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I just "binge-watched" the first three episodes of "Barbarians". Coming from the actual Varus battle area, I simply had to and even signed in for a free test abo with Netflix.

What shall I say? Pretty good so far. Very worthwhile to watch but certainly not a "historical documentary". Well, one should not expect that, of course. The series is quite comparable with "Vikings" or "The Last Kingdom". Being the latest "Nit Pick Prize" winner (refer to other threads 😁), I have some comments, of course:

- - It's a (somehow) serious attempt to portray this history changing battle "movie style". Else, I remember only a movie from the 70's. And that was, ehem, "not good"

- the Romans speak Latin. Perfect, that really adds a lot to the general feeling!

- the German language on the other hand is strange (an english soundtrack is available), as it indeed sounds too modern. Some people say it sounds like in downtown Berlin. That's probably somewhat unfair, but not completely wrong.

- though the looks are in general pretty good, some main characters, like Folkwin or Thusnelda, look too good. Like nowaday teens (or Tweens) with perfect white teeth, which I would not really expect in 9 AD Germany.

- the shots of the country side are not quite right The series was filmed in Hungary and one does see the difference. There are no wide rolling, wooded hills in the north of Eastern-Westafalia. The Teutoburg Forest is more like an arc of narrow wooded hills. This really may be nit picking, but it disturbes me.

- some people complain about the stirrups being used by the Roman-German Cavalry, but THAT is reallly nit picking...

All in all: Pretty good attempt and worth spending a few hours.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/8/2020 at 4:08 AM, AtheistDane said:

Best series of the year. 

No forced diversity, authentic costumes and actual latin spoken by the Romans.

In the end, I was not too enthusiastic anymore. The final battle was very far away from the historical account.

And there was a funny glitch leading to the battle: The Roman Legions marched from the summer camp at Porta Westfalica (nicely shown on a map) west and planned to attack the Marsii, who lived  in the north of Germany and north-west of the summer camp. On their way the Legions turned left (I.e., to the south), just before the battle. But that probably was already part of “the evil plan” to confuse the Legions.🤓

No, the series is a quite nice action series with historical background, but nothing more.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I found it quite unconvincing. The plot is trite and the characters dull. You always have a sense of having read (or watched) this story elsewhere, over and over again (the cruel occupants..., the young and beautiful rebel..., the heroic fight... bla, bla), very unlike other semi-historical shows that retain an element of unexpected plot twists, like Game of Thrones for example. But I might be biased as I identified with the losing side ;)

The Latin spoken by the actors is a washed-out version of the Italian pronunciation I learned at high school, proven to be quite incorrect.

"Il primo re" (The First King) by Matteo Rovere gives you a much better representation of ancient (archaic) times, IMHO.

 There's also a series "Romulus", which I haven't seen (it's not on Netflix), that should be great, too.

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