This historical drama is an account of the early life of British politician Winston Churchill (Simon Ward), including his childhood years, his time as a war correspondent in Africa, and ... See full summary »
The life of Edward VII (1841 - 1910), the King of the United Kingdom. Before becoming the king he developed a reputation of a playboy which angered his mother, Queen Victoria. He was a reformer and modernizer, but also an elitist.
In the first episode, "Down and Out," Churchill is seen giving a speech in the USA in 1929. A US flag is visible to his right, and the field (with the stars) is visible. The stars are in staggered rows, meaning it is a 50 star US flag. A 48-star flag, as in use in 1929, would have even rows of stars (six rows of eight). See more »
Robert Hardy is the most convincing imitator of Churchill I've seen. He is wisely depicted here with his foibles - his rashness and ineptitude in areas beyond his ken, such as the stock market and raising offspring - as well as strengths. And it's a treat to see Siân Phillips and Tim Pigott-Smith supporting.
Here's a story well-told, with interesting locations, too, from Churchill's home at Chartwell, in UK, to the Arizona desert. For anyone with an appreciation of the titanic events that shaped World War II, "The Wilderness Years" provides invaluable background, not only for Churchill as a major player, but for the others - Baldwin, Beaverbrook, Chamberlain, as well as movers and shakers with unfamiliar names, like the oily Sir Samuel Hoare, who manipulated and connived on behalf of appeasement.
Despite the vandalism of the print by Lance Entertainment, who distribute the DVD, on which most viewers will see it, I highly recommend "The Wilderness Years" as an enriching docudrama that deserves repeated viewing. My only regret is, that Robert Hardy did not continue the Churchill saga through the war years. What a smashing tale that would have been!
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