Year in and year out, PBS proves that it is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming left on television. In comparison to the programming put out by History, Discovery and even Science Channel, PBS’ programming stands solidly above those networks. The documentaries put out by PBS and Public Media Distribution this year are proof positive of that. They make up the majority of this critic’s list of 2017’s top new From the true history behind what was nearly one of America’s worst nuclear disasters in American Experience: Command and Control, to the hard-hitting (and fittingly titled) documentary The Talk: Race in America, which focuses on relations between law enforcement and minorities, to even the Mythbusters-esque NOVA: Secrets of the Shining Knight and beyond, PBS has put out another strong crop of new documentaries this year.
Of course PBS is not the only company represented in this year list, despite its once again strong presence. Smithsonian Channel and even MLB Productions are also represented here, too. Leading off this year’s list of the top new documentaries is the The Vietnam War: A Film By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. This mini-series documentary presents both familiar and not so familiar information about the war as well as footage that is impacting in its own right. Musical work by Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor and his friend Atticus Ross add even more to the documentary series. Also included in the list, as noted already, is American Experience: Command and Control, which focuses on what was nearly one of America’s worst nuclear disasters. If that isn’t enough, there is also a history of the evolution of subway transportation in American Experience: The Race Underground. MLB Productions gets a nod with its new 2017 World Series Documentary, which tells the full, in-depth story of this year’s World Series. Smithsonian Channel’s nod comes in the form of the WWII documentary Hell Below, which focuses on the submarine conflict both in the Atlantic and Pacific theater.
As with every previous list, this list features this critic’s Top 10 titles in their category alongside five additional titles for a total of 15 titles. Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2015 top 10 New Documentaries.
PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW DOCUMENTARIES
- The Vietnam War: A Film By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
- The Talk: Race in America
- American Experience: Command & Control
- American Experience: Race Underground
- Hell Below
- American Experience: The Great War
- Secrets of the Dead: Nero’s Sunken City
- NOVA: Secrets of the Shining Knight
- Secrets of the Dead: Graveyard of the Giant Beasts
- Secrets of the Dead: Leonardo, The Man Who Saved Science
- Secrets of the Dead: After Stonehenge
- NOVA: Ghosts of Stonehenge
- 2017 World Series Champions: Houston Astros
- Farewell Ferris Wheel
- NOVA: Killer Volcanoes
That’s it for this list. It’s not the end for the DVD and Blu-ray titles, though. There is still more on the way including the year’s top new Family DVDs and BDs, best new DVD and DVD re-issues, and hopefully a couple of box set lists. Stay tuned for all of that!
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