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Parents' Guide to

The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Ancient Celts docuseries has reenacted bloody violence.

TV BBC Educational 2015
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The ancient Celts are an oft misunderstood culture; this docuseries looks to change that, looking beyond the written history of Rome, which depicted its Celtic foes as uncivilized savages. The narrators in The Celts: Blood, Iron and Sacrifice instead examine artifacts and remains, spread throughout Europe, to gain a better understanding and more accurate picture of the culture and influence of the Celtic people. The series shows how the Celts were skilled craftsmen, cunning warriors, and close-knit nomadic tribes that left an indelible mark throughout Europe.

Each episode breaks down into three distinct parts. There's a close look at artwork, artifacts, and remains in a museum setting, giving viewers a close-up look at works left by the Celts and descriptions of what these relics say about the culture. Then there's the exploration, where viewers follow along the paths of the Celts throughout the centuries, showing viewers the Celts' impact through things like rock carvings left by other people that encountered the Celts during their migration. Or it might show the site of an ancient battle or burial ground while talking with other experts to describe different facets of the tribes. Finally, there are reenactments of historic events; these retellings of key moments in Celtic history are shown with a heavy lean into drama. Scenes here are dark, grey, and gritty, and always more extreme. It's entertaining and the narration is informative, but the over-the-top presentation often feels like viewers have accidentally switched over to a lower budget episode of Game of Thrones or Vikings.

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