Review: When Eagles Dare

Amazon are back with yet another solid sports documentary series with When Eagles Dare. Following a similar format to All Or Nothing, When Eagles Dare takes you inside Crystal Palace football club as it faces it’s most dire of moments in the clubs history as it takes a 10 point deduction for going into administration, then literally moments away from folding, to battling looming relegation and club survival.

The documentary then moves to the most important moment in the Eagles history, the extraordinary 2012-2013 season. The film uses historical interviews, previously unseen footage and recent interviews with all the main players for that season. It’s an inspiring spectacle, that shows what true leadership and astute management of a club can do when you have the right people in place. The film hits hard especially with recent headlines with certain ‘big’ premier league clubs and their current problems with finances and fan fury.

The five part series is enthralling from the get go. Anyone who knows their footballing history will know how it all unfolds, but the ride will take you on a range of emotions anyway, whether you are a Palace fan, a football fan in general or someone who enjoys sports as a whole. The makers have not left any stones unturned here and the way it unveils the next part of the story as it makes it’s way to the tense climax is very well put together.

While it’s nothing new on the sports documentary front. What it does do, it does very well. From club owner and Palace life long fan Steve Parish (And his amazing set of hair dos), club legend, goalkeeper Julian Speroni (Who everyone would want as their best mate), current talisman player and future Palace legend, Wilfried Zaha (Who shows his real passion for the club and game throughout) and Damien Delaney (Who would be the number one goto guy for nights out) the cast of characters are described (By Parish) as ‘like the Dirty Dozen’ come together at the right time, the talking head sections are probably more interesting than the game footage. There’s some really interesting revelations, none more so than from Dougie Freedman the current Sporting Director at Palace and former player/manager for the club. But then there’s the highlight of the documentary, former manager Ian Holloway, who despite the sour end to his reign at Palace, was the right man, in the right place at the right time. Plus he is absolutely pure gold, from his incredible dance moves to his raging at Brighton & Hove Albion staff members during the now infamous play-offs ‘incident’, and his talking head segments pull no punches either. Many Palace fans may end up remebering his time with a little more fondness after this.

So if you like your sporting documentaries, especially if you are footballing fan, then When Eagles Dare should certainly be your next streaming binge watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When Eagles Dare is available to stream on Prime Video now.

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