Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Search for Alexander the Great 1981

1981 miniseries, hosted by James Mason. Starring Nicholas Clay as Alexander the Great and Ian Charleson as Hephaistion.
There are four episodes and, while the historical details of the background are given by James Mason as narrator, the story of Alexandros is told by the people who loved him and were loved by him (Olympias, Ptolemy, Hephaestion, Philip, Cleitus, Aristotle, Bagoas) and by the defeated king Darius: they are gathered together  - dead and alive - for a banquet and they discuss Alexandros' life from their different points of view. The show is very enjoyable and the historical details are always correct. Nicolas Clay (who was a wonderful Lancelot in "Excalibur") is a great Alexandros and he looks very much like Richard Burton who, in my opinion, despite that awful movie, was perfect as Alexandros. Ian Charleson is a great actor (I remember him as Fortinbras in "Hamlet" with Derek Jacobi) but his Hephaestion doesn't persuade me enough, can't explain why, it's jus a feeling, even if the relationship with Alexandros is correctly portrayed, no modern vision of it. Jane Lapotaire (Mary Tudor in "Lady Jane") is a passionate and strong Olympias, Julian Glover a powerful Philip and Gabriel Byrne is very wise as Ptolemy.



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