It will be worth the dvd coming out the end of January. Shown now as Thanksgiving day fare. It is really an untold story. That is, the story of the struggles of the Separatist (Pilgims) in the 13 years before the Mayflower ever sailed. That was 1607, the year the first sucessful permanent colony was established in Virginia, named after King James. England was Protestant & The Anglican Church of England was the only lawful religion. James seemed to be quite pious in that regard. Not to the Separatist, who were loyal to the king in every way except religious. They printed tracts & even accused the King of popishness. This angered him & he harassed them until they left England for Holland. There they were tolerated but somewhat isolated & empoverished. This could not be a permanent solution & they decided that America might be option to consider. They needed a charter from King James who was basically angry with them but readily agree. He did not like them in Holland & in America they would be far away & out of his hair. Obtaining a ship, crew & provisions for the long trip was not cheap. Eventually they had to take non-believers with them who had money & for various reasons also wanted to leave. They had several fitful starts & even had to turn back several times. Finally they left England in late summer of 1620, a bad time to leave & even worse to land for it got them to America with winter bearing down & no chance to plant crops. They never got to Virginia. Instead they landed in Massachuetts Bay, outside of the area of their charter from the king. The weather prevented them from sailing out & around Cape Cod & south to Viginia. So there they stayed. Technically, they were no longer ruled by English law & the non-believers aboard knew this. They were not going to be governed by the rules that the separatist proposed once they landed. Both groups were of about equal size & what came about was the first great document in our history, The Mayflower Compact. Essentially a consensus document setting up a government with laws that all groups could live with. Quite remarkable. This document saved their lives. If they had split they surely would have perished. As it was, half the people died that winter. They pulled together & made it. These events were recorded for posterity by one of the original Pilgrims, William Bradford, who was there & later would become Govenor of the colony until shortly before his death in 1657. The reenactments for this documentary were quite well done. They choose a permenant site but not before fleeing & fighting some Native American tribes for stealing their seed corn & making friends with another tribe. A claim that there were over 50,000,000 people in North America at this time is hard to believe. But if true the number that died from disease & at the hands of Europeans over the next 250 years is truly a disaster eclipsing other examples of mass extinctions in history. By fall 1621 there was enough bounty to have a festival. According to this telling, the natives just dropped in bringing wild turkeys & both groups partied together for three days & nights. They ate all of the Pilgrims food. Later, they brought in supplies of venision, a high prestige gift of respect. The Pilgims were expected to do the same, that is drop in any time uninvited to eat & stay overnight. This version did not mention a story I had heard. The Pligims landed where they did because they were in a hurry to set up a brewery, having run through the ship's supply of beer. One thing that is important to point out is the Pilgrims did not come to America to practice religious freedom. They came to America for the freedom to practice their religion.