Cities of the Underworld: Season 1, Episode 0

Istanbul (2 Mar. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 49 users  
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Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic and exotic cities in the world. Once the capital city of three of the world's most powerful empires--The Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman--its ... See full summary »

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Title: Istanbul (02 Mar 2007)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Eric Geller ...
Himself - Host
Sirin Akinci ...
Herself
Cengiz Korkmaz ...
Himself
Hasan Oral ...
Himself
Ferudun Özgümüs ...
Himself
Murat Öztürk ...
Himself
Ali Pasa ...
Himself
Çimen Filiz Pasa ...
Herself
Cemal Pulak ...
Himself
Bora Sertbas ...
Himself
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Storyline

Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic and exotic cities in the world. Once the capital city of three of the world's most powerful empires--The Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman--its strategic location made it the perfect spot for empires to rise, fall...and rise again. Residents of Istanbul walk on top of remnants of these fallen civilizations...literally. Taxis drive over parts of Constantine's Lost Great Palace; children play on cobblestone streets concealing a massive Byzantine dungeon; a high school sits on a 3rd century wall leading to the bowels of a 100,000 seat ancient Roman Hippodrome; and basement's of old Ottoman homes lead to subterranean tunnels and secret cisterns. Join host Eric Geller as he leaves the buzz of the city streets behind and follows the pull of the past. Teamed with leading archeologists and experts, Eric peels back the layers of the past--to reveal a hidden history that hasn't seen the light of day for ages Written by Anonymous

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archeology | istanbul turkey

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Be careful where you walk. History's afoot.


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2 March 2007 (USA)  »

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Followed by Cities of the Underworld (2007) See more »

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Music sunk lower than this show
9 July 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Ancient Marvels: Cities of the Underworld

What a cool name and a great concept! I, for one loved the history and story telling aspects of this production. However, as a professional composer, the music struck me immediately as being low quality and confused.

A little further investigation reveals that there wasn't anyone credited for the music of this production. Naturally, I would assume that the show was powered by library music. If that was indeed the case, then I wonder why better quality library music wasn't selected?

The dungeons and underworld are supposed to be creepy and atmospheric. Instead, we were served up an anachronistic smattering of plasticized late 90's flavors of drum and bass peppered with synthetic orchestral gladiator tracks. Stylistically, none of this music was appropriate and it certainly won't age any better for future airings of this program.

There were cultural musical missteps as well. For instance, a scene from Vlad's the Impaler's episode featured a Chinese temple flute tune cued just outside of his castle. Were we supposed to accept this music as being Romanian? Even if someone doesn't understand the subtle differences between Romania and China, the tune did absolutely nothing to push the scene forward.

Bottom line; this was an international and heavily promoted broadcast that should have afforded better production value in music. This is especially the case as the exotic environments that this production featured would have been far better placed into an emotional context through music. Somehow, drum and bass just didn't match up well with "The Empire of the Dead" and six million skeletons. History Channel, I plead with you to get a better grip on the quality of your music. As music is a literal language, your ratings will improve with better musical communications to your audience. Or to put it simply, your shows will become more effective.

-Jeremy Soule Composer 2003 BAFTA winner


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