PBS released another new episode of its history-based series Secrets of the Dead today to the masses. Secrets of the Dead: The Lost Gardens of Babylon was released on DVD today. This episode of Secrets of the Dead is without a doubt, one of the best installments of the series to date. One of the reasons for this is the fact that it’s not just another piece with people investigating a given subject in a sterile environment. The search for the fabled Lost Gardens of Babylon takes Dr. Stephanie Dalley into the very heart of a war zone in the Middle East. During the course of Dr. Dalley’s investigation, she makes a stunning discovery that is more than just a historical discovery. The discovery in question is another aspect of this episode that makes it all the more interesting to watch. And last but definitely not least, it leaves viewers in the end—not to reveal too much—what the gardens might have looked like in their golden age. That final image in itself opens the door for just as much discussion as the discovery made by Dr. Dalley in her search for the Lost Gardens. All of these factors together make this episode of Secrets of the Dead one more that any viewer will enjoy regardless of how long they have watched the series.
The very first aspect of Secrets of the Dead: The Lost Gardens of Babylon that makes it well worth the watch is that it isn’t just another sterile history investigation. Presented in this episode of Secrets of the Dead is the search by one scholar—Dr. Stephanie Dalley—to find what is the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world—the lost hanging gardens of Babylon. Her search for the fabled gardens takes her away from the academic world and into what can only be described as a war zone in the Middle East. She makes the argument in this episode that despite the popular belief regarding the location of the gardens just south of Baghdad, she believes that the gardens are actually some two hundred miles plus north in Mosul. Mosul is hardly the safest city in the world. And as viewers will see in watching this program, even the people who come along are in constant and very real danger. That’s made especially clear when a pair of individuals is sent to videotape the site she believes to be that of the gardens. As is explained by narrator Jay O. Sanders, the men can only stay at the site for a given period of time before becoming too conspicuous. Understanding the reality of the danger faced by Dr. Dalley and all around her as they search for the gardens heightens the episode’s tension and in turn will keep viewers fully engaged.
The search itself for the lost gardens is only one part of what makes Secrets of the Dead: The Lost Gardens of Babylon so interesting. Audiences that give this episode of Secrets of the Dead a chance will find that in her search for the gardens, Dr. Dalley makes a very important discovery. She discovers how the water for the flowers, trees and other plants that grew in the gardens may very well have been provided by corkscrew style devices that were eons ahead of their time. It goes to show just how technologically advanced the builders of the gardens were. Taking into account this understanding, it opens a whole new window into the potential advances used to construct the pyramids, Stonehenge and some of the other most well-known architectural structures in the world. At the same time, it is enough to silence those people that would like to believe forces other than man constructed said structures. It proves that just because they didn’t have everything that humans have today doesn’t mean that the people of those times didn’t have the understanding of architecture and construction—or the means to build such structures–that we have today. Simply put, this serves as the starting point of a whole other program and discussion. Again, it makes this episode of Secrets of the Dead even more interesting to watch.
The discovery made by Dr. Dalley in her search for the Lost Gardens of Babylon and the danger experienced in the search are both important factors in the success of this episode of Secrets of the Dead. There is still one more factor to examine in the overall success of this installment of PBS’ hit series. That factor is the final statement offered by those behind the creation of this episode. Audiences are left with a fleeting glance of what the Lost Gardens of Babylon might have looked like in their golden era. The glance is given by way of computer animation. And it is impressive to say the least. Just as the discovery made by Dr. Dalley sets up a wholly new discussion and potential episode of Secrets of the Dead, so does the animation in question. It presents an image of beautiful, flourishing gardens in a terraced setting of sorts. The gardens sat just outside a palatial structure that was itself built at the mouth of a body of water that constantly fed the gardens. This image serves to heighten even more the discussion on architecture and construction started by the discovery made by Dr. Dalley in her search for the gardens. That discussion and any that spin off from it works in partner with the very search for the gardens to make Secrets of the Dead: The Lost Gardens of Babylon an episode of PBS’ series that every viewer will appreciate.
Secrets of the Dead: The Lost Gardens of Babylon is available now on DVD. It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=34695396&cp=&sr=1&kw=secrets+of+the+dead&origkw=Secrets+of+the+Dead&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of PBS’ Secrets of the Dead is available online at http://www.facebook.com/SecretsOfTheDead and http://pbs.org/secrets. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.