Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Classic TV: The World at War (1973)

England's Thames Television was at the center of a programming experiment with WOR of New York around 1976, the end result of which introduced the likes of Benny Hill and dramas as diverse as The Oneidin Line & The Sweeney to audiences in New York. Upstate viewers got in on the fun via cable, you see.

The 1973 documentary miniseries, The World at War wasn't really part of the Thames on 9  package, although some think it was. In truth, the series made its American debut on PBS in 1975, and aired on WOR in 1976, independent of the promotion.

Sir Laurence Olivier narrated The World at War, which aired on Sundays on WOR. My father, having served in World War II, made sure my brother & I would be watching, as this was, after all, educational in content. However, the series was edited for American broadcast to accomodate extra commercials, in addition to concerns over graphic content.

Thames has its own YouTube channel, from where we get the opening moments of one particular chapter, including the haunting opening credit montage.

Locally, it has aired on PBS at least once or twice since its WOR run, and is available on DVD.

Rating: A.

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