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From the writer of the excellent 'Bow Street runner' mini-series City of Vice, and director of the powerful drama The Relief of Belsen, comes the untold story of the Norman conquest. 1066 chronicles a defining chapter in British history, exploring the conflict through the eyes of the those up close to the action, on the battlefield and caught up in the fray. The lavish two-part feature-length drama stars Mike Bailey (Skins) Francis Magee (Layer Cake), and Soren Byder (Foyle's War).
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Bad points - The Anglo Saxon English appear primitive at the wedding near the start (England was the most advanced nation is Europe, with a localised government and effective national authority based on a truly democratic system - that's why the Normans invaded in the first place).
Small, unrealistic battles (a young lad running though the Viking ranks to take Hardrada's banner).
Vikings, as ever are portrayed as superhuman fighters (they were mostly raiders and pirates who avoided pitched battles).
Good points - the LOTR tie-ins which show how heavily influenced Tolkien was by Anglo Saxon culture, and where many of the phrases used in the books come from such as 'Orc' (old English for a demon-foreigner) and elves (woodland beings, not to be trusted).
It shows the human side to a genocide that happened in England and is rarely mentioned.
King Harold is portrayed very well and his death scenes with Edith Swan-necked were touching.
A timely reminder at the end of how much English land still belongs to the descendants of the Norman elite who imposed their wicked feudalism on a previously free people after 1066.
For all those that love historical battles and especially those who enjoy learning of Anglo Saxon England, this is a must.
There's Viking running about getting people and then they get got themselves by some other vikings called the Anglo-Saxons and they then get the vikings but some vikings then become anglo-saxons and go off to get some other people who are all called Norman which must have been very confusing.
Anyway the Anglo-Saxons all get got by the Norman Clones who very confusingly are led by a bloke called William who gets crowned The Conqueror and becomes king of the Vikings or something and that's the end.
They had a funny scoring system as they all win a match each but the Vikings lose their away match and Norman wins his so he wins the championship. I guess they all take turns in hosting the competition.
I enjoyed it and was really looking forward to 1067 to see the next years season but I don't think you can get it on DVD.
The commentary is by Ian Holm who was the robot in Alien who has his head knocked off by Yaphet Koto with a fire extinguiser - you don't see him in this so he might have his head stitched back on now but he still sounds like a robot.
I'm glad I borrowed it and might watch it again before I give it back.
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