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The Edwardians [DVD] 
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Eight-part BBC drama series from 1972, starring Anthony Hopkins and Timothy West, which examines the dynamic and enterprising individuals of Edwardian Britain: an era which is accountable for some of the greatest accomplishments, and most catastrophic failures, in the country's history. Hopkins plays David Lloyd George and Nigel Davenport stars in one episode as Arthur Conan Doyle.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, it's all about the drama/writing/acting, all of which is of a consistently high standard. If you don't know much about the origins of Rolls Royce, the life of E Nesbit (she didn't just write the Railway Children, you know), the origins of the Scout movement or Lloyd George's rise to power, this is a good place to get started.
Not all the episodes are of the same high standard: I felt the Conan Doyle one dragged somewhat. Best of the bunch, though, is Horatio Bottomley, with Timothy West cast to perfection as the charming rogue. The Daisy episode tends to be slammed but I was surprised to enjoy it....interesting experimental film techniques on show here. There's also a fascinating episode on the Music Hall Artists' strike of 1906, which 'features' George Formby Senior.
So, I'd urge people who enjoyed Fall Of Eagles and other contemporaenous BBC series to give this one a go...it isn't expensive and it makes for hours of absorbing viewing.
The subjects range from Rolls and Royce, through Conan Doyle, Baden-Powell and E Nesbit. The enjoyment (or not) of each film will depend on your personal likes and dislikes; the only episode we decided not to watch in full was that on the writer E Nesbit. For us by far the best was the first film of the first disk - Mr Rolls and Mr Royce. The story of the wreckless Rolls, a noble addicted to speed and risk, and obsessive Royce who buys a motorcar only to have it taken apart at his engineering workshop so that it can be rebuilt to a reliable standard. Each of the actors playing the title roles gives a good performance and there was much about this strange partnership that we had not been aware of.
A second really good episode is that on Horatio Bottomley. I had never even heard of this character before but my husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed this film, described as a history of a 'rogue, financier, publisher, politician and public speaker' (nothing really changes it seems).
The series was produced in 1972 and it certainly doesn't seem to have had the budget of the contemporaneous Upstairs Downstairs but there are some good stories largely based on true events.
With the exception of Daisy, they are dialogue-led and can be rather dry in places. So, I don't think this DVD would hold the attention of a child who was researching the period for a school project, for example. It's pretty heavy stuff.
Viewers who enjoy Edwardian features for the settings, nostalgia and costuming might be rather disappointed with this because it's all about the stories, and getting to grips with the characters. It's a learning experience.
I would definitely recommend it, but you need to be prepared to focus. If you're interested in any of the characters but don't know much about them, then this DVD is an excellent resource.
It's not necessary to watch the episodes in order, or indeed, to watch all of them. They are not linked in any way.
The subject matter was good it's a pity the scripts for some of the episodes were poor.
I did find out things didn't know so in that respect it's good.
Having said that the quality of the story telling and the acting is uneven and the cover with all the stills in colour is misleading. There are better old dramas out there Edward vii being one of the best.
One plus point is that unlike many dvds of old dramas this one has sub-titles.
This series was produced after the BBC's excellent "Forsythe Saga" and ITV's excellent "Upstairs, Downstairs" but before the BBC's "Fall of Eagles" (also good). However, this series has not stood the test of time and now looks very very dated (1972) with stilted acting and strained dialogue. It is very theatrical in its whole presentation and pacing, with the episode on "Daisy" being the best illustration of that, providing a seemingly dreamlike fantasy episode rather than TV drama.
The idea seems to be to use snipits of information about the era and the people involved to try to give us a feeling of the period. The best episode is that on Lloyd George (Anthony Hopkins). I am afraid that the series producer - Mark Shivas - who had already gained a good reputation previously with his productions for Granada TV, did not shine on this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully acted and produced. A must see for all those who love the period.Published 14 months ago by Francisco Robles eachen
BOUGHT THIS FOR MY FATHER,WHO IS ONE OF LIFE'S DOER'S..STONE DEAF,THIS DVD IS RARE BECAUSE IT COMES WITH SUBTITLE'S !!!!!!(ARE YOU READING PRODUCTION PEOPLE? Read morePublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not happy that this is the first time I have received a dvd that is not sealed with plastic cover. Would this be a used dvd, I paid full price as it is a gift ,now I am concerned... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Hilda Gallagher
A very interesting group of dvd's, giving much background information about famous Edwardians. Great actors !!Published 23 months ago by artdealer
Brought this for my parents who both love history but they said this DVD was rubbish turned it off after about 10 minutes and that was 10 minutes too long. Read morePublished on 23 July 2014 by R M Arthan
I did not enjoy the dvd, because it was mainly black & white and the quality is very poor, I wouldn't recommend it ,Published on 27 Jan. 2014 by nicola bartley
Mostly black and White , poor quality. The one about Loyd George was not bad, As mr. Hopkins is always a pleasure to watch.Published on 19 Jan. 2014 by Hanne Suadicani
The advertising is very misleading. The release is given as 2009. I bought it because of Anthony Hopkins. I haven't recognized him yet... Read morePublished on 5 Dec. 2013 by Newswoman