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Old September 23rd, 2012, 06:04 AM   #1

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Andrew Marr's History of the World


A new history documentary series is starting on BBC1 at 9pm tonight (in the UK) - Andrew Marr's History of the World.

His other two history documentary series, covering 20th century British history, were both informative, accessible and interesting, and rivetting viewing, so I am looking forward to this one.

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Old September 23rd, 2012, 06:51 AM   #2

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I didn't see his other history stuff, but I did see his Mega Cities documentary which was excellent so I'll probably find some time to watch this tonight!
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Old October 1st, 2012, 08:47 AM   #3
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This is a brilliant series and it's documentaries like this which the BBC is the best in the world at.

Click the image to open in full size.

I watched the first episode on Sunday night last week, which was about the emergence of the first humans, and then I watched episode two last night, which was about the emergence of the first empires.

Viewers were treated to Andrew Marr telling us very informatively about the Assyrians; Alexander the Great; Confucius; Buddha; Socrates; and the Phoenicians and their invention of the alphabet which all western alphabets are descended from.

This is what the BBC website says about last night's episode:

From the Assyrians to Alexander the Great, conquerors rampaged across the Middle East and vicious wars were fought all the way from China to the Mediterranean. But this time of chaos and destruction also brought enormous progress and inspired human development. In the Middle East, the Phoenicians invented the alphabet, and one of the most powerful ideas in world history emerged: the belief in just one God. In India, the Buddha offered a radical alternative to empire building - a way of living that had no place for violence or hierarchy and was open to everyone.

Click the image to open in full size.
Lavish: Mehmed II conquers Constantinople in the BBC production

Great thinkers from Socrates to Confucius proposed new ideas about how to rule more wisely and live in a better society. And in Greece, democracy was born - the greatest political experiment of all. But within just a few years, its future would be under threat from invasion by an empire in the east...

If you go to this site you can watch the whole of episode two: BBC iPlayer - Andrew Marr's History of the World: Age of Empire

The BBC have, however, been criticised over episode two. It seems as though the BBC has been showing its anti-Christian views again.

Andrew Marr has been accused of a ‘cavalier and unsympathetic’ attitude towards Christianity after failing to include Jesus in last night's episode but including the Buddha.

In the episode, Marr visits the Indian town of Bodh Gaya, a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, to explain the origins of that particular faith. And next week, in episode three, he tells the story of the Indian warrior Ashoka, who converted to Buddhism and helped spread the faith.

Christians, including Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, say the BBC is guilty of ‘a glaring oversight’ for excluding Christ from the series.

Lord Carey said: ‘Any historical enquiry worth its salt takes seriously the life and ministry of Jesus when considering the impact of the Christian faith on world history.

‘This glaring oversight confirms a widely-held suspicion that the BBC tends to be cavalier and unsympathetic in its treatment of Christianity.’


Read more: Andrew Marr's History Of The World: BBC accused of ignoring Jesus while honouring Buddhism | Mail Online



Last edited by Brunel; October 1st, 2012 at 08:59 AM.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 10:58 AM   #4
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Episode 3 (of 8) of Andrew Marr's History of the World is on at 9pm on BBC1 tonight.

I'll be watching it with a few glasses of wine.

Episode 3: The Word and the Sword.

Duration: 1 hour

In the third episode of this landmark series charting the story of human civilisation, Andrew Marr plunges into the spiritual revolutions that shook the world between 300 BC and 700 AD.

This was an age that saw the bloody prince Ashoka turn to Buddhism in India; the ill-fated union of Julius Caesar and Egypt's Cleopatra; the unstoppable rise of Christianity across the Roman Empire and the dramatic spread of Islam from Spain to Central Asia.

Each dramatic story pits the might of kings and rulers against the power of faith. But Andrew Marr discovers that the most potent human force on the planet came from the combination of faith and military power. Both Christianity and Islam created new empires of 'the word and the sword'.

Watch a short clip here: BBC One - Andrew Marr's History of the World, The Word and the Sword, The Word and the Sword
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 10:54 AM   #5

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Just watching it, unfortunately I think Andy Marr is a bit of a prat, simply because he had the audacity to compare his History of the World to the masterpiece that is Civilisation by Sir Kenneth Clark.

What Andy forgets to mention is that he's just an overpaid journalist whereas Sir Clark was a well educated historian and actually knew what he was talking about. It's a pity the BBC didn't select someone more qualified to present this programme.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 11:41 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
Just watching it, unfortunately I think Andy Marr is a bit of a prat, simply because he had the audacity to compare his History of the World to the masterpiece that is Civilisation by Sir Kenneth Clark.

What Andy forgets to mention is that he's just an overpaid journalist whereas Sir Clark was a well educated historian and actually knew what he was talking about. It's a pity the BBC didn't select someone more qualified to present this programme.
I think the level of history presented in the series is probably more suited to a journalist/tv presenter than a professional historian. It's very basic stuff - but then, he's been covering about a thousand years with each hourly episode. For what it is - evening entertainment - it's actually really very good, imo. If not Andrew Marr, we'd probably have been given Dan Snow or Neil Oliver. No thanks.

As for Kenneth Clarke's Civilization, you're bang on, it's a masterpiece of televisual history.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 11:46 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by avon View Post
I think the level of history presented in the series is probably more suited to a journalist/tv presenter than a professional historian. It's very basic stuff - but then, he's been covering about a thousand years with each hourly episode. For what it is - evening entertainment - it's actually really very good, imo. If not Andrew Marr, we'd probably have been given Dan Snow or Neil Oliver. No thanks.

As for Kenneth Clarke's Civilization, you're bang on, it's a masterpiece of televisual history.

Civilisation was still only an hour or so though, compared to A History of the World it shows the sort of dumbing down adopted by the BBC, the two shows are not in the same league.

There's probably plenty of erudite historians we could have used, Dan Snow is at least an historian but he's a bit of a poser, Betty Hughes has had her shows sexxed up too. You wouldn't catch Attenborough winking at the camera with a sunset background and filtered lens. The trick is, imho, for the show to be about the show rather than about the presenter. I guess Andy has got that bit right.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 12:04 PM   #8

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Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
Civilisation was still only an hour or so though, compared to A History of the World it shows the sort of dumbing down adopted by the BBC, the two shows are not in the same league.

There's probably plenty of erudite historians we could have used, Dan Snow is at least an historian but he's a bit of a poser, Betty Hughes has had her shows sexxed up too. You wouldn't catch Attenborough winking at the camera with a sunset background and filtered lens. The trick is, imho, for the show to be about the show rather than about the presenter. I guess Andy has got that bit right.
I'd watch Bettany Hughes!

IIRC, Ken Clarke's series was specifically designed for the more highbrow audience drawn to BBC2 and was restricted to western art.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 12:16 PM   #9

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Bettany Hughes must now take a back seat. Dr Alice Roberts on Prehistoric autopsy is now the No.1 documentary eye-candy.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 12:38 PM   #10

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Originally Posted by Ancientgeezer View Post
Bettany Hughes must now take a back seat. Dr Alice Roberts on Prehistoric autopsy is now the No.1 documentary eye-candy.
You have fine style sah, I wouldn't mind taking Dr Alice Robert's back seat, I remember thinking she was quite a punk with her pink hair when she first appeared on Coast, she's matured rather well though:

Click the image to open in full size.


There's something irresistibly attractive about intelligent young ladies, grrr woof etc.

Her Human Journey is better than Marr's History of the World imho.
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