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Saints and Strangers

Drama . History

Saints & Strangers is a story that goes beyond the familiar historical account of Thanksgiving and the founding of Plymouth Plantation, revealing the trials and tribulations of the settlers at Plymouth: 102 men, women and children who sailed on a chartered ship for a place they had never seen. Of this group, half are those we think of as "pilgrims," religious separatists who abandoned their prior lives for a single cause: religious freedom. The other half, the "merchant adventurers," had less spiritual and more material, real-world objectives. This clash of values created complex inner struggles for the group as they sought to establish a new colony, compounded by a complicated relationship with the local Native American tribes. The conflicting allegiances among these groups culminated in trials of assimilation, faith, and compromise, that continued to define our nation to this day.

Status: Ended
TV Channel: National Geographic Channel
  • Ed Bark

    All in all, National Geo should be justifiably proud of this production, which serves Kartheiser well while also telling the companion stories of the people who got to Plymouth first.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    Overall, the TV-movie has the satisfying feel of a traditional historical saga. What makes it more than a well-told story, however, is how Saints & Strangers handles the perspective of the Native American tribes, who must decide whether to wipe out the settlers, or accommodate them.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    There are moments of touching transformation among the characters in Saints & Sinners, none more so than that of the bluff Hopkins, who starts with a purely sanguinary view of the Indians he calls savages. Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    An often engrossing attempt to explore the way needful alliances between Indians and settlers may have had a transforming, even enlightening, effect on some of the English.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Lots to digest here. [23 Nov - 6 Dec 2015, p.15]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Most impressively, Saints & Strangers allows the Native Americans to speak in their own languages, with subtitles. That alone makes the miniseries as realistic as any depiction of the Plymouth Colony seen on screen.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Saints & Strangers is rich in character and detail and captures how arduous this adventure was for the pilgrims.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    The film had multiple writers, and keeping the many characters straight requires some effort, but it stays watchable to the end. And it stays relatively true to events, even those that don’t fit into a Scriptwriting 101 template.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    National Geographic Channel’s sullen but entertaining two-night miniseries Saints & Strangers earnestly underlines our most American principle, telling a warts-and-all story of that hodgepodge of passengers on the rickety English ship known as the Mayflower.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    Though neither ["Saints & Strangers" and "The Pilgrims"] are particularly notable examples of their genre, they are welcome additions, and perhaps antidotes, to a historic holiday increasingly driven by gluttony and football. Used as companion pieces, they should make excellent viewing for families able to persuade their children to watch historic dramas and/or documentaries.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Danette Chavez

    Saints & Strangers’ questionable return to established narratives (in which the pious Pilgrims were just innocent and incidental adventurers) offsets the other important work done to make this a more authentic representation of early colonial life.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    The serious intent of Saints trips it up at times; many characters remain one-dimensional, and some sequences are plodding or repetitive. That said, the mini features nuanced work in a number of the Native Americans portrayals--often the best-developed characters on the screen.

    Variety Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    While appropriately grimy given the 1620s, rural North America setting (Although it was filmed in South Africa), the dour deprivation depicted proves dull over the miniseries’ first two hours.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    Though it's true this isn't some whitewashed, grade-school version of history, the mini never comes fully alive, feeling more often like a dutiful soapbox lecture occasionally interrupted by a few shoddily staged action scenes.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
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