I've never seen the original. I've only seen the first ep of the new one so far but I thought it was a corker.
The opening bit about Khaled al-Asaad being beheaded was and absolutely the way to open the series. You could feel Schama's rage and pain, but also his ferocious determination to interrogate and defend civilisation.
The cave paintings were spine-tingling and the Mycenean ring with the 'first fight scene in history' was jaw-dropping.
The tiny head of a woman was exquisite.
I could go on! Am very behind, obviously, but very much looking forward to the first Mary Beard one, and I love David Olusoga.
For me Olusoga definitely steals the show. Totally agree with your observations and I too have never seen the original. I am a fan of all hree really so it was always going to work on some level for me. Art history is slightly left of my discipline usually but am enjoying the insights.
You are in for some real treats with Olusoga as his episodes include contact with the West and he is great on colonialism etc in my opinion.