The Story of India
June 9, 2016 12:20 AM   Subscribe

The Story of India, written and presented by Michael Wood for the BBC, is a six episode documentary that serves as an entertaining and solid introduction to Indian history. All six episodes are available in full (6 hrs).

PBS has an excellent site covering the documentary. Episode 1: Beginnings. Episode 2: The Power of Ideas. Episode 3: Spice Routes and Silk Roads. Episode 4: Ages of Gold. Episode 5: The Meeting of Two Oceans. Episode 6: Freedom. Photos.

The series: 1 2 3 4 5 6. Or: 1 2 3 4 5 6. Or: 1&2 3&4 5&6.

The DVD is available for purchase. It is also available free for Amazon Prime members.
posted by cwest (22 comments total) 109 users marked this as a favorite
Well now I've got a plan for the weekend. Thanks for posting this!
posted by sukeban at 12:57 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Blocked geographically.... :/
posted by bardophile at 3:56 AM on June 9, 2016

Location blocked from Spain, unfortunately.
posted by conifer at 3:56 AM on June 9, 2016

Shoot, then :(
posted by sukeban at 4:00 AM on June 9, 2016

I've been looking for something like this for ages. Thank you!
posted by tango! at 4:15 AM on June 9, 2016

This is blocked. In the UK. From the BBC on copyright grounds.
posted by lawrencium at 4:54 AM on June 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

This is a wonderful program, my wife and I watched when it was shown on PBS. It doesn't cover everything, but then now show ever could. Afterwards I tracked down his program In Search of Shakespeare, also very good.
posted by beowulf573 at 4:57 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm really grateful for this, as I'm trying to broaden my "ancient philosophy" syllabus. Yay!
posted by allthinky at 4:59 AM on June 9, 2016

It's a shame that some locations are blocked.

There are parts of the documentary on vimeo and dailymotion. The only other place that I could find the full series is veoh. 1 2 3 4 5 6. I have no idea from what locations this can be accessed.
posted by cwest at 5:02 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Available at [cough] [cough].
posted by Mister Bijou at 5:29 AM on June 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm very interested in this (and glad to hear it's available on Prime). Thanks, cwest.

(and for those getting blocked out via YouTube, there are plenty of extensions you can use to get around that. Here's one that works on both FireFox and Chrome)
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:50 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Watched the first couple of episodes and this is awesome, thanks for posting!
posted by XMLicious at 7:11 AM on June 9, 2016

looking forward to watching this this weekend! Thanks!
posted by nolabasashi at 7:40 AM on June 9, 2016

As an American, I keep hearing how China and India are the next superpowers. Yet each time I try to learn more about them, they both turn out to be fractally complex: so old, so many people/culture/philosophies, so much land/climate/sights, so much history! How could I possibly understand either of them, much less both?!

Well, I can't not learn, so I guess I better get comfy and start watching. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:58 AM on June 9, 2016

I watched this twice. Once on PBS and then borrowed it from the library for the extras. I thought I knew a little about India, being of Indian origin and growing up there and all; but I learnt a whole slew of things that I did not imagine. Like how the size of the gold coins being made by Jewellers in Madurai as necklaces are still essentially the Sestertii that were obtained from trade with the Romans. That Kanishka of the Kushans was maybe the model for Kansa in the Krishna myths. And the best part is when he goes to Tanjavur and films Bronze sculptors making the Nataraja idol the same way it was made 1000 years ago. It reminded me of the traditional Samurai Sword making special I saw on PBS.

Absolutely fascinating. If you haven't watched it and are interested in what Wood calls "one of the only remaining classical civilizations still in existence"; this is as good a place to start.
posted by indianbadger1 at 8:00 AM on June 9, 2016 [7 favorites]

I only caught part of this when it ran on PBS a couple of years ago, so it's good to have these links to go back and watch the whole thing. Thanks!
posted by briank at 8:16 AM on June 9, 2016

Michael Wood is treasure and I really wish he'd do more programmes. I mean I saw this 2007 (!) and looking at what he's been doing since then.... its not enough! I demand more from you Mr. Wood!
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:18 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Look forward to watching this, India is one place where I am woefully ignorant of the history. I only recently learned that the Mughal Empire that preceded the British Raj was of central Asian origin. Those Mongol hordes sure got around.
posted by Acey at 8:19 AM on June 9, 2016

This is a great documentary. The cinematography, some of the music, and especially Michael Wood's enthusiasm for the subject. Highly recommend watching this.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:56 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is a great, informative series. Worth it for anyone who wants to know more about the remarkable history of what may very well be the oldest civilization of the world.
posted by rdone at 9:00 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ashwagandha: You're in luck, he just finished up The Story of China. Here is a dailymotion link to the first episode. The whole series seems to be up on several video streaming services. However, like most fan uploaded content, the quality can be iffy and it may get taken down sooner or later.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 11:20 AM on June 9, 2016 [7 favorites]

he just finished up The Story of China.

Awesome! I'll have a look for that, thanks!
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:32 PM on June 9, 2016

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