I really enjoyed this made-for-TV program. Like most people from the U.S., my knowledge of the Puritans and the pilgrims in Plymouth is limited to Thanksgiving stories. I usually just think of them as religious people wearing funny hats and big white collars. I enjoyed several aspects of this show. First is that it starts well before their landing in 1620 in what is now Massachusetts giving an excellent background on what makes a person a Puritan, why they were different from the rest of the people in England, why they left, and very interestingly their couple of years in the Netherlands before departing for North America. I had known that they spent some time in the Netherlands but usually you never hear anything about the pilgrims and their life there. Unlike some of the other posters on this site, I thought the actors were quite good. I did not find them "homely" but then again, I'm sure the people in real life, having survived 16th-17th century smallpox epidemics were not quite the lookers we demand people to be today. The story covers very well the pilgrims' life in England, persecution, the Netherlands years, the crossing, why they ended up in what is now Massachusetts (I had no clue before), their very difficult first year, and the interactions with the local Indian population and how they were helped to survive. I thought it was nice to see men and women from the local Indian population portraying characters in the story. I believe one man that is used as a background historian also plays the part of the native man who makes first contact. The show is a combination of documentary with modern day historians commenting on certain aspects of the story. And a historically recreated film depicting actors in costume and using the language of the time. All in all, I came away with a much better knowledge of early 17th century England, the Massachusetts area of that time, the local native population and the importance of working together and helping each other.
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