Friday, February 02, 2007

DVD - Aristocrats (BBC Edition)

Acorn Media
Available Here

I love a good period drama. Aristocrats is, unequivocally, one of the best period dramas ever produced by the BBC. First seen on Masterpiece Theater, Acorn Media has now brought this nearly 5-hour miniseries to DVD. What makes this such a good miniseries? Not only the highly qualified cast, or the beautiful locations seen, but also the fact that this drama is based on a true story, that of 5 sisters, great-granddaughters of Charles II of England.

The cast, with very few exceptions, are all natives of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Hence, there are no phony-sounding accents. The costuming is excellent, and, remarkably enough, much of this drama was filmed at the actual location where the sisters lived in real life, in the 18th century. The cast includes several well-known faces, including Ben Daniels, Siân Phillips, Serena Gordon, and Anne-Marie Duff, among others. The included bonus features are very interesting, including a behind-the-scenes look at how Aristocrats was filmed. Author Stella Tillyard, writer of the book by the same title, speaks about the research involved as well.

So, what exactly makes this DVD worth the $50 price? So many things! Even if you never watch the great bonus features, the miniseries itself is amazing. A gorgeous cast, beautiful scenic locations in England and Ireland, a great true-to-life drama, and the typical high-quality production the BBC is famous for. Who would love this DVD? Pride and Prejudice fans, lovers of England and Ireland, fans of period dramas, and, really, anyone who is a fan of great drama, especially one based on true events.


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