Follow-up to America: The Story of Us (2010). Mankind embraces a groundbreaking way of telling this epic human story. Drawing on a growing global interest in a revelatory field of history, ...
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Genghis Khan, the bloodiest warlord in history, sweeps south from Mongolia into China and creates a mighty empire. He leaves 40 million dead bodies in his wake. But a greater killer stalks Mankind - ...
A mysterious band of pirates plunders the Mediterranean coast - leaving destruction in its wake. Empires fall, but out of the chaos, we discover iron. Armed with this wonder metal, ordinary folk can ...
A six-night miniseries presenting the history of how the United States was invented, looking at the moments where Americans harnessed technology to advance human progress -- from the rigors... See full summary »
Miniseries shines a spotlight on the influential builders, dreamers and believers whose feats transformed the United States, a nation decaying from the inside after the Civil War, into the ... See full summary »
Andrew Marr's History of the World is a 2012 BBC documentary television series presented by Andrew Marr that covers 70,000 years of world history from the beginning of human civilisation, ... See full summary »
A rapid-fire history of our world, from the beginning of time as we know it to present day. This two-hour CGI-driven special delves into the key turning points: the formation of earth, ... See full summary »
The World Wars tells the story of three decades of war told through the eyes of various men who were its key players: Roosevelt, Hitler, Patton, Mussolini, Churchill, Tojo, DeGaulle and ... See full summary »
Daniel Martin Berkey,
James William Barker
Follows correspondent Brian Unger as he criss-crosses the country reporting on the tales behind the boundaries. Think: Why does Montana look like it took a bite out of Idaho? Or how are ... See full summary »
Sir Kenneth Clarke guides us through the ages exploring the glorious rise of civilisation in western man. Beginning with the bleakness of the dark ages to the present day, we consider ... See full summary »
Follow-up to America: The Story of Us (2010). Mankind embraces a groundbreaking way of telling this epic human story. Drawing on a growing global interest in a revelatory field of history, now adopted by universities across the globe. 'Big history' focuses on the forces of nature to show how mankind's path is guided by events that stretch back, not hundreds, but thousands of millions of years. How the power of science, from geology and astronomy, to physics and biology combined to shape our shared human journey. Revealing astounding global connections and an astonishing interconnected story, this is history without limits, free from boundaries and politics. Our story, like it's never been told before. Written by
Josh Brolin - Narrator:
[opening narration for each episode]
Amidst the chaos of an unforgiving planet most species will fail. But for one, all the pieces will fall into place, and a set of keys will unlock a path for mankind to triumph. This is our story, the story of all of us.
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Of all the epic History serials I've seen so far, I liked this one the least. It is a daunting task to retell the entire history of human civilization, but a lot of the potential is destroyed through a very unsympathetic presentation.
It begins with the tediously dramatic narrator, who puts so much emphasis on every single sentence that before long you wish you could tune him out. It doesn't help that most sentences are kept extremely short, which is at first irritating, then starts to feel condescending. You'll wish the narrator back, though, once you start to meet the interviewees featured. Not only are many of them completely absurd picks for the topics at hand (a Navy SEAL? A writer? A news anchor?), but a couple of them are downright annoying to watch and listen to. They couldn't find any historians, archaeologists or anthropologists who could give well-founded informationwithout all the theatrics?
The parts I disliked the least are, surprisingly, those I usually hate most in documentaries: the CGI scenes and reenactments. The reenactments work remarkably well because they're not overstated and, funnily, not overly dramatized. At least their pathos fades in comparison to that of the narrator and "experts". While reenactments usually feel like a very cheap and childish part of a serious documentary, those in Mankind were not at all bad. Similarly for the CGI scenes, which somehow seemed way less cheesy than the usual fare. They're allowed to be dramatic, and there's a few ridiculous ones, like for instance the Sphinx at the end of the first part, but overall they knew their place and were pretty well done.
The story is, no doubt, a fascinating one. What might be a matter of personal preference is that I felt the series spent too much time on the latter stages. I would have preferred the final 4 parts compressed into 2, leaving more room for detail in the earlier chapters. But all in all, if you're not just looking for the next History box-set but have an actual interest in the topic, and considering that this 9-hour behemoth is a considerable time investment, there are many better alternatives out there.
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