Despite the abrupt finale, this production lifts the humanity of Hamlet from the ruffled doublets of a dead time into a world beyond chronology or geography. With its limited number of sets, and spare scene decoration, the BBC film production keeps the theatrical feel of the play while taking advantage of the intimacy and versatility afforded by the camera.
The directors' commentary on the DVD is, like many commentaries, informative and packed with delightful pieces of trivia about the production and insights into the choices made by the directors and actors. Surprisingly, the “Backstage” feature was not a dumbed-down paean to the BBC or a blooper-filled collage of cut scenes. Instead, this feature provides insightful interviews with the cast and crew that provide an intelligent look into the making of the film and the universal tug of Shakespeare upon the human soul.
Hamlet was released to DVD on May 4, 2010 by BBC America.