Post date: Nov 12, 2013 9:21:32 PM
Let me be very clear - I love America. I think we do some awesome stuff. When it comes to history content, however, Britain is just miles ahead. They've got incredible websites, wonderful activities and some of the best video content around. I guess when you're only 230ish years old you don't have quite the appreciation for history.
Last week I was given a set of Horrible Histories on DVD by one of my site users (thanks Karl!) and have been loving every minute of it. I've seen clips of the series before on YouTube and even used two of them in one of my latest labs but I never knew how much there actually was of it. There are 5 seasons of 12+ episodes each. The series seems aimed at secondary aged kids but the information is often very dense (and spit out quickly with a British accent!) so they pack a lot of good into a short time. Each segment runs only about five minutes.
The series focuses on the "horrible" parts of history with segments such as "Stupid Deaths," "Terrible Tudors," and "Rotten Romans." King Henry VIII, not surprisingly, is a frequent subject and even gets his own song detailing his many wives. Anything involving the toilet will also almost certainly be covered (including an extremely over-the-top look at Roman public toilets) and mocked. Let's just say Middle Schoolers will eat this stuff up.
Getting access to the discs is not the easiest thing in the world. They are British which means they are Region 2 DVDs. Without getting too technical just know that they won't play in a standard U.S. DVD player. They will play in a PC DVD drive if you right click on the drive and change it to region 2 (but then your other U.S. discs won't play.) If you make a copy of the disc using something like DVDShrink it will then play in any machine. Also, as stated, you can find lots (and I mean lots) of the clips on YouTube.
If all that made you a nuts I've got great news, you can get seasons 1-3 on Amazon Streaming which will work without any region shifting!