on 31 March 2012
I've just watched this DVD and I'm very pleased with it. It's much the same in contents as the other three parts of the series. This is good news and a bit of bad news, but for me the bad news never outweighed the good.
The bad news is that the sound problems that I've reported in my other reviews are very present on this DVD as well. This means that some of the outside interviews sound very hollow, almost as if there's an echo. And the volume differs a lot from scene to scene.
The good news for me was the contents of this DVD. Instead of the earlier DVD's here you get four programmes. The first one is about the final phase of the battle. Here the attack of the Guard is dealt with in some detail. You get to see a group of reenactors showing the guard uniforms to good effect, as well as the British defenders.
The second programme is about the aftermath of Waterloo. It deals with the events after Waterloo, and gives some insight into the casualties and how they were treated. A British surgeon gives a brief tour of his medical instruments and about the way surgery would be performed (ouch). This programme is a bit shorter than the usual 25 minutes, clocking in at just under 20 minutes.
The third programme is all about Grouchy's actions around Wavre, and about his retreat. I really liked this part, because it goes into some detail about the way Grouchy manoeuvred his troops around Wavre to get across the Dyle river, only to receive news of Napoleon's defeat after he got to the other side of the river. His retreat back to Paris is covered briefly as well. This is another somewhat shorter programme, wich is the only critisism I can think of.
The final programme is one of my favorites of the series. It shows all the pieces of clothing a Highlander wore, plus all of his equipment, and how to put them on. Especially the shoes and the backpack looked like beasts to wear/carry. Best of all, the secret of what's worn underneath the kilt is finally revealed!
All in all I think this is a very nice conclusion to a very interesting series. I'm very pleased with these four DVD's and I'll be watching them again in the near future. I do hope there will be other series like this, but I also hope some more care will be given to the sound quality. That would make it perfect.
on 8 June 2012
My DVD arrived a week later than the date given but in many ways it was worth the wait. However, the sound problem is still there, although it was certainly nohwhere near as bad as the sound problems plaguing the previous three DVD's. But the sound control still had to be turned up and down now and again, especially when they changed presenters or when the muskets fired. As with the other three DVD's, you do not get to see enough of the battlefield or surrounding areas and the action is never really covered in any great detail. And, at times, there was no real sense of who stood where and when. The Fourth Part was intended to cover the final attack of the Guard, the retreat, the Prussian pursuit and the Battle of Wavre, but these are basically glossed over far too quickly and there was certainly nothing new provided in terms of information or battle details. Even so, the final disk, as with the previous three, tends to grow on you the more you watch it. It still has an amateur feel to it but the obvious enthusiasm and interest from the presenters make up for the lack of quality and professionalism. The series could have done with more clips studying the arms and uniforms of the various regiments involved, and on both sides, not just the British. In disk four we look closely at the arms, uniform and equipment of a 42nd Highlander, which was one of the better sections of the DVD. Besides what a Highlnader wears under his kilt you will also discover that he wears footless socks and according to the DVD, the dagger was not placed in the sock. As a first series I would say this was a good attempt but if they plan to bring out another series they will have to improve in several areas, especially sections covering the battle details, regiments involved and showing the actual battlefields themselves. There were several occasions were it might have been far better to show the battlefield and have a voice talking over the image than to employ the presenter standing there looking at an area of the battlefield the viewer could not see. But, would I recommend the series? The answer is yes, even though, if you read a lot you not learn a lot. However, although it has faults and sound defects, it is still a very enjoyable series and makes for relaxing viewing. It comes over as a good overview of the 1815 campaign and for that alone, it is one well worth seeing.
on 30 June 2012
A great finarly too the series, well layed out and produced historical series on the Battles of Waterloo. I say battles, as there where two battles before and then battle for ground within the main battle at Waterloo and of course the events after the battle. In this series I learnt more about Waterloo than we learnt at history in schools, an how Kings German Legion, the Belguim and Dutch forces honoured them selves during this conflict. The Kings German Legion was made up of Hanoverina's which were loyal too King George and lived in England, they formed into the King's German Legion and had several battlions. The Dutch Cavalary not only helped save the heavy cavalary, on that fateful charge, but also lead charge which sent the french guards running, which is first time the old guard has been recorded of retreating in a battle. Belguims held there positions against overwhelming odds and forces.