The series was widely regarded as misconceived for variety of reasons, such as the studio-bound production which offered little in the way of realism and the lack of available funding. Each episode dealt with a particular period in British history, and the quality was consequently variable. Much of the acting was criticised, despite the involvement of names such as Richard Johnson, Robert Hardy, Alan Howard, Colin Blakely, Anna Massey, Gemma Jones and Edward Fox. The programme was reviewed at some length in the programme TV Hell, which revealed that viewing figures had plummeted from 2 million at the series' launch to less than half a million by the fifth episode. The programme was swiftly buried in a later time-slot for the remainder of its run.