- Actors: Andrew Marr
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 2
- Classification: 12
- Studio: 2entertain
- DVD Release Date: 23 Nov. 2009
- Run Time: 345 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B002KSA48S
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,885 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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The Making Of Modern Britain [DVD]
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Following on from his award-winning History of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr takes us back to the first half of the 20th Century, one of the most vivid, fast-changing and exhilarating periods in British history. He re-visits the dramas of the Edwardian age, the wild roller-coaster ride of the twenties and thirties and the nation-defining events of two devastating world wars.
From the death of Queen Victoria to the retreat from Dunkirk; from the General Strike to the Battle of Cable Street; from Charlie Chaplin to Rolls Royce; and from the days of Music Hall to D-Day, Andrew Marr takes us on a witty and entertaining tour of this fascinating era when modern Britain was springing into life.
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Top customer reviews
Recent history is a ticklish subject, but Andrew Marr proves in this BBC series that it can be explained in some considerable depth without being stilted or over-dramatised. These hour-long programmes are thankfully free of actors gallivanting around in reconstructed scenes and instead concentrate on Marr's delivery to camera, with some archive footage, and the odd sepia-tinged current backdrop.
The series starts with the death of Queen Victoria and the advent of the Edwardian era, and looks at political and social developments during the first 50 years of the 20th century. It covers a period of enormous change and the appalling consequences of the First World War. It also reminds us that not all of the results of war were negative, and that many of the social and technological changes in British society were hastened by conflict.
From the start, Marr plays fast and loose with a strict timeline, preferring instead to hop around a little on the theme of each programme to draw together different strands and present an overall picture. So We see the Boer War and how it was the British who invented the concentration camp; the start of the working men's movement that became the Labour Party and put the first working class MPs into the House of Commons; the beginning of the women's suffrage movement; the career of Joe Chamberlain and the effect he had on the two established political parties; the engineering advances of Rolls Royce and the bawdy presentations of the music hall entertainments of the time. Later come uprisings in Ireland, the carnage of war, the rise of Lloyd George to a near dictatorship, how Hollywood influenced the UK, the birth of the BBC, the decline of the old empire, the general strike and the Wall Street Crash - and so on.
In six episodes it would be hard to produce a complete history so instead Marr concentrates more on political life than domestic, everyday events. His delivery is relaxed and often leans towards the dramatic (so it can get quite strident at times, with a punchy delivery accompanied by a loud sound-track full of stirring music). You wouldn't necessarily want to watch more than one episode in an evening, but the whole series does reward repeated viewing - we spotted extra snippets and understood more of the overall picture on the second time around.
Overall, very informative and highly entertaining. Andrew Marr plainly has a very firm grasp on how he believes we've come to our current political position, and in this series he does a creditable job of explaining his world view to us. Not quite as compelling as Michael Wood, but easier to relax with than David Starkey...
The series is based on the bestseller, The Making of Modern Britain: From Queen Victoria to V.E. Day: 1. In each episode, a vast range of events couples political developments with social and entertainment aspects. For example, Episode 2 explores the haemorrhaging of power of the House of Lords (under Lloyd George and Asquith) alongside the rise of Charlie Chaplin. Add to that the 1912 Dock Strike, a near-revolution occurring, as Marr points out, midway between the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917. Marr also includes Marie Stopes, who pioneered birth control, plus the suicidal run of suffragette Emily Wilding Davison under the King's horse at the 1913 Derby. Finally, he takes us through the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the formation of political alliances leading up to World War I. Phew! Value for money, or what?
All this material - and the above paragraph covers just one episode - is conveyed with glittering political and social analysis, rare archive clips and location work. The entertaining Marr, both serious and playful, enthusiastically affects different accents and clearly loves the camera, reminiscent of TV historian Michael Wood. (The Michael Wood BBC Collection)
After the sombre exploration of World War I in Episode 3, Episode 4 starts with Marr mixing a luscious concoction - the "Bathwater Cocktail." As a neat framing device, Marr drunkenly lurches off the scene as the Roaring Twenties draw to a wretched close. In between, there is nightclub life, workers rioting in Glasgow, the sinister corruption of Lloyd George's cash-for-honours scandal, and the rivalry between de Valera and Michael Collins in Ireland.
The Bathwater Cocktail puts Marr on anyone's list of ideal drinking companions. The series as a whole places the 20th century admirably in context.
Andrew Marr takes us back to the 1st half of the 20th century, one of the most vivid and changing periods of british history.
He visits dramas of the Edwardian age a rollor coster from the 20s & 30s
Andrew Marr take us on a witty and entertaining tour of this era when modern britian sprung o life.
Its extremely intresting and anyone who likes he's work will enjoy watchig these Dvds