Crusoe (TV Series 2008–2009) Poster


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Solid start to hopefully a good series
VoyagerSamfan8718 October 2008
I enjoyed this one. Not as much as I hoped I would, but it is still enjoyable. The island is wonderful to look at and the two main characters are great, and it's wonderful to see Sam Neill on screen again. The Pirates of the Caribbean like humor makes this more of a family show, which we don't get a lot of times. Yes, it is slow pacing, but it is still entertaining to watch. I hope it gets better.I can see why some were a bit disappointed in it. I, myself, was a little bored in the middle, but it picked up. Some of the comedy in it is great, and the action is good. So is the acting. And the flashbacks gives a nice feel to it. And I loved Crusoe narrating. I hope this sticks around for at least a season. I honestly have no idea why no one is commenting on this show yet. It's definitely worth watching. If they can keep Lost going this long and Gillians Island last as long as it did I'm hoping that Robinson lasts for a season or 2.
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Excellent Show
jdeming74710 December 2008
This show is well worth the effort to watch. It's "Horatio Hornblower" meets "Castaway" meets "Pirates of the Caribbean." It has plots and a sub plot that will keep your attention and make it difficult to wait a week for the next episode! It's clean and Crusoe has exemplary integrity through very difficult odds. Each week you will learn a new piece of information about how Crusoe got to the island, and how he and Friday became inseparable. Unless you are a hyper-critical couch potato that has nothing better to do than rip apart well-rounded TV shows, you'll love this show! It definitely beats those shows full of social drama, immorality, and graphic psychos. If I wanted to see that I could walk outside and look around.
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A series worth watching
marybeth-2025 October 2008
I admire any network that puts this much work into a series. I mean it is beautiful to watch and manages to keep your attention for the hour. Both Crusoe and Friday are easy on the eyes and their arboreal condo is envy-worthy to say the least. The writing is not too bad either which is a relief in this day and age of shows having regular people gagging on spiders and calling that entertainment.

On two slight criticisms: why the whole MacGyver thing? Sure, we get to know that Crusoe and Friday are surviving because they are saavy, adaptable and quick. But, I draw the line on the coconut shell orange press thingy. Sure, it was fun to see but it undermined the reality of the situation. And, since he is soooo clever, why the heck does Cruose walk and climb around the tropical island wearing heavy leather boots that come up past his knees? If you can make an orange press... you could make foot protection that would not be unbearable under the local conditions, right? Well, I will continue to watch for the acting, the writing, the scenery. Maybe an episode where Crusoe is losing it would be welcome... just to add realism into the series.
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Thank heaven there are TV shows for family's out there
quantum_tronics14 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Crusoe" is a TV show that incorporates imagination, adventure, suspense with high moral character traits prevalent in the main characters. I admire NBC's willingness to try an older formula for TV value. The main characters themselves are noble, unselfish, seek the greater good of others, and resolve the need for conflict in a reasoned and personal moral manner. As a viewer, I understand that no individual is perfect and do not feel that the writers have taken advantage of this sentiment. The back drops are impressive, may be considered over the top by the "realist" viewers, but I don't find it condescending at all. Look...a show that is about being on a warm and sunny remote island, with one's best "mate" along for the ride,living off the land, no taxes to pay, bills to pay, money to earn, living off one's wits, living a life of adventure and challenge every moment. I look beyond the minor flaws of which are too minor to mention, and prefer to look to the entertainment intent of the show. Congratulations NBC, the show writers and the actors, for bringing a "Peter Pan" type adventure back into regular TV for families.
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excellent adaption with a new twist(minor spoilers)
superboy970718 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This show is a wonderful adaption of the novel, while adding some great NEW stories as well, the acting is quite good, the actor who plays Robinson reminds me of the late Heath Ledger which is a good thing, that is a compliment to the actor, the writers write good conversations, I highly recommend this show, the flashbacks are a good touch, I FINALLY found a good adaption of the book. the actor who plays Friday does a great job of of being Crusoe's friend and somewhat of a servant the actors who played the pirates did a lovely job as well,overall I give it a ten out of ten, I wouldn't recommend it for und r 8-9 and thats if their not squeamish so, mainly for the little elven and ten year olds and up almost guaranteed well anyway, overall this is a GREAT show
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The cheese factor
mysticnox25 October 2008
If you like this kind of thing, you'll like Crusoe but you have to get over the "cheese".

Its predictable, and the acting isn't the greatest.

The sets are incredible.

All of these things can be said exactly the same for Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (which I own the first season on DVD so I obviously like it) and Xena: Warrior Princess.

Since I liked both those shows, I guess it remains to be seen whether I'll like it for this one.

I find the show passable, and amusing if you're looking for something light and fluffy thats obviously not meant for anything serious.
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A very bad series
TheBearisHERE4 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I find "Crusoe" to be a very strange series. First of all, I just can't determine what sort of genre is supposed to fit it. The show premiere featured tons of comic scenes and witty jokes and I for one genuinely thought that "Crusoe" is meant to be a comedy. A pretty good one, to say the truth. The pilot episode was great, very funny and highly enjoyable. I laughed at how Crusoe and Friday disposed of all those pirates, what a spoof-of-a-real-Robinson-Crusoe-house they had, the hilarious dialogues that were said. I thought it was a parody of Defoe's legendary Robinson Crusoe. But then came the second episode, then the third and I realized the creators are trying to sell this as drama! And humor mixed with drama has to be very subtle or else it becomes a deadly and atrocious compound… In this case, the latter applies. So there you go, I'll review these series as serious ones.

  To begin with, this TV show is extremely different from its source material – a novel. Crusoe should be a deprivation worn, beard sporting passionate Roman Catholic, not a sporty lookin', ever fighting model. Friday – a humble, scarcely English speaking native, who is forever grateful to Crusoe for rescuing him and the one that would never put his own matters before Crusoe's. But right here, he is an English linguist with the power of Rambo and bow felicity that'd make Robin Hood envious. Actually, in the book, the very first word Crusoe taught Friday was "master" to call him. Only later during the years did they bond and Crusoe considered the man a close friend, but in this show, the whole timeline is tangled all over, you can get the feeling ships occasionally pass by the island every week, while, in Defoe's creation, Crusoe saw the first Europeans on the island only after a few decades of isolation, if I remember correctly.  

Secondly, almost all the stories depicted in the show are extremely unrealistic, stupid and corny to say the least. It has all the bad movie clichés – villains shooting and always missing, unlimited ammo for heroes, women fighting as strong as men, heroes getting beaten for a little bit, but quickly recovering without any signs of injuries, heroes hiding in the jungle and seeing everything while their enemies – nothing and so on and so on… Moreover, the story is very repetitive, every time it's either Crusoe saving Friday or vice versa. Can't they think of something more ingenious? Every episode has tons of ridiculous nuances. The whole plot of the second episode was some sort of a computer game imitation and Indiana Jones spoof. I mean, how can there be opening tombs and traps in an uninhabited island? What about Friday having prophetic dreams? What, is this mystery show now? The whole story with mutineers was unprecedentedly dumb as well. Hell, the scene where Crusoe, a castaway stranded on the island for 8 years (according to this script) sees a harbored ship and is just casually looking at it is outrageously bad – a real Robinson would run screaming down the beach just to be rescued. And In the very end when the ship was leaving, couldn't have Crusoe been more insistent on taking him along? Couldn't he have overthrown the old captain with his great agility and strength and become the new leader. The crew didn't seem to mind any changes in the authority that had previously happened. And that girl only had to say "You won't have a surgeon on a ship if those two aren't travelling with us" instead of "I won't be here if you don't let them leave". This is super plain stupid! As is the fact no one could recognize that she was actually a girl. In the very first scene I saw the character, I knew it was either a transvestite actor or a woman playing Oliver.  

The props would look beautiful if not for their stupidity. Real Crusoe wouldn't have so many clothes left; in fact, he'd be wearing hay pants or something, since the clothes would have disintegrated in 8-year-time being used in harsh environment. He certainly wouldn't have built such a science-fiction-worthy house even if he had the materials to build it. House the size of a mansion? A windmill or something resembling it in the background? A wooden lift? Really? Are you kiddin'?   I think people who enjoy these series haven't read the original "Robinson Crusoe" book, because they would be insulted by this sacrilege as much as I am.   There is not a single good thing I could say about this show, it's childish and horrible.

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decent. in real good sense
Kirpianuscus1 July 2018
The right story, the good performances. the flash backs . and the humor. few virtues of a serie who could be defined as decent in the sense of old fashion work. because it is not one of serie proposing eccentric new perspectives about a classic book. it is not one of series looking for impress. it represents a good example of well crafted serie. using original lines, proposing smart questions about contemporary problems. being useful. a serie for entire family, embroidery of beautiful performances, adventure in old fashion style and wise pledge for fundamental values.
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Could Have Been So Much Better
kirkdzsimi7 November 2013
As a lifelong Robinson Crusoe fan I was excited to find this show. The drama flits between excellent period drama driven by Sam Neill's conniving Jeremiah Blackthorne and the absurd and twee politically correct world on the island.

Robinson Crusoe has set up an Ewok style village in the trees with Ichabod Crane style ingenuity that, just as in Sleepy Hollow, is designed to amuse a modern audience. Phillip Winchester plays a decent role as Robinson Crusoe for the most part but is so much lighter in countenance than Defoe's Crusoe or anyone else marooned on an island for years and is reminiscent of Michael Praed's Robin Hood but Praed's romantically brooding sadness has been replaced with a slightly smug confidence in his own ability and 21st century values.

I am also confused at the choice of Tongayi Chirisa as "Friday", a rescued sacrificial victim. He looks and sounds African which would have made no sense for a South American tribesman in the 17th century. Also why he would speak English to his father when the Spanish sailors speak Spanish to each other is a mystery of modern screen writing.

The dialogue between Crusoe and Friday is often trite and primarily involves Crusoe being right about more or less everything yet telling everyone how much he respects Friday as an equal - yet he admits on several occasions that he only calls him "Friday" because he couldn't pronounce his real name, which slightly smacks of racism "a l'indifference".

Crusoe's biggest problem as television is patchy writing and while the finale ticks all the boxes and is genuinely exciting, huge chunks of the show seem to just feature Robinson and Friday playing around and this is not only wasted story time but ultimately meant that ratings dropped beneath the recommissioning level. I would have been far more interested in both characters' backstories in a more detailed way than the barely satisfactory flashback sequences we are given and also just a little bit less smiling and a bit more grit.

Also it drives me crazy how when fighting bloodthirsty cannibals or pirates that Robinson and Friday are happier to kick their foe in the head than kill them...very "A-Team" I am afraid. Also despite Friday being lauded constantly by Crusoe for his warrior skills and intelligence, Friday twice allows captives to play dead and then take him prisoner and fails to realise that when he has his own hands chained that he could easily throttle his captor with his foot long manacle chain.

Visually superb however and a great show for kids, I wanted this to be so much better than it was and it had the cast, crew and writers (based on the bits filmed in England at least) to do so. Sadly not surprised it didn't get a second season. Too bad!
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I can understand why this was axed
alfredsmith15 July 2009
I really wanted to like this show. I was hoping for a cross between "Castaway" and "Lost" but set a couple of centuries in the past. After watching the first four episodes, in hindsight I should have stopped after the pilot, I can report that it is nothing like what I had hoped.

Both lead actors are miscast and wooden but Philip Winchester is just totally annoying. His English accent is simply unbelievable and he looks like he belongs in a Vogue fashion shoot with the blow dried hair, the freshly shaved beard and perfect teeth.

It appears that both Crusoe and Friday have been on the island for a few years when the series starts as they have "built" a condo with a great view in the trees, running water, gunpowder, weapons and food aplenty. A couple of wenches would have made this the perfect holiday destination for most men. Their life is easy and the lack of any real struggle to live is difficult to comprehend. In fact his is what really irritates me about the whole concept.

Just more useless debris in the current crop of rubbish offered by the networks.
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Crusoe - Potential Spoilers!
tteausant23 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Everything about this show was entertaining. Its pace and plot were well driven and it is a shame it ended when it did. There should be a clause inserted for every trial work that an acceptable final episode be done within maybe the first ten. Another reviewer said the accents were bad. Couldn't care less. The acting was light and fun and serious when needed. Suspension of disbelief is sort of key when watching anything, lol! The show never went weepy about the the fate of the family, it always gave them a strong rebellious image like the rest of the show. The only question I ever had was if Friday was willing to go back with Robinson to face the obvious racist issues in Britain. Not to slam Britain, but following up on Blackthornes "visit" might have led into a much bigger social commentary than the network was prepared for. I was also interested in how Robinson's family fared after the realization they were the heir to the fortune. Without the documents needed.
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barely stays afloat
lywyllyn11 January 2009
I really wanted to like this show, I really did. I willfully suspended disbelief that this show could be running aground during the shallow Pilot, but alas she didn't run hard on the wind, she kinda beached herself in order to prevent more damage to her crew and onlookers.

But no maties, I stuck with them, yes I did, I got myself on that island through episode 3 & 4.

What heck is this? McGyver meets Gilligans island? After all, the fancy gadgets and inventions are all made from shipwreck material mind you, coconut fibers and some moldy pieces from the Castaway set.

I expected to see a clam shell cell phone with all fancy gimmicky crap they had at their disposal, I mean this lad has limitless imagination and talent, but he can't get himself of the damn island nor manage invent a knack for a British accent?

This could have been a refreshingly gritty, somewhat desolate re-imagined RC story, one that brings the worlds of the native and the castaway together through struggles and painful lessons. Alas, Friday is very smart and wise guy, but here he has an Oxford degree in Literature and Philosophy too boot.

Here is hoping that the filming crew didn't eat the writers without an adequate ceremony.
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Great Tree-house! Entertaining Member reviews!
KevinLB21 March 2018
I missed this one when it was first released, no great loss, I'm afraid! Apparently, I've fallen into the same trap as others here who have felt compelled to spend some time and write a review.

For a show that has so few positives, it's been hard to turn off. I believe that if it hadn't been based on a classic, Crusoe might have stood a chance. But it's impossible to watch this and not compare it to the source material.The location and cinematography are pretty darned good. Plus, the tree-house is outstanding!. More than once I felt as if I was seeing a 17th century MacGyver. Instead of duck-tape and a Swiss army knife, it was vines and bamboo.

I mostly agree with the other people about the scripts and acting. It's not very hard to find fault with this one. It does tho, have something that's kept me watching. Judging by the length and quality of the reviews. I'm not the only one!

I won't be searching high and low to find the dvd's for Crusoe. One viewing is enough. In fact, I haven't watched the last episode and I'm not sure that I will. Who knows, with the current revival trend, someone might make a stab at this one again.

If so, keep the tree-house and trash the rest!
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Geat locations
ryanthecooper27 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Pity about the utter lemon that was shot here That treehouse sure was quite an accomplishment, but it would he build that? Seems to me that they pushed the boundaries a little with what Robinson Crusoe could build and maintain. I read the original book, and while in the story he achieved quite a lot in terms of subsistence farming, the peak of his technological accomplishments was a pointed stick and a door for his cave. I know that movie adaptations of books are open to a certain amount of interpretation and artistic license, but this just insulting to the source material. They stopped one step short of him building a space shuttle to fly back home.
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God-awful acting
HUEfilms18 October 2008
Stuck at home on a Friday night, I saw a trailer for this way back in the summer and thought "oh this is gonna be sweet!!!!" so I popped the popcorn and began to watch it. The second the character Robinson Crusoe started talking, I thought "What the hell? Is that supposed to be a British accent?" Phillip Winchester did terrible, I thought, and the Friday character wasn't very interesting either. The pirates sucked. In all, the acting is god-awful. I felt like the whole time i wanted to just scream at them to get off the set. Hopefully, throughout the season, the acting and the plot will be more sophisticated and enjoyable.
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Robinson MacGyver
spikeneil-84-83695228 December 2017
I literally lasted for 2 minutes after the titles. What a load of dog sausage!! As my headline suggests....MacGyver on an island would've been a better title!! Maybe I should have hung on for a few more minutes, then I may have seen the hot showers, launderettes and razors that kept everyone so well groomed and clean ( on ship and island). It was a bit like watching Westerns from the 60's- 80's.....Complete and utter BULLSH*T.....TV for the dumb again!!!
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Lost Potential
sdyrup2 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What i really miss these days, is Writers writing stories that actually makes sense...

So Crusoe and Friday have been living on this island for 6 years, built a mansion, and seem to know everything about the island (as seen when Crusoe is guiding the pirates in Episode 1)... but somehow they missed the huge water canal, and no its not underground, you can see the sky from it), not to mention a long narrow bridge crossing a deep chasm, in their very own back yard..

Not to mention, this HUGE canal with massive doors to control the water flow, is apparently a "drain" of some sort, from a huge lake on top of a mysterious mountain.. However all the water going to this huge Canal, has to pass a very small narrow bridge in a small minor canal (obvisouly very small to make Friday and Crusoe passing it "exiting",)...

This is basically a summary of the Series as such... Cliché upon cliché and not once do you get the feeling anyone involved in the show actually stopped for a second and asked themselves... "Hmmm does this make any sense"...

I gave it 4 of it could maybe entertain my 5 year old a while, the scenery is kinda nice, the idea (although spoiled) could have been good, and well i have seen worse, not much worse, but still worse.
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