I bought this a few days ago for my two little relatives (aged 8 and 5) to watch while I was supposed to be babysitting them. I knew it was a great programme and I knew that the girls loved everything about it... so I naturally assumed that I would be able to get quite a bit of work done while they were engrossed in it. Oh, I was still planning on keeping one eye on them - but with most of my concentration devoted to online shopping and playing Minesweeper. Well, that's work. Sort of.
Needless to say, my plans came a cropper almost as soon as the first episode burst into life. What a cracking theme tune that is. It still sounded just as fresh at the beginning of Episode 12, which marked the end of the back-to-back 'Horrible Histories' marathon which the girls forced me to sit through. Actually I think that might have been the other way around. In fact, I think they left me to watch the last episode on my own while they went off to play Minesweeper. I'm not really sure - I was too engrossed in this.
If you're reading this review, then you already know what this show is all about. There is a warning on the back of the box about 'Parental Guidance' being advised for children under 12 but that does seem slightly ridiculous to me. Disc 1 contains the first seven episodes, with the other five (plus the Extras) on Disc 2. The Extras start of with a multiple choice quiz. It does say that you can choose the answers with your 'remote control' although I didn't try that. I did however attempt to do the quiz while playing the disc on my laptop and it didn't seem to even know I was there. The answers come up spontaneously though, so it is still just as informative.
'Savage Songs' is a collection of those fine musical numbers from Series 4.
1. Greek Philosophers
2. Mary Tudor
4. Pilgrim Fathers
6. Victoria & Albert
7. Mary Seacole
9. RAF Pilots
'Mary Tudor' has to be the best out of that lot. Whoever came up with those lyrics and combined them with a parody of 'Wuthering Heights' is a creative genius. There are also twelve minutes of deleted scenes and a short selection of bloopers.
This show is brilliantly inventive and an absolute delight to watch. The children love it of course but there is more than enough here for adults to savour as well. The only downside is that intense feeling of regret the show leaves you with - if ONLY we had had something like this to watch when WE were kids.
on 21 February 2013
I think that the fourth series Horrible Histories has got to be one of the second best children's television series ever produced by the BBC because the modern version of this historical comedy sketch show is just good.
The cast are brilliant in the fourth series because I think that they are all splendid. To start with the actor of Ben Willbond whose performances of John Torode from Historical Masterchef Greek military leader Alexander the Great and Tudor monarch King Henry the Eighth is excellent.
The actor Jim Howick is funny and fantastic as the character of Lord Sugar in the sketches of the Pirates and the Georgians.
They appear in episodes two and eight of the Historical Apprentice. But there is more! The County Durham actor of Simon Farnaby is fantastic as everyone's character of Death the Executioner. Also the Brighton actor of Laurence Rickard is brilliant as the hysterical reporter of Bob Hale in HHTV News. Also the Southend on Sea (Essex) actor of Mathew Baynton is fantastic because he delivers his lines to his characters of posh Stuart King Charles the Second and Tudor playwright William Shakespeare brilliantly.
Also, the Birmingham actress of Martha Howe-Douglas is great because her characters of Tudor Queen Elizabeth the First is just fantastic the young Queen Victoria and Mary the First in the historical Scottish song of the Blue Blooded Blues. By the way the cast from the League of Gentlemen are delightful.
It is because that the actors of Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton deliver their lines superbly to the regular cast of Horrible Histories and they are film executives.
Also as an added extra bonus to the show is adding regular panellist Chris Addison from Mock the Week as a guest appearance in episodes two and eight of this series.
The songs that I like in this fourth series are: the wonderful boy band of the World War Two RAF Pilots who are singing by Take That and also the Victorian pioneer Charles Darwin is singing a song of Natural Selection from the singer of David Bowie. Also Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and his Georgian Navy crew are singing a football song because it is just brilliant from episode twelve. Also there is a jazz song from William Shakespeare and his large band, the Georgian Luddites are singing a heavy metal song from Rage Against the Machine the Pilgrim Fathers are rapping to Oh, it's a New World from Alicia Keys's song of Empire State of Mind and not to mention the Greek Thinkers song which was sung by Aristotle Socrates Plato and Diogenes.
Overall, this is a fantastic DVD to own such as it relevant to anyone's collection and I would recommended it.
So those are just my overall opinions. Thank you Amazon.co.uk. Five stars all round!!!
on 24 September 2013
I bought series 1 for my nephew and watched it with him, enjoyed it so much that I bought 2,3 and now 4. Totally entertaining for kids and big kids alike. The sketches are so funny which makes them so memorable that you start to learn loads without realising.
Wish these had been around when I was at school, great entertainment, great education.
Fourth year of the popular children's comedy sketch show comes to dvd, with all twelve twenty seven minute long episodes in a two disc box set.
Just in case you're uninitiated: based on the popular series of books which highlight obscure and rather gruesome historical facts, this brings them to life via a sketch show. With items that parody modern pop culture. Musical numbers. Regular sketches. Occasional animation. Plus quiz questions.
Performed by a small band of actors who each take on many different roles across an episode, it's a show that works on different levels for different generations. Funny comedy for the children. Clever and knowing wordplay and parodies for the grown ups.
There are a fair few references to bodily functions but all are genuine bits of history and highlight how horrible some of it was.
Amongst the regular sketches there's, alas, no scary stories this time. But plenty of the ever superb stupid deaths. Plenty of Bob Hale. And Helicopters. But not helicopters.Historical wifeswap returns. A new one is historical dentist, all about how that craft was once practised. There are some superb movie trailers for historical events. And three familiar gentlemen pop up as Hollywood film producers in the historical history movie pitch. Also historical apprentice and Brian Cox style presenters of eras gone by.
Of the musical numbers, of particular note is the Battle of Britain tribute in boy band style that ends on a beautifully poignant moment, and the football style song about the Georgian Navy.
There is some duplication of things they've covered in earlier episodes, but all from a fresh perspective so it's not a complaint.
Funny and educational for all ages. Still one of the best comedies ever made.
The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:
The second disc has extras:
All the quiz questions accessible individually. Or in a row.
Almost all the songs accessible individually. Or in a row.
Twelve minutes worth of deleted scenes. Including an excellent one about the Persian Navy of old.
Plus three minutes worth of out-takes.
on 30 August 2013
Horrible Histories has fast become one of my all time favourite series. And I am 23.
Whilst I would normally consider infatuation with children's programming to be blush-worthy, I feel no such embarrassment with openly stating love for this show. The principle cast are wonderful, the historical content frightfully interesting, and the appearances by Terry Deary are much loved by someone who grew up on the books.
Kids and adults alike, whether knowingly interested in history or not, should give this series a go. Though be warned, after just one episode you will be left with the desire to watch all 5 series in quick succession.
on 25 July 2013
I love HH, and so do my children (3 boys, the oldest is currently 7). The series are witty, well written and well acted. The way my children learn from HH follows the same pattern: i) they remember the gory element (getting stabbed on the toilet for instance); ii) they remember the individual e.g. Henry VIII and iii) they start to contextualize the events. Historical understanding is essential to understand current events, HH stokes that interest from an early interest and then just getting older broadens the questions you ask. Well recommended.
on 9 July 2013
We watched it on repeat for almost two weeks. The cast of actors is still wonderful, although I miss seeing Alice Lowe in this season. But quirky Sarah Hadland is back so everything is weird and wonderful, especially her Mary Tudor song - kudos!
I did feel that series 4 is directed more at adults than kids, but still managed to keep my 6 year old glued to the screen and I have the song of Charles Darwin permanently stuck in my brain - so no complaints in this household!
on 28 August 2013
Brilliantly funny whilst being historically correct- I watch this without my kids sometimes! A very talented group of actors, they deserve the awards they've been given.
on 23 June 2013
Horrible Histories has actually taken over my life and it just keeps getting better and better.
I am the ultimate fan! If you haven't watched it or are unsure because you think 'oh its a kids show' its not and so you must watch it! You will be pleasantly surprised at how much talent this show has. The cast are fabulous and really show their stuff in this show. What talent. Thoroughly recommended...a high quality show that has wowed me from day 1.
on 14 August 2013
It is so good! All the series are spectacular this one as well. The songs are funny the sketches are wonderfully entertaining, the actors are top notch! The stupid thing is you learn as well, stuff you've forgotten and things you never knew. What a great way to teach kids about history, I might have been more interested if I'd have had this. So, so, good! There's a reason it's multi award winning!