Some of my favorite type of television shows are those that provide historical information through a fictional drama. Many of them are available from streaming subscriptions and for purchase on DVD too. We all know how Downtown Abbey has become a hit show and although it is the sensational drama that brings many of us to the screen, underlying it all is the history. I am going to attempt to highlight one of these programs each Saturday in place of my “What Happened on” post (Sometimes in addition).
Do you have any favorite programs that fit this category? I’d love to hear your ideas and I would be glad to include the program in an up coming post. I also would welcome a guest blogger. If you want to read other posts in this category, there is menu at the top of my cite that will take you to a list of all my History from the Small Screen posts.
Although this show was definitely not a fictional drama, it turned documentary material into entertainment just the same. Victory at Sea is a documentary television series about warfare in general during World War II, and naval warfare in particular, as well as the use of industry in warfare. It was originally broadcast by NBC in the USA in 1952–1953. It was condensed into a film in 1954. Excerpts from the music soundtrack, by Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett, were re-recorded and sold as record albums. To me, the musical score was almost a character in the drama. Through the music, the viewer was pulled into the real World War drama unfolding on the screen. The original TV broadcasts comprised 26 half-hour segments—Sunday afternoons at 3pm (EST) in most markets—starting on October 26, 1952 and ending on May 3, 1953. The series, which won an Emmy award in 1954 as “best public affairs program”, played an important part in establishing historic “compilation” documentaries as a viable television genre. At this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_at_Sea there are further links to full videos on YouTube. If you have an interest US Naval stories and WWII in particular, I highly recommend this program. You might enjoy the music as well.