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on 23 March 2011
Nowadays, the subject of this series would attract at most a two hour film dramatisation. Eight episodes gives the writers enough time to examine in some detail the ten years leading up to the start of the Second World War when Churchil was out of office and largely ignored. The picture and sound quality are perhaps showing their age but the quality of the acting makes up for this. A strong cast all round with few if any weak links but for me the honours go to Peter Barkworth as Stanley Baldwin, Eric Porter as an uncanny lookalike Neville Chamberlain and Edward Woodward as Sam Hoare. The scenes in the House of Commons are especially effective when the impact of Churchill's oratory is vividly portrayed by Robert Hardy.
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on 3 December 2012
This series belongs to the golden age of TV drama, when audiences were treated with more respect than they are today. And it serves to demonstrate how greatly the quality of TV drama, with a few notable exceptions, has declined in the last thirty years. It is inconceivable to think of such a programme being made nowadays. The series dramatises Churchill's so-called `wilderness years' and, over eight (yes, eight) gripping episodes, the tension slowly mounts as we move closer and closer to the outbreak of the second-world war.
While Robert Hardy's portrayal of Churchill is not, in my opinion, in the same league as Albert Finney's magisterial performance in The Gathering Storm [DVD] [2002], he does manage to convey his indomitable self-will, shot through with moments of petulance. Hardy is supported by a fine cast, which includes Sian Philips (Clementine Churchill), Edward Woodward (Samuel Hoare) and Eric Porter (Neville Chamberlain).
The only real reason I don't give this DVD five stars is the extremely poor sound and picture quality.
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on 9 May 2017
Absolutely superb series, tracing Churchill's path from cabinet exile in the 1930s up to the outbreak of WW2 and his restoration to power. Robert Hardy does a fabulous job as Winston, playing the pomposity, gravity and loveabilty of the great man to perfection. The supporting cast are also excellent. The tension grows as the story progresses and one almost despairs at the sheer stupidity of the appeasers. Thank God Churchill never gave up! He was a voice in the wilderness and a man of destiny. Highly recommended made for TV drama.
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on 26 April 2017
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on 11 August 2017
Great performances and script.
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on 26 July 2015
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VINE VOICEon 29 January 2008
This series held my interest from beginning to end. How could it miss with such a monumental protagonist and such absorbing subject matter. I especially liked Nigel Havers as Randolph, and the actors who played Stanley Baldwin, Ramsay McDonald, and Clement Atlee. I am afraid that I am less enthusiastic about Sian Phillips, who always plays Sian Phillips, and who, in my estimation, managed to make Clemmie rather unpleasant (almost as unpleasant as Phillips, appropriately, made Livia Augusta in "I Claudius."). As for Robert Hardy, he does an on-target impression of Sir Winston Churchill, but I think that he was misdirected.

Did Sir Winston really orate twenty-four-seven? Surely he spoke in a more modulated voice with the family around the dining room table [when he wasn't shouting at Randolph] or in the privacy of his bedroom! In this production, he addresses his "dear Clemmie" in his "fight-them-on-the-beaches" persona, to such an extent that Hardy's portrayal sometimes slips into parody. But again, I believe that the fault must be laid at the door of the director.

This quibble aside, the production is excellent. The recreation of the scenes in the House of Commons is fascinating. When Churchill is at the dispatch boxes letting the coalition government have it, Hardy is magnificent. This series is highly recommended for anyone interested in British political history.
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on 15 February 2004
I awaited this set with anticipation, it duly arrived on time.
I started watching this & couldn't stop as I had remembered how watchable it was when I first saw it on TV - only to be so dissapointed by the recording onto DVD - not only is it out of sinc in places, juddery in others I couldn't believe it when the editors have overlapped about 15 minutes twice on this recording - most dissapointing - DO NOT BUY.
How about a refund Amazon?
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on 21 July 2016
Tedious ... Sorry!!
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on 22 March 2013
I looked forward to watching this Christmas present from my Amazon wish list. The performance by Robert Hardy is outstanding and therefore I have no disagreement with those who applaud the performances, sets, costumes and drama. Where I find issue is the appalling video quality of this particular box set. If you watched the series via a clean VHS copy you would get a better picture. These DVD's are a disgrace. There has been no attempt to clean them up before transfer or to digitalise the picture or sound. The result is very disappointing, so be warned. Which leads me to what I believe is a valid point for all consumers. If the quality of the transfer is rubbish shouldn't there be a health warning to that effect? The we can make a judgement on purchasing, simply because we may still want to see something. Last week I purchased a dvd of 'Get Carter' (Michael Caine)from Amazon and the quality of the video and sound is excellent. So it can be done if people want to make the effort. If technical issues prevent this then they should say so.
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