DA VINCI & THE CODE HE LIVED BY is the latest presentation from The History Channel. The choice of subject matter was most likely inspired by the popularity of Dale Brown's work of fiction, The Da Vinci Code. However, there are no references to the descendants of Jesus Christ or the Knights Templar or the Holy Grail. Rather, the code is Da Vinci's personal principle to push the limits of personal knowledge and .
This presentation is structured as a series of chapters that focus on either a seminal event or one of his creative outlets. The presentation appears to have excellent production values with the numerous dramatizations ("re-creations") rarely exhibiting a "B" quality. More often, the dramatizations actually have a scope that is almost film-quality. The dramatizations are complete with Italian language dialogue accompanied by English subtitles.
The History Channel has passed on Edward Hermann who usually narrates their major presentations in favor of Sam Mercurio, who channels an Italian (European) accent for his narration. The presentation focuses almost exclusively on his professional life and his . Aside opening with his childhood, the presentation's only other mention of his personal life is a hint that the subject of the Mona Lisa has been postulated to perhaps be his mistress. Apparently, Da Vinci's code applied only to his professional life.
DA VINCI & THE CODE HE LIVED BY is a well-done presentation that highlights some of the most famous aspects of Leonard Da Vinci's life. The presentation does not offer any new insights into Da Vinci's life, but serves excellent primer for those who only know of him in passing.