Classic TV shows take up a lot of viewers’ time and therefore are not suitable for everyone. At the same time it is not always possible to fit everything that the creators would like to say in a couple of hours of an average film. For such creations the miniseries format is the answer, especially in the history genre, which we would like to discuss today.
As a rule, miniseries have a complete story with a planned number of episodes which usually fit into one season. As can be seen from the title of the material, we would like to present ten miniseries which are devoted to the historical theme. The time interval is large — staring from the Ancient Egypt and ending with the war in Iraq.
Before we start, we hope that these works will create interest in different historical eras and events.
The series tells the story of the ascent to power of Tutankhamun, his attempts to govern a disparate empire and the mystery that covered the story of his death.
Tut consists of three episodes which are based on the life of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, about whose life and death almost nothing is known. As a result, the entire plot is a fantasy of the creators. However, they managed to interestingly portray this historical period and the hard life of the young pharaoh. But this series should be regarded as fiction, rather than history.
The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
England in the XII century: difficult, troubled times, brutal manners. The difference between good and bad is so thin that it is easy to make a wrong move, by making decisions on the scale of the whole country. These times include eternal struggle for the throne, constant wars, the betrayal of the church.
The series is based on the “The Pillars of the Earth” novel by Ken Follett. Since the book is quite voluminous, the plot of the series is limited to only the first part of the book. Immediately after the release of the first season the second part was scheduled, but later it was cancelled due to financial problems. Taking this into account the series looks completed.
The plot covers an entire epoch of kings, conspiracies, betrayals and therefore the story turned out to be very detailed, interesting and logically built, without any cuts and inconsistencies.
Saints & Strangers (2015)
The historical picture that shows the chronicle of the difficult voyage of “Mayflower” — an English merchant ship, which went in September 1620 to the shores of the New World. The miniseries also features the first settlers in America.
One hundred and two colonists: men, women and children spent almost three months on their way to the new continent, three months full of hardship and challenges, with constant and exhausting storms, food shortages, tightness, lack of basic amenities on the ship. But when they finally stepped their foot on solid ground, it turned out that the real difficulties are only beginning. The history of “Mayflower” is a story of strong-willed people, who went to meet their new life.
The series tell us who the pilgrims are and how the Thanksgiving Day was created. You will see how difficult it was to colonize America and what happened with the Indians after the arrival of Europeans.
Sons of Liberty (2015)
This work is dedicated to the radical group of young people — Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and Joseph Warren, who united and changed the course of history. They called themselves the “Sons of Liberty” and they lit the fire of the revolution, as a result of which America was formed.
Though their names are legendary now, they were not patriots in powdered wigs. They belonged to the new American generation that was trying to find its purpose in life. They were seeking equality, but found something more valuable — independence.
The series is about the beginning of the revolution for the liberation of the North American colonies. The Americans, whose names became legendary, are not idealized, rather the opposite. Colonial America is well presented as well as the people that lived there and their customs. Viewers will learn about the famous “Boston Tea Party”, see who were these people that signed the “Declaration of Independence”, who are now called the Founding Fathers of the USA.
Texas Rising (2015)
The story of how General Sam Houston led the fight against the Mexican General Santa Anna for the independence of Texas. The war was between Mexico and Texas, which was part of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The series will tell about the main persons of the war, apart from them there are also a lot of fictional characters. The development of the plot is slow, too much dramatic romance. Historical facts are present (people, places, event), but are still presented from only one point of view.
For example, nothing is said about the root cause of the conflict. By the mid-1830s Texas was home to more than 30,000 Americans, while 7800 Mexicans lived there. But in 1829 a law was passed by Mexico that abolished slavery, which was the norm among the American immigrants (in 1836 there were 5000 slaves in Texas). This policy was the cause of the dissatisfaction among the residents of Texas and served as a pretext for a war for independence.
Mexicans in the series are shown as some bloodthirsty maniacs. If we consider the series just as a fictional drama, one can watch it at least for the interest in this era.
Hatfields & McCoys (2012)
This is a real American story of a legendary family feud that lasted for several decades and nearly led to a war between Kentucky and West Virginia. The clash chronicle of the clans is filled with passion, courage, revenge, self-sacrifice, crimes and accusations that were constantly changing both of the families and the places where they lived.
The series is based on real events. The enmity between the Hatfield and McCoy families lasted from 1878 to 1891. During the feud nearly a dozen members of both families were killed. The conflict is part of the American folklore and because a household designation of any serious hostility of any two groups. In 2003 the descendants of both families have signed a symbolic peace treaty.
It is a western without the Indians, a series about the Wild West. The relationship between the two families worsens with every scene and the picture keeps the viewer in suspense throughout the entire series.
The story of six gold diggers who meet in the valley of the Yukon river during the gold rush is in the center of the plot. They will have to survive in the harsh northern climes where the most daring adventurers went.
The series tells the story of the Klondike and the people that tried to survive there in 1897. Klondike is a region located in the Yukon Territory in the Northwest of Canada, east to the border with Alaska. The region became famous because of the Klondike Gold Rush, which began in 1897.
Bill Haskell and Byron Epstein are the main characters of the series. They go to Alaska in search of gold, unaware of the awaiting dangers. The era of the gold rush was a perfect choice for a first non-documentary series from the Discovery Channel.
Band of Brothers (2001)
The series shows the story of the E (“Easy”) company (2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division of the United States) from their training camp in Toccoa, Georgia, though the landing in Normandy to Operation Market Garden, the Siege of Bastogne and on to the war’s end.
Three years after the premier of the “Saving Private Ryan” movie with Tom Hanks, by the efforts of these people was produced the “Band of Brothers” series, starring quite known actors like: Damian Lewis (“Homeland”), Ron Livingston (“Boardwalk Empire”), Donnie Wahlberg (“Saw II”), Matthew Settle (“The Walking Dead”) and others. This is one of the best series about the war, which has no pathos or propaganda.
The Pacific (2010)
The miniseries is based on the memoirs of the US Marines Eugene Sledge and Robert Leckie who fought in the battles in the Pacific during the World War II. The story shows the key battles that are part of the history, through the eyes of ordinary soldiers and their loved ones.
It is a good series which tells in a great detail about the events in the Pacific. And again the producers are Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who worked on both “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan”. But it is important to note that “The Pacific” and “Band of Brothers” should not be compared as they are two completely different pictures.
At the beginning of each episode an interview with real participants of these events is shown, all the historical dates and location are authentic. It is through such series one can see what a real war is.
Generation Kill (2008)
The invasion of Americans in Iraq in 2003 through the eyes of ordinary infantryman of the US Army. In the center of the story is the United States Marine Corps’ 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Evan Wright (Lee Tergesen), a journalist that will accompany the troops in their advance on to the capital — the city of Baghdad, arrives to the Camp Mathilda in Kuwait. Two months of the war without any embellishment.
You do not expect to see the truth in an American series about Iraq. Truth, that isn’t often seen in the news or movies. You will see this conflict through the eyes of ordinary soldiers. The series is for those who want to see the war without any decorations: the way it really is. The purpose of the picture was to show the inanity of the Iraq war.