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The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization

"The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization" on DVD

Lavish PBS Production

One of the most interesting topics of history class, the civilization of ancient Greece was responsible for much that we hold dear today.

This PBS series shows the Greeks from their beginnings as a bunch of isolated and different city states through the rise of democracy and the flourishing of arts, science, and philosophy.

The production values are terrific, from the unusual use of "frozen actors" to put human faces on some of the most important historical figures to the choice of having shot the series in 16x9 widescreen.

The series is fascinating, and anyone interested in history should take a look at it. It really does an excellent job of bringing the ancient Greeks to life again - or at least it does this as far as we could get into the disc.

That's because, despite the excellent picture and sound quality, our review disc had a major flaw. About half way through, it started jerking and sputtering and eventually the stops and starts and "digital dropouts" got so bad that we had to shut the disc off. We tried it on two different DVD players, and while the problem's intensity was different on each player, it was still bad enough on each that we had to cut short our viewing.

And that's a shame, because we were really enjoying the show.

So perhaps you should rent this one before you buy it, to ensure your copy doesn't suffer from the same problem.

Extras include a director's commentary and some additional scenes that weren't in the original broadcast version. There's also a "Virtual Socrates" screensaver and a 3D view of the Acropolis, as well as some other DVD ROM material.

The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization, from Warner Home Video
approximately 165 min. widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9 compatible, Dolby Digital
Produced by Anthony Geffen
Written and Directed by Cassian Harrison.


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Updated May 13, 2006