'Secrets of the Dead: Cleopatra's Lost Tomb'
(DVD / NR / 2016 / PBS)
Overview: Dr. Kathleen Martinez, criminal lawyer turned maverick archaeologist, searches for Cleopatra's lost tomb. Very little evidence remains of Egypt's last queen, but Kathleen's radical new theory about the real Cleopatra has led her to look where no one else has dared-and her hunch is paying off. Could Kathleen be closing in on Cleopatra's final resting place?
DVD Verdict: For those not immediately in the know, and shame on you all, of course, Cleopatra VII Philopator (Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ; 69 – August 12, 30 BC), known to history simply as Cleopatra, was the last active pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, shortly survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. After her reign, Egypt became a province of the then-recently established Roman Empire.
After Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar's legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus (her unions with her brothers had produced no children).
After losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian's forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed suit. According to tradition, she killed herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC. She was outlived by Caesarion, who was declared pharaoh by his supporters, but soon killed on Octavian's orders. Egypt then became the Roman province of Aegyptus.
To this day, Cleopatra remains a source of perpetual fascination in Western culture. Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and many dramatizations of incidents from her life in literature and other media, including William Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, George Bernard Shaw's play Caesar and Cleopatra, Jules Massenet's opera Cléopâtre and the films Cleopatra (1934) and Cleopatra (1963).
Here in the always-fascinating PBS series 'Secrets of the Dead: Cleopatra's Lost Tomb' we join Dr. Kathleen Martinez, criminal lawyer turned maverick archaeologist, as she searches for Cleopatra's lost tomb. Very little evidence remains of Egypt's last queen, but Kathleen's radical new theory about the real Cleopatra has led her to look where no one else has dared - and her hunch is paying off as she stuns the archaeological establishment with her discoveries of incredible artifacts, a network of mysterious tunnels, and even a vast city of the dead dated to the time of the Queen and her Ptolemaic dynasty.
Now Kathleen has made her biggest breakthrough so far: a 35-meter deep underground shaft that, according to the experts, has all the hallmarks of a royal burial shaft. Could Kathleen be closing in on Cleopatra's final resting place? This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.