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  • This excellent BBC documentary shows the worrying influence of the Murdoch empire. Told in a reasoned and unsensational way, these three illuminating episodes are not (as one angry reviewer claims) "unwatchable" or "laughable" but in fact essential TV, highlighting the sinister forces at work in our society today.
  • Rupert Murdoch has been so powerful for so long that this series can tell the story of his later career, starting in the mid-1990s, and barely touch upon his remarkable life before then. This is a good documentary, with access to the right people and critically, a willingness to call a spade a spade. The one thing we don't really get is proof of his supposed business genius, which is taken mostly for granted; we get plenty of proof of his mostly baleful influence on the world. If nothing else his life is a demonstration of what society gets when it leaves everything open for the biggest bastard in the market. Almost the oldest material in this series is Dennis Potter's famous deathbed denunciation, which sadly still seems accurate 25 years later.
  • adamdring4 August 2020
    A stark illustration of the corruption and clandestine way in which countries are manipulated. We are all his puppets
  • thobanizahir25 July 2020
    A truly well produced and Informative docuseries. Absolutely a must watch!!
  • Rupert Murdoch is arguably the most powerful man in the world: his extensive media empire means he can influence elections so the people he supports wins. He's still able to influence elections in his native Australia as he owns the majority of newspapers there.

    While the Murdoch family declined to be interviewed, this three-part documentary resists the temptation to be as tacky and tabloid-y as Murdoch's worst papers. It's surprisingly balanced.

    The first part details Murdoch's influence over the UK elections in the mid-90s, as he throws lavish parties for the nation's elite and befriends Tony Blair.

    The second part deals with the fallout of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, as a group of powerful people (including F1 boss Max Mosley and actor Hugh Grant) form an alliance to try and take Murdoch down.

    The final part sees a wounded Murdoch regain some power through Brexit and Donald Trump's election campaign.

    There's plenty of family drama among this, with Murdoch deciding which one of his children (Elisabeth, Lachlan, or James) will take over his empire, marrying and divorcing Anna Maria Torv (1967-1999), Wendi Deng (1999-2013) and marrying Jerry Hall in 2016.

    The phone hacking scandal is the pivotal moment of the documentary: Murdoch appears genuinely remorseful and you almost feel sorry for him, but any sympathy vanishes when he masterminds Brexit and helps Trump get elected.

    So, do we learn anything new from this documentary? If anything, we see the reach of Murdoch's power and influence, although he pared this back after the phone hacking scandal.

    Even if you hate Murdoch, it's still a fascinating documentary.
  • Lejink19 August 2020
    Never mind watching any other TV mini-series out there, this three-part BBC exploration and examination of the inexorable rise of Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch made for fascinating and compulsive viewing.

    A heady mix of Lear-esque dynastic feuding amongst his three children, media manipulation involving future British Prime Ministers and U.S. Presidents (guess which ones!), unimaginable wealth, power politics, sleazy journalism and yes, even sex as he twice remarries, both times to much younger women and most recently to Jerry Hall of all people, you just couldn't print this stuff.

    With no active participation of any of the main Murdoch family members, the programmes were relatively free to dig deep and leave no stone unturned in bringing to light the often murky inside track on the many controversial episodes with which Murdoch has been involved. Interviews with past employees, such as previous editors of his papers, old enemies such as F1 boss Max Mosely and actor Hugh Grant and ex-staffers of the Trump administration, this lurid tale follows Murdoch all the way from his humble beginnings starting with one Australian newspaper to owning literally dozens of media-based companies in Britain, America and across Asia.

    A recognised power-broker through the major influence carried by the likes of the Sun newspaper in Britain and Fox News in the States, it was both eye-opening and stomach-churning to see the likes of Blair, Cameron and Trump fawning at the feet of king-maker Rupert. The closest he came to crashing to Earth was over the shameful and heinous phone-hacking scandal which was exposed in his U.K scandal-sheet the "News Of The World", a practice which saw the paper give free-reign to its journalists tapping into the mobile phone accounts of celebrities, politicians and worst of all even murder victims such as young Millie Dowling. In front of a U.K. government committee we get to see Murdoch and his son James squirm and turn but unsurprisingly a scapegoat was fed to the wolves and went to jail, the newspaper was summarily cancelled, making hundreds of staff redundant in the process, while the major players like the Murdochs and favoured employees like Rebekah Brooks lived to return another day.

    In recent years, Murdoch hitched his wagons to those two major opportunists in Britain and America, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump, in effect helping influence two of the most epochal political decisions in both these countries, the 2016 Brexit vote and the Trump victory over Hillary Clinton in that year's U.S. election, the consequences of which we are and will be living with for years to come. All this, by an opportunist, ambitious Australian-born press-baron who probably didn't even qualify to vote in either process.

    The series ends with Murdoch high in the saddle again with his new celebrity-model wife, company succession to one of his anointed children resolved by default and the sale of most of his media interests to of all companies, the Disney Corporation for billions of dollars.

    Lord Sugar in the programme waxes lyrical over Murdoch's achievements but in this it's he who is the sorcerer's apprentice. Other supporters of Murdoch might carp, but I found the programmes to be as balanced as they could be without the Murdochs' own involvement outside of archive footage.

    Media monster or media master? In the final analysis I would say he was both.
  • This is really unwatchable. Murdoch is about as vile, predatory and toxic as modern people can get. This laughable series offers praise and awe. It parades around one finely dressed monkey after another to sing his praises and to set us all up for the eventual arrival of his narcissistic children. The only good documentary about Murdoch would be the one where we see him in prison or in a coffin. Clearly the producers and makers of this trite series are terrified of him. Don't waste your time.
  • caps_lock13 September 2020
    Watched Succession first, than this one. Great combination!