Review by D.H.T. Shippey

   Before I review the first episode of the DVD historic fiction series Courage New Hampshire you should know that I am not a dispassionate or disconnected critic of this work. Why? Because I know the creator of the series, James Riley, well. I know his motivations, his thinking, his ethics and his family. However I have a reputation to uphold also, I have always been honest about the works I review and I will be with this one as well.

    Making Courage New Hampshire was in itself an act of Courage. Few people would have the courage to believe they could make a dramatic historic series of high quality with their own money in spite of never working a day in Hollywood. Even fewer would attempt to launch such a project three times, learning valuable lessons and skills with each attempt. Tenacity and the willingness to grow and learn have paid off in Courage New Hampshire: The Travails of Sarah Pine, and the viewer is the ultimate winner.

     The opening of Courage may seem a bit rushed and leave us wanting a bit more character development, but the story is set up quickly and the cinematography is first rate. While watching it is easy to forget that this was an amateur independent production because the production levels are so far above any comparable product. The actors and writers handle the foreignness of 18th century vocabulary with great skill, giving us just the right amount of new words without confusing the audience. The performances are convincing and moving, while the story could have been easily read right from the legal records of the day. The music is spot on emotionally and in period feel throughout. After you have finished watching you feel that you have just spent time in pre-Revolution America.




An Act of Courage

The Travails of Sarah Pine,  REVIEW




Some have criticized the episode for being non-family friendly because the story centers around the paternity case of an unwed mother, but to me that seemed surprising. In an age when people accept unwed mothers as the norm how fascinating it is to see how unacceptable it was to the people of the American frontier where the town knew they would bear the financial responsibility for a fatherless child. A few of the background performances are not to the high level of the main cast, but the authenticity of the main characters more than makes up for them.

      Courage New Hampshire’s first episode is a great foundation for a promising series. It is entertaining and surprisingly informative without ever making its audience feel like it is sitting in history lesson. I highly recommend it and plan to review later episodes in the future as Colony Bay productions is already editing their 4th episode.

Courage New Hampshire: The Travails of Sarah Pine is available as a DVD or as a VOD (View on Demand) through