Despite earlier promises to pass his crown to one of his Flemish, Viking or Norman relatives, English king Edward The Confessor dies in 1066, leaving his crown to Anglo-Saxon Harold Godwinson, causing a bloody succession war.
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James C. Morris,
In 1066, King Edward The Confessor of England dies leaving his crown to Anglo-Saxon Harold Godwinson. In doing this, King Edward disregards his earlier promises to give the throne of England to one of his legitimate successors from among his Flemish, Viking or Norman relatives.As a result of this unwise decision, a contest for the English crown begins. While an Armada of Viking ships under Viking King Hardrada invades the north of England, a Norman invasion, led by William Duke of Normandy, strikes the south. Caught in a giant pincer movement, the new English king Harold Godwinson and his small army must rush to the north to deal with the Viking invasion while planning an eventual mad dash to the south to face the Normans. The fate of Anglo-Saxon England hangs into balance. Written by
This is a very interesting and very well made reenactment of the famous Battle of Hastings and the events around it. It takes its time to bring the whole medieval period closer to the viewer, introduces various characters that may or may not have necessarily existed but are here very useful in conducing the sentiment and the point of view of a common man of the ages.
Acting and cinematography are very good. Directing not so good. Obviously great effort was undertaken to conceal the low budget, which is a good thing, but it also gives a pretty claustrophobic viewing experience (for instance, there are too many close-ups) and at times unconvincing and static battle scenes.
What is really annoying, however, is the bias the story of William's conquest is told with. It paints pictures of poor "true Englishmen", Saxon Englishmen, suffering horrors of defeat at hands of merciless, almost inhumane, Norman invaders who came uninvited to harass peaceful sedentary civilization. As if Saxons themselves, a couple of centuries prior, didn't do exactly the same thing to Romano-Celtic population on the Island. Should we pity them? I'm not quite sure.
But the series wants us to do just that - to identify with one side. And while it makes for some really poignant scenes worth watching, it also makes for a poor history show. The dialog is also sometimes abhorrently naive or inane, completely devoid of humor at that. It would have been so much better show if they didn't turn it into a litany of a loser.
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