77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
A brief overview, 29 Dec. 2010
I was attracted to this series because I'd read about the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest and I wanted to learn more about one of the biggest defeats suffered by the Roman army.
I'd seen the BBC production that shares the same name as this collection, and I must admit that after watching the first episode I began to doubt the quality of the production and it bugged me. But after watching a few more episodes, I began to realise that the lower quality visuals and re-enactments are actually the series' strength. Unlike the BBC version, this History Channel production is crammed with accurate historical facts, data and critical overview from, mainly American, experts. Whereas it's easy to get distracted by the superior script/plot, stunning visuals and professional actors used by the BBC and lose track of dates, victories and who was in power.
Like others have said/written before, this production covers some relatively obscure chapters and events in Roman history. This is attractive in the sense that it reveals some of the less well known weaknesses of the Roman empire and how it evolved to put them right.
The only downside, which has already been noted, is the droning narrator and the regular references to 9/11 and the war on terror. The intermittent recaps also betray the fact that this DVD collection is an adapted/edited version of what was aired on TV and repackaged as a DVD collection.
Overall, don't expect to be amazed by stunning visuals and quality acting, but the sheer amount of concise historical fact and analysis makes it well worth the expense.