As we have come to expect from these British dramas the supporting cast is excellent, although one has to wonder why it is that some play with accents and some don't. Of course, no one attempts a French accent. As in the contemporary Les Miz, the French all seem to prefer British accents. Peter Bowles turns in a gem as the ridiculous ladies' man and Cavalry Captain, Murat. Peter Jeffrey is convincingly subdued as the scheming Talleyrand. A ridiculously young Tim Curry appears as Josephine's son from her first marriage, Eugene. Sorcha Cusack is her devoted daughter, Hortense.
Unlike the more recent British costume dramas which are shot outdoors and on location as well as in studio, back when this was shot they relied much more on the studio. This gives the production more the feel of a stage performance than the kind of film we get today. More often than not the scenes are confined to interiors, sumptuous interiors, but interiors, and confining nonetheless. Costumes on the other hand are lavish and carefully integrated with character. Murat is dressed in clownish finery, while Talleyrand is more restrained. Napoleon appears as he does in some of the many portraits, but it is to the ladies that the truly beautiful couture is given, beautiful women are dressed beautifully.
Although each of the three discs includes a disclaimer noting that the development of video recording may have caused some problems with the rerecording of the older audio and video, I didn't notice anything awry in any of the episodes. Both video and audio quality are quite acceptable. Extras included on the final disc include filmographies of some of the major cast members and a short time line of historical events during Napoleon's reign. While I would have liked some program notes along with the set, more often than not these sets don't bother with them. One can only hope.