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Rise of Empires: Ottoman 2020 / An epic story delivered in a familiar package

7.2

This historical show with immaculate production value is about the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It’s fully in English, despite being a Turkish production, featuring a mix of entertaining interviews and dramatic reenactment. The way it’s narrated is reminiscent of History Channel documentaries (with frequent recaps), which is unfortunate. Still, the story and the production compensate well enough. The young 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan Mehmet risks everything in pursuit of Constantinople, a city twelve armies, including his father’s, have failed to take. This moment is pivotal for so many reasons: it marked the end of the Roman empire, it turned the Ottomans from local power to a global one, and the use of advanced military techniques (such as a new generation of cannons) changed warfare forever. But knowing that Mehmet will enter Constantinople (now Istanbul) changes nothing to the appeal of this show. The question is not will he win, but at what cost, and how.

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