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I was only about 12 when PBS here in the US originally aired this, and I recall pretending to be sick and staying home one day from school so that I could catch the final episode one weekday afternoon. I probably learned more about history that day than I did in a year wasted in our public schools, and it was entertaining, too.
Sadly, the BBC doesn't seem to produce shows like this anymore, and if they do PBS isn't buying them. Pity.
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