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The Story of India with Michael Wood: Complete BBC Series [DVD]
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For over two millennia, India has been at the centre of world history. But how did India come to be? What is India? These are the big questions behind this intrepid journey around the contemporary subcontinent. In this landmark series, historian and acclaimed writer Michael Wood embarks on a dazzling and exciting expedition through today's India, looking to the present for clues to her past, and to the past for clues to her future. The journey takes the viewer through majestic landscapes and reveals some of the greatest monuments and artistic treasures on Earth. From Buddhism to Bollywood, from mathematics to outsourcing, Michael Wood discovers India's impact on history - and on us.
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Top Customer Reviews
This series has the following 6 episodes on 2-discs.
1. Beginnings - Ancient rituals in South India and the Indus Valley Civilisation (3000BC) are explored
2. The Power of Ideas - covers the emergence of Buddhism around 500BC and the first Indian Empire led by the Maurya rulers.
3. Spice Routes and Silk Roads - India as a trading partner of Ancient Rome and Greece.
4. Ages of Gold - The Gupta and Chola Empires which marked the Golden Age of Indian history around 300-600AD.
5. The Meeting of Two Oceans - Covers the period of Mughal rule including Akbar the Great around 1600AD.
6. Freedom - covering British rule and the struggle for independence.
It is a great advert for India and it's rich history, placing it on a par with other civilizations like the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans and Chinese. There are aspects (Aryan Migration Theory and Indus Valley Civilisation) that some Indian historians will be very unhappy about (as Wood mentions briefly) but until some-one makes a comparable series with evidence to support alternative ideas, this is the best documentary out there. The reason I gave it only 4 stars was because I felt it could have had more content - possibly by having at least 2 more episodes. I personally would have liked more coverage of certain eras (such as 1000BC to 200AD) but I still recommend it highly.
Wood is an engaging, enthusiastic historian who obviously has a passion for Indian history, Indian culture, and the peoples of India. So the series traces the development of the sub-continent from its earliest days, when men first populated the area, through all the major historical events that have shaped the people and the places. Religion inevitably forms a spiritual spine to the series, but Wood manages to explain the different belief systems without patronising and keeps their impact intact.
Wood also dares to go where other 'presenters' don't dare to tread. In the course of the series he visit Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq (where he's been several times before) and Tibet, in order to better explain the historical context behind the waves of invaders who populated and influenced India. Mind you, I'm not convinced that the footage with the Dalai Lama was a first-person interview...
I found the Ganges series to be pretty but overly dramatic, and the two other 'personality' journeys into India and Pakistan, hosted by well known TV people who were tracing their family roots, to be superficial and overblown. This series is none of those things.
Instead it is colourful, engaging, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. My one criticism is that the final episode, which deals with the days of the British Empire and partition, is maybe a little too harsh. But that's obviously because Wood is personally uncomfortable with the history of Empire... and it's a minor point.
Otherwise this is top-class documentary television. Well worth watching several times over.
And if you like it, then try Wood's book on a South Indian Journey, too!
Ultimately we are left with a deeper understanding but wanting to know more... job done I think.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Story of India with Michael Wood; (DVD) is packed with masses of information about the country. The pictures are excellent, combined with
Michael Wood's descriptions of... Read more
Brilliant. I have always enjoyed Michael Wood's work but his ability here to marshal a entire country's history into a digestible series is a triumph. Read morePublished 4 months ago by A B S BALL
This came in pack of 3 bought for my husband as going to India later this year quality very good and informative.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer