Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
A Gripping Story
on 4 August 2013
This documentary gripped a significant proportion of the population when it was screened by Channel 4 in February 2013, even those who have little interest in medieval history or the debate over the true character of Richard III which has occupied historians ever since. The quest to uncover the remains of England's most infamous monarch, the last king to lead his troops into battle and the only one not to have received a proper funeral or a lasting memorial to commemorate his life, is an engaging story if only because it flew in the face of what academics thought reasonably possible and overcame odds of a million to one when the remains of the last Plantagenet king were uncovered in a Leicester car park.
The passion of Philippa Langley, who was the prime motivator behind the "Looking for Richard" project, is evident throughout and endears her to us. But the documentary's presenter, Simon Farnaby, steals the show. He is the perfect foil when Philippa becomes rather too emotional and he uses his natural, gentle humour to good effect. He approaches the project armed only with the Shakespearean tradition of Richard's character - that of a vile, grasping tyrant with a hunch back and a withered arm - but his light hearted approach does not mask the very serious contention that Richard was maligned by the Tudors and was, by medieval standards, a good ruler and may not have been guilty of the crimes of which he has been accused.
Those who are satisfied by an overview of history will be enthralled by this documentary. Those who wish to look deeper will find it a perfect introduction to further research.
I would have presented this review with 5 stars but for the sound quality of the DVD. At times, the background music is rather too much in the foreground, obliterating the narration.