|2005 UK Egypt: Rediscovering a Lost World|
Search for Tutankhamun
How British archeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Egyptian king Tutankhamun.
Curse of Tutankhamun
The glories of Tutankhamun's tomb are revealed. But the absence of real historical information, and the subsequent death of his dearest friends leave Howard Carter feeling alone and unfulfilled.
Pharaoh and the Showman
The story of how an extraordinary character-Giovanni Belzoni, an anglicized Italian Circus performer-ended up in Egypt in 1814.
Temple of the Sands
Belzoni's greatest discoveries-including the tomb of Seti I and the hidden entrance to the mysterious sand-covered temple of Ramesses at Abu Simbel.
Mystery of the Rosetta Stone
The story of the race to decipher the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Secrets of the Hieroglyphs
Champollion unlocks the world of Ancient Egypt hidden in the hieroglyphs, fighting a fierce battle with the Church along the way.
Summary: Part personal drama, part documentary, part history lesson, "Egypt" is a first class, six-part BBC production that manages to be at once edifying and entertaining. Whereas the History Channel, for example, might tell its tale with a mixture of reenactments, photos, interviews, and such, the makers of "Egypt" opt for complete dramatizations focusing on three men and their contributions to archaeology, with each story occupying two episodes. First up is Englishman Howard Carter (Stuart Graham), who spent over 20 years searching for the tomb of King Tutankhamun before finally locating it in the 1920s; his remarkable persistence and considerable accomplishments are undeniable, but Carter comes off as a humorless stiff who did little to endear himself to colleagues, patrons, and anyone else in his orbit. Much more likeable is Giovanni Belzoni (Matthew Kelly), a former circus strongman and most unlikely Egyptologist who, in 1817, entered Abu Simbel, perhaps the most impressive of the many monuments and temples dedicated to Ramesses ("sic") II. Finally, there is Jean Francois Champollion (Elliot Cowan), a French linguistics expert who was the first Westerner to decipher hieroglyphs and who made his first and only trip to Egypt in 1822. In the process of detailing these men's various discoveries and accomplishments, the series also offers some detail about their personal relationships, as well as occasional insights (via reenactments) into the lives of their subjects (King Tut, for instance, assumed power at age 8 and soon was married to his own sister). There's a darker side as well. The explorers who blithely claim their discoveries for their respective nations are a chilling reminder of the arrogance of European imperialists; meanwhile, church authorities strictly proscribe Champollion from revealing any information that might challenge its doctrine that the human race began with Adam and Eve a mere few thousand years ago. DVD extras include "Nile: Crocodiles and Kings," a beautifully photographed documentary, along with a timeline and a catalogue of trivia. "--Sam Graham"