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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate Wood
This is one of the very best of Michael Wood's documentaries, an excellent blend of history and travel, not all of it easy. The comparison of the past (based on the works of classical writers quoted by Wood) with the present as experienced by Michael and film crew, is fascinating, particularly when direct links with Alexander are encountered.

Of the...
Published on 2 July 2006 by Kerryah

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story
A truly great story from ancient times well told by Michael Wood. When it originally aired on the BBC Michael Wood introduced us to General Massoud who had loaned him a helicopter to visit a hill fort from Alexanders time. Sadly the General and his kindness to Mr Wood has been editted out of this edition.
Published 8 months ago by BFROSTY


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate Wood, 2 July 2006
By 
Kerryah (Port Adelaide, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the very best of Michael Wood's documentaries, an excellent blend of history and travel, not all of it easy. The comparison of the past (based on the works of classical writers quoted by Wood) with the present as experienced by Michael and film crew, is fascinating, particularly when direct links with Alexander are encountered.

Of the documentaries available on Alexander the Great, this one is definitely the best.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent well-researched and well-presented documentary, 28 Aug 2008
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This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
We watched this after watching Oliver Stone's Alexander Revisited (the final cut) and I'd recommend doing that as this documentary works brilliantly afterwards going into depth and giving you further insights. Make sure you watch the interview with Michael Wood at the end in which he comments on the film etc - it is all excellent. Michael Wood's understanding of the need for historical context and his commitment to trying to understand Alexander in his own terms as much as from our modern perpective is to be applauded. This really is a brilliant documentary - visually stunning, intriguing and entertaining. I cannot imagine anyone interested in this subject being disappointed with this 2 DVD set.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational history., 29 July 2004
By 
Simon (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
This is an excellent video for someone like myself who had little prior knowledge of Alexanders exploits.It certainly is not high brow nor is it boring. Michael Wood is enthusiastic and passionate about his subject. Following Alexanders route makes you realise just how incredible his achievments were. As a travel programme alone it is brilliant add the history as well and you have a real winner.Footage of the severity of the terrain Alexander led his army through in places like the Hindu Kush and Afganistan is amazing. These programmes inspired me to learn more about the Macedonian king and I have since read several books on the subject. A pretty good endorsement for the programme, well done Michael Wood.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what an adventure, 4 Jun 2012
By 
E. J. Wheeler (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
I just re-watched this - it's fascinating - as much as anything for the war footage looked at from our present perspective ... followed into Kabul by the Taliban, aided by warlords in the Pansheer valley and northern Afghanistan ... on the front line in Kurdistan - what an adventure! the cameraman, Peter Jouvenal, an old Afghan hand, was with John Simpson at the retaking of Kabul from the Russians, and then again, from the Taliban ... a very useful person ... the preparation for this journey must have been a piece of work. the Pakistan navy, and UN forces in Kurdistan gave time and resources to the project. never mind the scholarship and sheer obsession almost matching Alexander's. As always, Wood brings in local populations, the camera travelling over and picking out faces, taking in local legend and storytelling; local musicians accompany parts of the story. beautiful to look at as well - a rare treat.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There are thirty Alexandrias between Africa and India, 15 Nov 2009
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the best Michael Wood documentaries, a modern journey that is undeniably epic in scale. Twenty thousand miles from the snowy peaks of Vergina in Macedonian Greece, through modern-day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and India.

Unfortunately, events in Iraq (the journey took place in the mid-1990s) meant that he could not reach the site of the battle of Gaugamela. Instead, we are compensated by time spent exploring the paths and problems that had Alexander had in his approach to the Persian capital of Persepolis. He also has trouble in Afghanistan, but not necessarily from the Taliban; rather, it was the terrain and the bandits in the mountains that caused problems.

Thankfully, this is no docu-drama: no, it is Wood himself who makes the journey whether it is by foot, by train, yacht, tractor, bus, car, helicopter, van, AWAC (!), lorry, horse, or warship. And his knowledge of languages is clearly impressive, seemingly being able to communicate directly or throgh interpreters in Turkish, Makrani, Baluchi, Urdu,or Pashtun.

The series is not as academic as his search for the Trojan Wars; rather, it is more of a travelogue, but he tries to remain as faithful to the sometimes contradictory sources as possible. Wood's key problem is untangling the facts from the legend. With the writings of the contemporary Callisthenes in hand, together with those of Arrian and Curtius, who wrote three-to-four hundred years afterwards, he attempts to make sense of the disagreements that exist in the documentary sources.

By following in Alexander's footsteps, Wood claims to have made some insights into Alexander's character. For instance, walking along the coast of south-western Turkey, he deduces that Alexander did not always plan ahead, that he was an obstinate man, and that many of his successes depended on luck. He also locates the spot - at Siwa in the Egyptian desert - where you can still stand on the same stones that he stood upon, perhaps the only place on earth where this is possible.

Throughout the series of four episodes, Wood seeks out modern day resonances in the stories and legends still told in the communities along the way. In Persia it is the Zoroastrians who tell their side of Alexander's march through their lands. Whilst with the Kalash of the Hindu Kush he drinks with possible descendants of Alexander's army. Wood does not shrink from examining the dark side of Alexander, such as his self-deification, his crucifixion of Callisthenes, and what would now be termed `war crimes'. Come the end of the journey, Wood's admiration for Alexander is tinged by the hero's foolhardiness and trickery: "A man broken in the end by the loneliness and insanity of absolute power."

The set comes with a thirty-six minute interview (presumably shot in 2005 - it refers to the Oliver Stone movie), in which Wood says that to try and tell Alexander's story without following it on the ground would be a meaningless exercise. He also says how his view of Alexander was affected y the still-living traditions that he encountered along the way, traditions that viewed Alexander as accursed rather than gifted by the gods. He also tells how some of the trips were organised, especially to Afghanistan, and he comments on the Hollywood films that have been made with their `negative ending problem'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC, 23 Mar 2013
By 
A. Taylor (Surrey England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
Michael Wood at almost his very best. As per the title it's a trip in the (guessed at on occasion) footsteps of to megalo Alexandros. It's well made, good camera work and Michael's script is first rate. He's not blind to Alexander's faults so it isn't all Arrian but even if one doesn't know anything about the subject it's still entertaining and informative - there's also lots of blue sky which is a great help with the summer and winter we are having.

Comes on two DVD's and covers the ground from Greece to India and highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the footsteps of Alexander the Great, 6 Mar 2013
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This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
Until I watched this series I had not understood the enormity of Alexander's achievements. I was amazed by the distances he covered with his army, at the skill and care it must have taken to provision it on the march, and at his daring and ingenuity in the ways he found to conquer various armies and generals.

The series is very well done. I enjoyed it immensely
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
A truly great story from ancient times well told by Michael Wood. When it originally aired on the BBC Michael Wood introduced us to General Massoud who had loaned him a helicopter to visit a hill fort from Alexanders time. Sadly the General and his kindness to Mr Wood has been editted out of this edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating trek in the footsteps of Alexander, 24 Feb 2013
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Mrs. Sarah Gall (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
Very absorbing - not to say exhausting! By the end you feel as if you have really trudged across Asia with Alexander. But Michael Wood is a much more genial companion than the great man himself would have been, I'm sure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IN THE FOOTSTPES OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT, 16 Feb 2013
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This review is from: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great [DVD] (DVD)
Magnificent. Michael Wood takes us on a journey and shows us a facet of our Western culture that we tend to forget and perhaps more of us need to cherish. Great for general and even military history buffs.
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