Ten Days That
Unexpectedly Changed America
Sound: C+ Extras: C Episodes: B
The History Channel’s documentary mini-series Ten Days
That Unexpectedly Changed America is another strong entry in the many they
have logged so far. The events covered,
though they did give specific dates, did not necessarily happen in one
day. Nevertheless, the events are hard
to argue against as follows:
Massacre At Mystic covers
how the genocide of Native Americans became common.
Shay’s Rebellion: America’s First Civil War has
Bill Plympton animation about stunning events that led to both The Bill Of
Rights and The Constitution.
Gold Rush tells the sometimes-darker
story about how a freer country without royalty allowed people to find the
still-precious metal all over the place, then shows who really got rich.
Antietam was the biggest battle of The
Civil War and remains the bloodiest day in U.S. history.
The Homestead Strike takes
place near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and repeats the Johnson County Massacre
story of the defenseless and helpless being mowed down in the name of big money
interests, except this one involved a union, Henry Clay Frick and Andrew
Murder At The Fair: The Assassination Of President
McKinley happened at the 1901 World’s Fair and helped the FDR
Progressive Era take place in ways many may not know.
Scopes: The Battle Over America’s Soul is the
evolution versus Christian Extremism/Creationism/Intelligent Design debate and
how the end of the case was only the beginning of scientific fact and progress
Einstein’s Letter involves the one the
scientific genius wrote to FDR about developing nuclear weapons. It turned out to save the free world.
When America Was Rocked is
about Elvis nation TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show and how that
launched the Rock Era, teen culture and so much more.
Summer involves Mississippi 1964 when three Civil Rights workers
were killed and how the 1965 Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Movement
All are pretty good, but the overall I found the
installments a bit uneven as a collective and since they were not produced with
formulaic limits, so that is to be expected.
Otherwise, they are must-see programs, especially if you do not know the
history or significance.
Though the package says the image is anamorphically
enhanced 16 X 9, the 1.78 X 1 image is actually letterboxed 1.78 X 1/16 X 9
offering inferior picture reproduction.
This is a nicely produced series, but the lack of enhancement holds it
back, especially as two HD formats are now on the market. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has limited
surrounds. The only extra is a
half-hour making of program, but that is all.
- Nicholas Sheffo