Egypt (TV Mini-Series 2005– ) Poster

(2005– )

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Not to be missed
benbrae7629 August 2006
Matthew Kelly is proving to be quite a versatile actor. A serial killer in "Cold Blood", Mr Turveydrop in "Bleak House" and now he gives another riveting performance in the role of Italian showman turned explorer/archaeologist Belzoni in "Egypt".

This series of beautifully filmed docu-dramas included nicely-controlled acting, and is centred around the hitherto undiscovered antiquities of Ancient Egypt and the men who brought them, and their meanings, to the attentions of the world.

The series couldn't fail to arouse interest, even to those who are not particularly enthusiastic on the subject, and each episode is simply portrayed, without getting over-bogged down with archaeological science.

If you have missed this series the first time round, make sure you catch the repeats, if or when there may be any. You won't be disappointed.
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The BBC at its best
remotekontrol21 December 2005
I was not expecting to enjoy "Egypt" as much as I did - Egyptian history was never my thing. But the series started out well, with the relatively well-known story of Howard Carter and the discovery of King Tutankhamun and then got even better as it went on. If you'd told me that I would have been entranced by two hours of drama on the race in the 1820s to translate hieroglyphs I would have laughed - but that's exactly what the concise and intelligent scripts by Jonathan Rich that ended the series managed to achieve. I don't think there's another broadcaster in the world who would attempt something this bold, a series in which the educational content matches the entertainment value and which doesn't talk down to its audience. This is the BBC at its very best and I was delighted to learn that a 2-DVD set of the series will be out in February 2006. This is a series I will want to watch again, and savour.
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Classy series
chrisatthekeyboard16 February 2006
I very much enjoyed this classy, dramatic and involving BBC series on TV and having just watched the UK DVD set from beginning to end I can say that it definitely bears repetition. The best thing is that the series sheds light on characters (notably Belzoni and Champollion) who were fundamental to the rediscovery of Ancient Egyptian civilisation but whose stories are not well-known. I had no idea, for example, until I saw the wonderful last two episodes on Champollion and the race between the English and the French to translate hieroglyphs that it was Napoleon's invasion of Egypt that re-awakened European interest in the country and indeed started a craze for all things Egyptian. Even in the opening episodes telling the better-known story of Carter discovering King Tut's tomb the series seems to bring a freshness to the story and the character that makes it better than previous versions. All in all, this series seems destined to become a classic.
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A truly great documentary on the ancient Egyptian civilisation.
Hotwok20135 June 2013
This BBC documentary on ancient Egypt is both educational & hugely interesting. Narrated by Andrew Sachs (Manuel in Fawlty Towers), it focuses on the achievements of three great Egyptologists Howard Carter, Giovanni Belzoni & Jean Francois Champollion. Most people know of Carter's discovery of the virtually intact tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922. Nearly all of the Pharaohs tombs had been plundered in antiquity by grave-robbers, even those in the so-called Valley Of The Kings where Tut was discovered. Not so many know of the Frenchman Champollion's obsessive quest to crack the code of the Egyptian hieroglyphs using the Rosetta Stone. His obsession to understand this ancient civilisation eventually caused to him to leave his wife and child & travel to Egypt. He read as much as he possibly could of the hieroglyphs on its tombs & monuments until his health failed him & he died there. Fewer people still know that the Italian adventurer Belzoni opened up Ramesses The Great's fantastic monument at Nubia in southern-most Egypt. Named Abu Simbel, the entrance had been blocked up by centuries of wind-blown sand. Hewn out of the sandstone rock & fronted by four 60 feet high statues of Ramesses it is, unquestionably, one of the greatest & most beautiful archaeological monuments anywhere in the world. Belzoni (very well acted by Matthew Kelly) also discovered the tomb of Ramesses The Great's father Seti 1st, the largest & most lavishly decorated tomb of any Egyptian Pharoah. Belzoni knew that most Pharaohs tombs had been robbed & asked himself where would be the best place for a Pharoah to be buried where his tomb & its treasure wouldn't be found & robbed. He decided, quite brilliantly, that the place in the desert now known as The Valley Of The Kings was it. Unfortunately for those ancient Egyptian Pharoahs, Tutankhamen aside, they all were. The acting by all of the participants in this documentary & its filming is great. Abu Simbel is a very impressive ruin & using computer graphics it is shown as it may have looked more than 3000 years ago. It would have been a jaw-droppingly magnificent sight!. You do not necessarily need to have any interest in ancient Egyptian history to enjoy this documentary & I would recommend it to anyone.
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Marvellous and Original
de_niro_20015 August 2008
Many of us are familiar with the story of the discovery of Tutenkhamun's tomb but Egypt goes into it in much greater detail. Egypt presents the events that led to the story of the curse of Tutenkhamun in a level headed way. I wonder though, how true is the story about Howard Carter having a thing for Lady Evelyn Carnarvon? Mind you, when she's played by the lovely, slightly Keira Knightley-ish Alexandra Weaver who can blame him? Giovanni Belzoni was a colourful larger than life character whose priceless contributions to Egyptology are not well known to the general public. Thanks to him, marvellous Egyptian treasures such as the Head of the Younger Memnon are now in the British Museum. Thanks to CGI, Egypt shows us Abu Simbel exactly as it was found by Belzoni, half buried by the sandstorms of three millenia. CGI also shows us what these monuments looked like when they were newly built and it's very strange as hitherto it was hard to conceive of them as anything other than ruins. Although the discovery of the Rosetta Stone is well known this series tells us about another name not known to many people, Jean Francois Champollion. I used to think that with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone translating the hieroglyphs would have been as straightforward as looking up a language dictionary. Egypt shows us that it wasn't as easy as that. Champollion deciphered their meaning and enabled the reason for the construction of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh to be discovered. I recommend buying the DVD very strongly. As another reviewer says, it can be watched over and over again. It's great.
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Egypt was enjoyable viewing.
taymour539 January 2006
I am extremely delighted to be writing this commentary on a well researched and well presented drama on Egypt.

I am also happy to have had the opportunity to participate in the making of the documentary if on a small scale. I enjoyed meeting Ferdinand Fairfax, a colourful man, all the exceptional crew and diligent staff on the filming which I am happy to have been selected for in the summer of 2005.

Thank you to everyone. Please do contact me if there are any other projects. I enjoyed this very much. Regards to everyone who participated.

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Entertaining, interesting and educational
jdhb-768-6123419 May 2019
I came across 'Egypt' almost by accident on the PBS channel and have to say that it was a wonderful surprise. My initial reaction was to think it would be nothing more than a hyped-up and romanticised version of history but how wrong I was.

The series turned out to be genuinely interesting and educational as well as being an excellent docu-drama. While I'd known something about Howard Carter and his discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, my knowledge of Champollion was much less and I don't think I'd even so much as heard of Belzoni; by the end of the 6 episodes, I was far more knowledgeable as well as having been truly entertained.

Throughout, the series kept my attention. The episodes were well constructed and the characterisations and acting excellent, in particular Matthew Kelly was outstanding as Giovanni Belzoni, a circus performer turned Egyptologist who must be credited with being the first to really explore ancient Egypt. Discovering that finding Tutankhamun's tomb was not a 'one-off' but the culmination of more than 20 years of painstaking work, and learning of the battle to decipher the hieroglyphs and just how it was done, were both fascinating stories.

There was no intrusive soundtrack and no superfluous scenes. This was a really excellent series, one of the very best and I'd happily watch it again. I'd recommend anyone who has a desire to know more about the story of Egyptology to watch it.
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Great Mini Series
Larry3621 December 2018
I concur with the user reviews that this is a nicely filmed and well acted series. The location shooting makes it even more of a delight. I notice, as of this writing, that the set is still available on DVD from the UK and includes an extra disc about the pyramids. For those who are not used to buying European manufactured DVDs, be advised that you must be able to paly PAL region 2 discs on your machine.
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REVIEW OF " Egypt".
julian-mazur4 December 2009
Superb and excellent docudrama series on the rediscovery of ancient Egypt. The B.B.C. make so many great documentaries on Egypt and other ancient civilizations ! However, I really think the B.B.C. should have used a French actor to play Jean Francois Champollion and a Italian actor to play Giovanni Belzoni. I mean I just couldn't get used to hearing Jean Francois Champollion speaking with an English accent !!!! Although Elliot Cowan and Matthew Kelly are both excellent actors. A great pity this series has now been deleted. Egypt would have made a great Christmas present. If there is anyone out there who has a spare copy of Egypt please let me know.
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