The First World War From Above

The moaning in my last entry was, it seems, premature. Last night the Beeb showed a new documentary on the First World War: ‘The First World War From Above’. I haven’t had the chance to see it yet, but it’s here on iPlayer, and is narrated by Fergal Keane, who is an excellent journalist. As a documentary it should be worth watching.

That sounds a little grudging, perhaps. OK, to come straight to the point: the big idea behind the documentary (why do all documentaries need a ‘big idea’ today? Why do all cookery programs need a ‘mission’?) annoys me a little. The documentary is about showing the war as it was seen from the skies– from Zeppelins, observation balloons and aircraft. This should indeed give us some interesting pictures of World War One– looking at things literally from a different angle, after all– but however novel the perspective, I wonder if the basic idea isn’t really quite trivial.

Let’s hope ‘The First World War From Above’ turns out to be a little more informative and useful than all those ‘Second World War in Colour’ docs. I’ll write my verdict in the Comments section– perhaps I’m just being an old misery! Give your verdict there too.

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