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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.
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on 25 July 2013
When I read the title of this DVD, I wasn't sure whether I would 'enjoy' it or think much of it, but felt is was certainly worth a view, wanting to broaden my view on History and the monarchy.
I thought that it was both fascinating and very enlightening!! Especially going through the same 'edge of the seat' feelings that the contributors were going through. A large 'bunch' of professionals who were very sceptical (and I also sharing their view initially), but it became more and more apparent that they were onto a 'real' find!! All the test's and historical information and the very number of professionals and the University of Leicester 'proving' generally beyond any 'reasonable' doubt that it was Richard the III.
Very enlightening, professionally carried out, funny and very much worthwhile.
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on 13 January 2015
Up until I saw this DVD and read the book,I was 90% convinced that this was the skeleton of Richard the third,but the other 10% remained sceptical!.His brutal death was in the battle of Bosworth in 1485 at the young age of only 32 years old,so a very long time ago..

Phillipa Langley was the secretary of the Richard the 3rd society,and it was she who was one of the leading people involved,along with top archaeologists,who eventually had their hopes and wishes fulfilled.When the digger started to plough up the car park it initially started to dig where there was the large letter "R",normally meant to imply reserved of course.

Anyway,the film is fascinating as it shows the step by step account of the exhumation in the Leicester car park,and the hundreds of tests that followed on in laboratories etc..The scientists said on film that this was indeed,a one in a million chance...Now for sceptical scientists to admit to that happening,brought my belief of this actually being Richard the 3rd up to a 99%!!!.

As the King's skeleton was found,the onlookers in the car park all gasped when they saw the curved spine.The King's head had took the punishment,and he suffered a terrible but swift death.

Test after test proved positive,but the tests took months of computer analysis.One of the tests showed that Richard the 3rd ate lots of fish that in those far off days was a meal only enjoyed by the upper class..we lesser mortals would have ate pottage etc.The test also proved that Richard's spine was indeed curved,in a sideways fashion,and that one in ten of the modern populace (that is "us" lot)has a curved spine.However you would never know that fact as we walk around.

Eventually it was proven by DNA and the subsequent finding of one of King Richard's descendants,a Canadian working in London,that the match was perfect,this truly was Richard the 3rd.The rest,as they say,is history.
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on 23 February 2017
Rather than 2 1/2 hours, this DVD contains 2 separate hour long episodes with a fair bit of repetition in the second film. Nevertheless it was very interesting with a few unexpected nuggets revealed eg the scoliosis probably developed later in childhood rather than from birth. The Canadian gentleman who provided DNA was described as the end of the line for maternal mitochondrial DNA, but then they mentioned in passing that they had DNA from another relative without elaborating. I had to look elsewhere to discover that the Canadian's mother had provided a DNA sample before she died, so presumably that's what they were referring to. The presenter, Simon Farnaby, did a very good job and his face was familiar, possibly from Horrible Histories. But hasn't he got strange eyes?...he seems to peer out through narrow slits.
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on 21 April 2015
I bought and watched this DVD when it first came out, but have just watched it again, having been reminded of it when I watched King Richard's reburial at the end of March (I do hope that they bring that out on DVD!).
It is, as everybody knows the absolutely fascinating history of the finding of the King's skeleton in a Leicester car park, and the research done afterwards by the University.
What struck me was the sudden realisation that Richard was a real person. I always knew he was of course, but seeing his hastily buried skeleton in the hole like a recent murder victim brought it home. Likewise, the description of his wounds, and how he died, was almost unbearable, although intensely interesting.
Having watched this video, and Richard's reburial service, I shall never now be able to watch Shakespeare's Richard III. This was a real man who lived and suffered and died, extremely bravely, not a cut out caricature.
I highly recommend this DVD.
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on 17 September 2013
I have been a 'champion' of Richard III for nearly forty years and was so pleased when his body was found. It can now be given a decent and dignified burial and I believe that should either be in York Minster, the church of his dynasty or Gloucester Cathedral, the church of his dukedom.

This DVD is excellent and I shared Phillipa LANGLEY's excitement as the identity was confirmed. There was no withered up arm, round one to the truth against the Tudor lies and definitely no Quasimodo style hunchback. Richard had scoliosis, which could have developed in his childhood as he practiced with weapons, as the children of the nobility did. Richard spent many years at the home of the Earl of Warwick, Richard NEVILLE, his mother's family and eventually fell in love with Warwick's daughter Ann, whom he was to marry. SHAKESPEARE lied when he wrote that Ann despised him, one of many lies told by this so called illustrious writer.
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on 18 October 2013
This is an excellent DVD for anybody interested in history and Richard III in particular. The DVD examines all aspects of the dig itself, the history element and Richard III as a King much maligned by the history written after his death at Bosworth Field. The archeological and scientific aspects of the dig and subsequent revelation that the body is indeed Richard are easy to follow. Simon Farnaby is an ideal presenter and is obviously fascinated by the whole experience and develops a keen interest in the historical events surrounding Richard as the story unfolds. I would recommend this to any fellow Ricardian and anybody with a fascination for historical events.
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on 20 August 2013
Anyone with an interest in history in general, medieval history in particular or who loves a mystery/detective story will find this compelling viewing. Unlike the snippets of information about the dig which popped up in the news, this programme covers the whole dig, the examination of the bones by the University of Leicester and the announcement to the world's media at the conclusion of the process.
Regardless of whether you are a Ricardian or not, (I am!) the twists and turns thrown up by the evidence kept me glued to the screen throughout and although The Unseen Story repeats some of the material from the earlier programme, the different slant on it kept me interested until the closing credits.
At 2 hours of viewing in total, I thought it was good value.
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on 7 June 2015
Loved this DVD, it covers the whole story of the discover of Richard III's remains in the carpark and the multi-disciplinary approach taken to ensure the identification of the remains was proven beyond all reasonable doubt. I would like to have seen a bit more about the steps taken to identify the probable site of Richard's burial, I felt this was glossed over in the opening minutes of the DVD. Apart from that, excellent.
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on 21 March 2014
As a longtime Ricardian, albeit one from "the other side of the pond", I was thrilled to find this DVD. The Smithsonian got the rights to these films for the US market. The Smithsonian took these films and modified them, resulting in "Secrets: Richard III Revealed" (available in the US on Netflix and through the Smithsonian iPad app). The Smithsonian's version is OK, but I was over the moon to find the original story as it aired in the UK.

For any other US fans, be advised you will need a "Region Free" or Region 2 player to view this DVD. I found a portable 9" DVD player by Phillips that suited the bill on the US Amazon site and was thrilled to find within the reviews for it the instructions necessary to change it from a Region 1 to Region Free. This DVD was my first purchase of a Region 2 DVD and it played perfectly.

As for the DVD, any Ricardian will be entranced from the get go. As well as mystery and history buffs in my humble opinion. The story was just fascinating and you really felt like you were taken along personally to see the expedition up close and personal. I loved seeing the story unfold as if I had actually been there in Leicester for the dig.

I enjoyed the short portions filmed at Middleham Castle and at Bosworth Field, both amazing sites which I was lucky enough to visit years ago. Simon Farnaby's discussions with Philippa Langley were fascinating, especially towards the end when he admitted that he had become a Ricardian as a result of making this film.

As other reviewers have noted, this film gives no answers with respect to Richard and his nephews. But perhaps at some future date at least the bones of the princes can be tested to see if they are in fact the Yorkist Princes who would share the same mitochondrial DNA used to authenticate Richard's remains.

Loyaulte me lie
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