TV and Radio Interviews

National Geographic

Alexander the Great - Beyond the Movie, May 2004



National Geographic TV


Alexander the Great - Beyond the Movie


filmed 25th May 2004, aired 20th December 2004 at 21:00 (UK)


DVD, e.g. (Region 1 encoding only)


Andrew discusses the sarcophagus in the British Museum and the tomb at Memphis in this programme

DVD Cover:



My copy of National Geographic's Beyond the Movie: Alexander the Great has arrived. This is an exciting little gem that got shafted because the movie flopped. Scholars interviewed are (in order of name-appearance, as shown on screen in the video, because it's obvious that Cartledge isn't the other "Professor" in the film, even if he's the only one with the title):

Robin Lane Fox - Oxford University
Professor Paul Cartledge - Cambridge University
John Maxwell O'Brien - Queens College
Joseph Scholten - University of Maryland
Colonel Lance Betros - U.S. Military Academy, West Point
David Byers Millers - National Geographic Maps
Partha Bose - Author of Alexander the Great's Art of Strategy
Andrew Chugg - Author of The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great

It's an excellent little video (available on Amazon) that was meant to come out with the recent Alexander movie. Except, the movie flopped, so I don't think NG actually aired it (at least, that's what I was told). What I really liked about it, though, was that it wasn't cut-and-dry "this is what Alexander did," etc. They really tried to explore Alexander's psychological motivations, including discussion on Olympias (primarily Cartledge and O'Brien). Scholten also has a few good lines about trying to get inside Alexander's head and exploring his personality. Colonel Betros also had some excellent discussion about Alexander's military strategy.

The other thing I liked was their discussion of Alexander's influence on great leaders in the modern world. Bose discusses George Washington's strategy and how Alexander influenced it. There is also the (obvious) discussion of Napoleon and Patton.

As a bonus (for me), it was the first time I've seen Robin Lane Fox, so now I know what he looks like!

There's also a short extra called "The Influence of Troy's Legend," which is clearly calculated to bring in the movie-going crowd (again). It's actually about the Iliad's influence on Alexander and his relationship to Achilles, so it really just rehashes Homer. It's really not as interesting to a someone with basic knowledge of Classics, but I'm sure it was good for the uninformed.

Anyway, I liked it, despite the bashing review on Amazon.