Art of Persia

Rating 9.1
Streamer BBC iPlayer
Seasons 1
Episodes 3 x 60 mins

Here at Must TV, with two producers in the team, we don’t underestimate the lengths that series creators go to in order to deliver great shows to our screens. By any stretch, three years of planning for a BBC Four arts documentary about Iran is quite a job of work, but judging by the results in Art of Persia, it has been well worth the effort.

In the Evening Standard Katie Law thinks that cramming several thousand years of history into just three hours of TV is a big ask. “But Samira Ahmed and her team, with the help of some amazing drone photography, make a pretty good stab at revealing Iran’s fascinating, rich and complex past”. Carol Midgley in The Times calls it “A visually gorgeous documentary, it had the heft, educational value and majestic footage of a Schama or an Attenborough.” She says of presenter Samira Ahmed, “her enthusiasm was infectious. I can imagine a lot of money was spent here, but the result was a lush film that was part art lesson, part Persian history lesson, part culture guide. This was the story of Iran that began 7,000 years ago, not in 1979.”

The Telegraph’s Anita Singh is also full of praise for Ahmed saying: “At many points in this first of three instalments I found myself gasping at the sheer magnificence of the sites she was showing us, and the beauty of the objects found there. The vast, desert ziggurat at Chogha Zanbil, relic of a lost world; the ruins of Persepolis and the grand tomb of its ruler, Darius the Great. These are sights that few Westerners will get to see in real life.”

Here at Must TV we know only two well that telly shows often promise to show us something new and unseen, however Art of Persia is one series that genuinely delivers on that promise with a richly coloured and fiercely intelligent palette.

First shown June 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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