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Enjoyable historical travelogues
on 1 January 2012
Michael Wood's In Search of Myths & Heroes was a four-part TV series in 2005, looking at the historical truth behind the stories of the Queen of Sheba, Shangri-La, Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece and King Arthur. It is bubbling over with Wood's trademark TV style - full of enthusiasm, energy, plenty of smiles and amazing landscapes.
On the historical front is rather more of a mixed bag than his previous In Search of the Trojan War [DVD]. That had a full series to in which he could play historical detective, trying to locate the truth by tracing a story around the Aegean and through the works of different historians.
This time each piece of historical detective work is condensed into just one 50 minute episode. For Sheba and Arthur that means a helter-skelter journey through many conflicting tales, raising many questions and showing many beautiful scenes but offering little in the way of historical answers amongst all the conflicting thoughts. The other two, Shangri-La and Jason are rather better in this respect and each involve him tracing one continuous journey, making it for a historically-enriched travelogue through some of the most beautiful parts of the planet.
However, even the weaker episodes are still highly enjoyable and are likely to have you reaching for the computer either to find out more about them or to see how you can visit some of the locations on holiday.