Made between 1991 and 2000, these disparate documentaries, complete with British narrator,cover different aspects of the Second World War. Their titles are largely self-explanatory:History of World War II is the big picture disc, with a special emphasis on the Europeantheatre. For those interested in the war with Japan, Pearl Harbor and Kamikaze/Warin the Pacific will address those needs. The Occult History of the Third Reich is evenmore speciali…ed. All of these releases, with the exception of Pearl Harbor are double-disc sets.
The documentaries consist almost entirely of archival footage stitched together by thenarrator. All very interesting stuff, but nothing different from what you’d catch on A&E or TheHistory Channel any day of the week. A further note: the Kamikaze and War in thePacific discs have their labels switched, creating some confusion.
The 2.0 sound has a surround presence only with the scored menu and the opening credits(sometimes). Otherwise, the audio might as well be mono, though the narrators always comethrough with undistorted clarity.
Given that almost everything we see is war footage, one shouldn’t expect particularly nicelooking prints. So the grain and damage is understandable. Less forgivable is the pixellation,which is severe. The opening credits of the various documentaries, which are NOT archival, arewashed out and grainy. The same is true of the badly pixellated interviews with experts andveterans in the bonus features. By and large, the picture quality is roughly that of VHS recordedin EP.
All of the discs but one come with an “Ask the Experts” feature, which is a collection ofabout 8 interviews on each disc with war historians and veterans, addressing specific questions.The exception is The Occult History of the Third Reich, which comes with a non-interactive trivia game. Stare at the question, wait for the answer. The menus, as mentionedabove, are scored.
Just the ticket for the war junkies out there, but nothing particularly exceptional about theseries.
Special Features List
- “Ask the Experts” Interviews