The Story of Wales is a six-part documentary series that explores the history of Wales spanning 30,000 years. This series shows the importance of this small yet integral piece of land, to the rest of the world. Ranging from prehistory to the modern nation it is a wonderfully comprehensive look at Wales. What makes the Welsh so proud and how Wales has interacted with the rest of the world throughout its history are fully explored during the series.
The Story of Wales is filmed using beautiful footage from modern Wales as well as recreations and computer models to demonstrate the history. These recreations and models are well done. Working to create a sense of what the people and place would have been like. It can range from showing actors portrayals to simple maps. For instance in the episode “Power Struggles”, the changes in rulers is demonstrated with a simple colored map accompanying the narration. This is simple yet quite effective. It shows that a well written historical piece, doesn’t need a lot of overly animated models in order to demonstrate what is being said.
After watching this series if you don’t have an affinity for Wales, you never will. The narration is given by Hew Edwards (BBC News at Ten). He is most obviously proud to be a Welshman and proud of its history. He demonstrates a lot of feeling behind his narration, and at times it can be contagious. You will find yourself starring at the screen really waiting for the next piece of information that he will give you. This is not to take away from the information in general, or the writing, both of which are extremely well done. Edwards just adds a real sense of the Welsh people wrapped up in the information through his wonderful narration. You feel as if you are not only getting a history of Wales but also of the way the Welsh people feel about this said history, just simply through his voice.
The Story of Wales is beautifully in-depth into Wales’ history and the history of the people who made it what it is today. There is so much information packed into each hour it is amazing. At the same time, it doesn’t feel as if we are being crammed full of information. The pacing and explanation of the given information is wonderfully put together, creating a well put together piece of historical visual documentation.
The Story of Wales contains six one hour episodes: “The Making of Wales”, “Power Struggles”, “England and Wales”, “Furnace of Change”, “A New Beginning”, and “Wales and Britain”.