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4.4 out of 5 stars57
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2015
Great series. If you like history you will like this. Shocking issues with native American Indians and also how people were treated in England by ruling groups. But great series.
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on 23 February 2015
I had previously watched and loved the devils whore witch proceeded this programme but didn't think this quite reached its standards.
Still enjoyed it though, and jamie dornan is handsome enough to be the only reason to watch it.
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on 10 November 2014
I bought this for my husband who had seen it on television and enjoyed it. He said the historical detail was very accurate and the times were portrayed very well. I found the beginning too sensational for my taste but it soon settled down into a very absorbing tale.
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on 16 May 2016
This is the sequel to channel 4's the Devil's Whore which was set during the time of the English civil war, this show starts off a few decades later during the time of King Charles the second and later on King James. The mini series follows four young people actross both England and the new world of America who appose, King Charles and his who court have returned to tyranny and the people's of both England and America are now repressed.
However the colonists in the new world are also at war with the native Americans, the colonists commit shocking acts on the natives and it really brings home the injustice carried out by the 17th century settlers and make the viewer almost wish we had never discovered America and just let the people be.
Whilst this series fails to be quite as good as the Devil's Whore I still feel it deserves 5 stars thanks to it's captivating plot and brilliant acting, Jeremy Northman plays the part of Charles II very well, if you enjoyed the Devil's Whore or are just into historical drama series, give this a go, I'm sure that most will really enjoy it.
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on 1 April 2014
I first placed a version of this here early to alert anyone who doesn't know already that it follows on from 'The Devil's Whore' by taking up the story more than 20 years later. There are connections between some of these characters and the characters of that piece who belong to the previous generation. Angelica Fanshawe appears again but played by a different actress (who unfortunately looks nothing like the original actress). The real historical individual called Edward Sexby, and who was the hero of of the earlier series, ended up in the Tower of London, (where he died) for plotting to assassinate Oliver Cromwell having come to believe him a tyrant because he has destroyed as a political force the Levellers, the true revolutionaries of the Civil War, along with Sexby's friend the famous Leveller John Lilburne. In The Devil's Whore' Sexby commits suicide before he can be arrested. We appear to be encouraged to think that Beth is Sexby's daughter (she was left pregnant after Sexby's death) but it is never explained how Angelica has met and come to marry her current husband a devout Catholic, especially when we consider that she renounced God at the beginning of 'The Devil's Whore', albeit as a child (but since this is a constructed drama we have a right to understand her character in this way from then on). Angelica to all intents and purposes is a totally different personality since Flannery and Brant seem to have completely redrawn her character for this new story. Her daughter Beth on the other hand is very much more like the old Angelica Fanshawe.

Peter Flannery was the author of one of the most important long-form dramas for television 'Our Friends In The North',which dealt with the big English political/social historical events from the early 60s to the 9Os, and all his work appears to arise from the same Left Wing political persuasion with an added feminist dimension.The political perspective of 'New Worlds' is obviously continuous with 'The Devil's Whore' but as it continues to explore more fully the situation in the New World it doesn't seem so simple. Except for the very clear message that Republicanism is called for before anything else.

Amazon has already supplied a helpful synopsis and so it isn't necessary to describe the subject matter of 'New Worlds', let alone the entire plot, in the way that often reviewers here do.
Like its predecessor it is elliptical, or somewhat 'abridged', in narrative style and so is much more like epic cinema of the classic kind than true television narrative of any kind - especially what is regarded now as the 'television novel' such as 'The Sopranos' or 'Breaking Bad'. It's also much more elliptical than the kind of long form drama that we've occasionally been offered in the past since the critical success of Germany's 'Heimat. But where it is episodic and lacking in narrative details it is correspondingly strong in visual presentation, although not anywhere near as strong as 'The Devil's Whore' which would deserve more than one viewing for this reason alone. That work also deserves more viewings because of the quality of its script: the dialogue is convincingly 17thc without necessarily being the real thing. I don't think that 'New Worlds' can claim that distinction.
The main problem for a critic is the issue of how to deal with the relationship between New Worlds and the historical record as there are some dramatic liberties taken, mostly to produce a more violent and extreme impression of conditions after the Restoration. One of these which seems completely inexplicable except for the purpose of too easily establishing the reality of tyranny is the inclusion of Colonel Blood(and son) in circumstances of horrific mistreatment in the first two episodes. It seems to me that the same dramatic result would have been achieved if these had been completely fictional characters with some other offence than the attempt to steal the Crown Jewels for which Blood was not in fact executed but pardoned.
On the other hand the way in which the case of Colonel Sidney is made part of the story is close to the historical facts and serves a serious thematic purpose that sits well with what might be Flannery's more considered intentions.
But the last we see of what is happening in the New World is Royalist soldiers opening fire without warning on a cabin occupied by a mixed assembly of politically conspiratorial dissidents. We are clearly meant to infer that a massacre is going to take place, which I don't find very credible, at least not in those circumstances.

Anyone who has ever been inspired by the legend of Robin Hood may find the first episode interesting, and even enjoyable perhaps. You'll see why. But there is no 'good King Charles' here, and no 'Merrie England', and it's very violent and brutal. Like 'The Devil's Whore' it could almost have been written by Dumas although, because of the lovely blonde heroine this time it could be a case of Dumas collaborating with Serge and Anne Golon who wrote the popular Angelique series of historical novels, one of which involves just such an encounter with the Red Indians as Beth's.
Dumas' historical novels have not fared well in the cinema, in fact very few have been done, and even fewer done with respect, but I would recommend 'La Reine Margot'(1995) to anyone who has found that 'The Devil's Whore' or 'New Worlds' has given them an appetite for the historical novel. That film does give some idea of what a lot of Dumas' novels are like.

More so than in The Devil's Whore Flannery and his female co-writer are piling on the agony and the pain, and after just watching again the former I'm beginning to wonder whether perhaps his, and now their, work should be interpreted as despairing of any solution to the problems humans create for one another with their selfish and uncompromising ideologies rather than as Flannery advocating a socialist or Marxist solution. But they never despair of individual human relationships which stand up very well. At bottom this is a drama of two love stories and a marriage on both sides of the Atlantic in very adverse political and religious circumstances.
In the end though I think that the real value of New Worlds is that it prompts us to think of the connection between us and the beginnings of the USA which doesn't reflect well on either side of the story. Americans certainly think of this period more than we do but I doubt whether they think about it in as unsentimental way as we're forced to do while watching this drama. Some historical polemics aside this is on the whole a valuable corrective for Americans and much more than a reminder for us.

I reviewed 'The Devil's Whore' here on Amazon when it was first broadcast with small success since most people thought I was being more serious than it deserved. I only gave it four stars, though I would have liked to give it five, but that's mainly because it was too abridged as a result of the BBC handing it over to Channel 4 which also had cold feet about the larger vision Flannery had for it. I felt that my review should approach it as seriously as I thought Flannery's original idea would have deserved.
'The Devil's Whore' is available on 4OD to watch now. It is well worth watching this before 'New Worlds'
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on 28 December 2014
A virtually unknown piece of history, well produced and certainly worth viewing
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on 8 July 2014
From the first frames, where a New England colonist outpost is being stormed by native Indians, "New Worlds" grips you by the throat and the heart and doesn't let go for 4 episodes of tense, emotionally charged drama. It's a story on an epic scale, told through the lives of young idealists fighting repressive autocracy and played out between the England of Charles II and his colonial dependencies in the New World. It takes you on a journey through hope and despair, through joy and anguish and tears, into a world three centuries ago which is familiar today as we watch our freedoms being eroded by the reaction of the state to terrorism. Who said you can't inform as well as entertain?

We think of Charles II as the Merry Monarch, carousing with his mistresses, and the Restoration as an age of excess and debauchery, and it's true that for a while after Charles Stuart's return in 1660, freed from Puritan strictures the theatre burst into flower, the new science flourished and the first political parties emerged. But by 1680, when "New Worlds" opens, the merriment masked a darker, more vicious reality. Fears that Charles' Roman Catholic brother, James, would succeed to the throne opened old religious schisms and fanned the embers of republican idealism. Charles' response was ruthless. In an escalating battle to win public support, both the King and his Whig opponents whipped up an atmosphere of anxiety and suspicion. All who refused to conform were targeted, especially Roman Catholics, who were cast much like terrorists today. There followed such intense persecution that the final years of Charles' reign became one of the most repressive periods ever known in English history.

The narrative picks up the story of Brant and Flannery's Civil War drama, "The Devil's Whore", some years later as the hope that the Restoration would heal the nation's wounds is turning forlorn. Now in her middle years, Angelica Fanshawe is still living in her beloved Fanshawe House, married to John Francis, a Roman Catholic and a deeply good man and has devoted her life to creating a fairy-tale world to protect her precious daughter, Beth, from the turmoil that rages beyond their walls. But on Beth's 21st birthday the spell is broken: the chaos comes crashing into their world in the wild and irresistible form of Abe, son of a fugitive regicide, living in the woods as an outlaw. From this cataclysmic moment all their lives are changed forever.

Meanwhile, the King has been relentlessly hunting down the few remaining men who signed his father's death warrant. One of the last, William Goffe, fled across the Atlantic to Massachusetts where, with secret support from Angelica, he has lived for 20 years among the Puritans who settled in New England to build a new society where they could live freely according to their consciences. A younger generation is fast growing up, among them our characters Ned and Hope, who define themselves as New Americans. For these English settlers, the immediate threat is the native Americans whose lands they have been ruthlessly colonising. But the English King's vengeance is finally catching up with Goffe and his wrath is turning upon his disloyal subjects who have been harbouring him.

"New Worlds" is the love story of four young people caught up in the eternal struggle about how to live a good life in an unjust world and how to make that world a fairer place. It's about hope and idealism and the unquenchable human spirit. And how, in the final account, there is always love - not just for each other but for all humankind. `What shall I do? How shall I live?' asks Beth in the woods, when Abe opens her eyes to the cruel exploitation of the poor. `Your heart will tell you how to live,' Abe replies.
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on 26 August 2015
Yes it arrived on time an excellent series well worth buying and watching.
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on 10 January 2015
This show covers a period of history I didn't know too much about but enjoyed it, learning about the particular characters in the era. All of the characters were quite likeable and interesting. The drama does come across at maybe targeted at a younger audience, especially with the various love stories happening, but if you don't take it too literally for the history aspect you'll really enjoy this. I was captured quite early on with this show, however believable it actually was, and focused more on the characters and their journey than the historical accuracy and legitimacy of the story.
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on 7 April 2016
I have always been into my history related programmes, documentaries, Tv shows/films etc. Very good, interesting show, not seen it all yet. but have enjoyed what i have seen so far. Great show.
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