Documentary TV Series:

Civilisation - The Complete Series

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Civilisation - The Complete Series

4 Disc Set
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4.7 out of 5 stars Based on 3 Customer Ratings

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"Great overview."
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

I purchased this set for my class of 13 and 14 year olds as an aid for our studies. It has thus far proved very useful for them and for me as a research tool. Sir Kenneth's narration is interesting and question provoking. Much better than still photos. The life-size David engendered oo's and ah's.

"An intellectual spectacular."
5 stars"

This was the first modern, brilliant, expense-no-object TV super-documentary colour series, which paved the way for David Attenborough's la­ter ones.

Clark emerges as a very personable and appropriately intellectual presenter with a deep knowledge and love of his subject. He speaks to camera with a refreshing ability to dispense with the usual memory aids.

The title was slightly misleading as it's mainly visual art and the development of social conscience that is covered; law and most philosophy were ignored as not appropriate for the visual spectacle this series aimed to provide. A desired episode covering 17th century classicism also had to be omitted as the dictates of TV commerce only allowed 13 episodes.

Within those limitations this production, a real work of art in itself, presents an enthralling traverse that culminates in a fast-moving and memorable last episode looking warily towards a future of “Heroic Materialism” .

It's a classic that won't date, technically or culturally. Also, a bargain.


In 1966 BBC Television embarked on its most ambitious documentary series to date. The eminent art historian Lord Clark was commissioned to write and present an epic examination of Western European culture, defining what he considered to be the crucial phases of its development.

Civilisation: A Personal View by Lord Clark would be more than two years in the making, with filming in over 100 locations across 13 countries. The lavish series was hailed as a masterpiece when it was first transmitted in the UK in 1969. From the fall of the Roman Empire to the Industrial Revolution and beyond, Clarke's compelling narrative is accompanied by breathtaking colour photography of Europe's greatest landmarks.

This ‘history of ideas as illustrated by art and music’ remains the benchmark for the numerous programmes it inspired. Includes a specially written 36 page illustrated booklet of viewing notes to accompany this DVD. Special Features: * Sir David Attenborough remembers the making of Civilization *

Release date Australia
October 13th, 2005
Movie Format
DVD Region
  • Region 4
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.33 : 1
Length (Minutes)
English for the Hearing Impaired
Supported Audio
  • Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
Country of Production
  • United Kingdom
  • Documentary
Original Release Year
Box Dimensions (mm)
Product ID


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