This 2 DVD set provides an insight into Britain's past and goes some way to explaining a lot about its' heritage and contemporary culture. The series covers the geographical/political issues as well as explaining the origin of some of the stereotypical perceptions of the British such as their "sense of fair play" etc. Empire also portrays the exploitation, discrimination, and, in some aspects, the political ineptitude of the British Empire.
No one is condoning many of the things that were done in establishing and running the Empire, however, as some of the indigenous people interviewed for the series make clear, there were, arguably, some positive aspects to what the British tried to achieve. The British motivation and aspirations around the Empire need to be seen in the context of what was a very different world to the one we live in now. I have docked a star on the basis that I think Jeremy Paxman could have been more balanced in this aspect of his coverage.
In summary, this DVD set does serve to show much about where contemporary Britain has evolved from. It also chronicles the creation of what are now some of the globe's most powerful economies. The production quality is excellent, and, it is an atmospheric, thought provoking and insightful set of DVDs. (The run time is just under 5 hours in total). Recommended.