History Channel released this week its new military documentary 100 Years of World War I. The documentary is a perfect fit for any high school and college level history course. It is just as fitting for a class at any military academy. The in-depth program spans two discs and eight separate segments. The first four segments are the meat and potatoes of the program and are contained entirely on the set’s first disc. That separation of material is the second part of this set that audiences will appreciate. And rounding out the whole presentation is the incorporation of vintage footage and pictures, actual writings from those involved in combat, and computer simulations to help illustrate each segment’s topic. These extras alongside the set’s organization and its expansive information collectively make 100 years Of WWI a viable candidate for a slot on this critic’s list of the year’s best new documentaries.
The primary factor that audiences will appreciate about this new documentary “series” is the depth of material included across each of its segments. Audiences are treated to a history lesson primarily on the military tech that was first developed for use in World War I. It all starts with a lesson of sorts on the evolution of a British farm tractor into the first tanks. Audiences will be interested to see just how tight things were inside the tanks and the dangers that tank crews faced in those earliest versions of tanks. What’s more, audiences will be interested to see just how imperfect they were despite their strengths. From tanks, the main feature moves on to the development of the first chemical warfare and to the advent of aerial and submersible technology. The program’s narrator explains that things weren’t perfect with any of this tech at first. For instance, the gas used actually would blow back into the faces of the soldiers, leading many to be killed by accident. And even the use of submarines was largely ineffective at first for British forces. Even more interesting, audiences will learn that for the longest time, the U.S. actually stayed out of the war, until the German forces didn’t keep their word about not sinking American ships. If all of this isn’t enough for audiences, there is even a history lesson of sorts on some of the most integral air battles in the history of World War I in the set’s bonus second disc. These are just some examples of the extent of the in-depth information shared throughout the course of this program’s two discs. The history shared throughout the course of this set’s two discs is central to its overall enjoyment. The manner in which the overall program was separated is another reason that audiences will appreciate this set.
The organization of 100 Years of WWI is another important aspect of this set’s overall enjoyment. Each of the four primary segments that comprise the main feature is presented in and of itself rather than all of them being jumbled together as one big program. This applies to the features included on the bonus second disc, too. The end result of this full separation of features is that viewers will be more apt to actually sit and watch through each one’s roughly forty plus minute run time. The only real connection per se that each of the features have to one another is the opening sequence. It tells audiences what the program covers in each part. The overall impact of this organization alongside the depth of material presented makes both aspects equally important. Together, they make this box set even more enjoyable for any history buff or military history buff.
The organization of 100 Years of WWI and the information included within each of the set’s eight total features together make this set well worth the purchase by any military history buff and history buff in general. There is one more factor to consider in this set’s enjoyment. That factor is its collective interviews, vintage footage and pictures, and computer simulations. Each one helps in its own way to make each discussion more accessible for viewers. There are computer generated clips showing how the blimps crafted by the German forces bombed England. There are also computer simulations used in the features centered on WWI’s most well-known dogfights. And the footage and pictures of the men fighting on the front lines drives home just how horrible it must have been to have been in those trenches. This is merely some of what audiences can expect from this program. Audiences will see much more when they order 100 Years of WWI for themselves. It can be ordered direct from History Channel’s online store at http://shop.history.com/detail.php?p=562013. More information on this and other releases from History Channel is available online at http://www.history.com, http://shop.history.com, and http://www.facebook.com/History. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.