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Rise of Nations Heaven » Forums » Community Forum » Andrew Marr's History of the World
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Topic Subject:Andrew Marr's History of the World
VelvetClaw
Member
posted 11-26-12 08:10 PM EDT (US)         
Episodes watched in detail:
E2, "Age of Empire (sic)"
E3, "The Word and the Sword"
E7, "Age of Industry"

Has anyone seen this yet? personally, I like the way Andrew Marr presents world history - he presents it in a punchy tone, and a pithy manner, embellished with nothing but tongue-in-cheek yet appropriate one-liners - but one never ceases to feel that the historical reconstructions were not done well enough, more of the modern world could be censored out (fancy playing out a strike in Barcelona for a sketch on Socrates!), and also some facts our friend kinda got wrong.

Here's a list of problems:

In E2, "Age of Empire", the Persians are depicted as being brown, Indian or Arab-looking guys. I nearly LOLed at the Battle of Marathon, because the Persians reminded me too much of the grunts one prods about in Age of Empires: Rise of Rome.
Ditto, we won't talk about Alexander or the Olympics - that would be giving too much away - Super7700 will be angry at how they present the Greek phalanx - or rather, lack of it.
In the same episode, Confucius is depicted as wearing yellow and a cap, and his sovereign bare-headed and a simple black robe. As a Chinese, I thought it would be the other way around!
In E3, I'm not sure what Marr calls the Muslim call to prayer, but it's definitely not what Muslims call it themselves.
For E3, BBC makes another boob again - Caesar is depicted with hair when in fact some say he was bald!
In E7, "Age of Industry", Marr makes no note of the fact that the Tokugawa originally tried to modernise, but got ousted due to economic difficulties from unfair trade and anti-modernist settlement...by the Meiji rebels who surprisingly adopted modern weapons, ironclads and armour.
Again, he kinda boobs the entire American Civil War, by implying that the abolition of slavery alone caused the CSA to fracture overnight.
In the same, the Chinese official Lin Zexu is depicted as wearing amber. Not correct, the right colour of his robe should have been black.

Overall it all seems good, and I won't spoil you on the details - to be honest, you will probably find E7 "Age of Industry" interesting, but everything else feels a bit sloppy and slapdash - and despite the quality of the vids, it often feels that the Beeb were working on a shoestring budget, compared with the History channel's magnum opus "The Story of All of Us".

So, if you asked me, "Would you recommend it to others?" I would say, "Perhaps - since it's not My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic". But if the question were "You've watched three episodes - would you watch the other five? sadly I would say, "I will just skim through on YouTube." Still, the Brits have made worse mistakes, so we will end this review here, and take a breath so you can add your comments!

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[This message has been edited by VelvetClaw (edited 11-26-2012 @ 09:32 PM).]

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