I am neither a history buff nor a particular aficionado of war footage, but when The History Channel presented its TCA panel for the upcoming series, “WWII in HD,” premiering on Nov. 15th, I don’t mind telling you that I was absolutely enthralled. Culled from thousands of hours of lost and rare color archival footage gathered from a two-year-long worldwide search through basements and archives, the miniseries – narrated by Gary Sinese, with additional contributions from Ron Livingston, LL Cool J, Rob Lowe, Steve Zahn, and others – is unquestionably going to change the way a lot of younger people think of World War II…and by “younger,” I’m talking from, like, 50-year-olds on down the line.
I’ve seen the first couple of episodes, and it’s just mindblowing to see all of this color footage, so much so that you’ll almost be embarrassed that you’re having a hard time accepting that it’s real. For instance, my wife and I were watching footage of a Nazi rally, with Adolf Hitler riding down the street to a crowd chanting his name, and we were just stunned. I mean, you’ve seen pictures of Hitler, and you’ve seen the grainy black and white footage, but to see him in living color…? It’s truly bizarre, and the same goes for the moments where you see FDR, Churchill, and any number of other familiar faces from the era. It’s almost disconcerting, frankly, and that’s not even getting started on seeing the scenes of combat.
Here’s the trailer for “WWII in HD,” so you see at least a little bit of what I’m going on about:
Keep in mind that the trailer itself isn’t in HD, of course, but I dare say you can see how much they’ve cleaned up this found footage. It’s truly remarkable, and it is absolutely must-see.
Mark it on your calendar now: Nov. 15, 9 PM, The History Channel.