching this political intrigue whirling at a dizzying pace is fascinating and compelling to watch.

3. The production values are great and are not outshone by the Showtime series. Battle scenes look real and the faux-Vatican created for the series looks real.

4. I have the impression that "Borgia: Faith and Fear" takes fewer liberties with the historical record than the Showtime series (although I did not a few such things).

I would recommend against letting young children watch the show. It is at times extremely violent (brutal torture, public executions) and it has explicit sex scenes (more so than the Showtime series) but with that said, it was not "gratuitous" (the story is set in a bloodsoaked time in a place swirling with vendetta, violence, lust, and all the other dark passions that move people).

I agree that sometimes the vast cast of characters does get confusing (telling who belongs to what factions. I'm looking for a good book about the Borgia clan, so I can better appreciate both series.
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