Big Pacific (PBS)

BigPacific

Big Pacific (PBS) – Premieres 21st June

Nature documentary that looks at the wildlife that inhabits the Pacific on both land and sea. In it the show looks at a variety of animals where it shows how they survive and procreate.

Along with the usual nature show staples, the programme explains how some of the more curious natural phenomenon occur, some of which that are created by animals, and old relics of human civilisation. It then also looks at how conservations programmes have been put together and how some explorers are discovering species that were previously thought to be extinct.

While it is reminiscent of any Attenborough documentary you’d care to think of, it’s still a decent watch.

5.3/10

Americas War On Drugs (History)

AmericasWarOnDrugs

Americas War On Drugs (History) – Premieres 18th June – Miniseries

Docu-series that looks into how the CIAs involvement in foreign matters spawned the opportunities in the drug trade that later effected the US.

The show looks into various CIA operations through the decades, where using reenactments and interviews with academics and former intelligence employees, show how their actions either created drug runners or allowed already nefarious types to operate within the country more freely.

Along with looking into those effects, it shows how the War Against Drugs was brought together and highlights the actual results of it aims compared what was publicly declared.

For a documentary it’s does exactly as you’d expect, and it’s an interesting watch.

6.2/10

The Putin Interviews (Showtime)

ThePutinInterviews

The Putin Interviews (Showtime) – Premieres 12th June – Miniseries

Made up from 12 interviews taken over a two year period, Oliver Stone talks to Vladimir Putin where they cover, amongst others, his assent to leadership, Americas foreign policies, Russias recent history of civil unrest and the growth of Al-Qeada.

Before each main change in the conversation news footage is used to set the scene of the topic they’re about to delve into. Then Stone asks questions and Putin offers the most diplomatic of responses.

It’s a interesting bit of TV.

6.3/10

Le Mans: Racing is Everything (Amazon)

LeMansRacingIsEverything

Le Mans: Racing is Everything (Amazon) – Premieres 9th June

Documenting the 2015 running of the Le Mans race, this series focuses on six teams on the grid, where they follow them throughout the build up, qualification and race.

In it the the show interviews the engineers and drivers, where they talk about Le Mans and their history with the race, while showing the the difficulties the teams encounters as the try to win.

For a sports documentary it’s a pretty basic effort especially if you already know who won the race, as they never talk to one of the winning drivers even though he was part of one of the teams being followed. If you’re interested in motor racing it does a job, though it never really gives the feeling of getting in depth.

4.7/10

The World Without Canada (History)

TheWorldWithoutCanada

The World Without Canada (History) – Premieres 31st May – Miniseries

A three part documentary which looks at the inventions and discoveries that Canada has given the world. The show goes through the list by putting out the hypothetical situation that Canada is wiped from history to show how the lack of these discoveries would instantly effect the world.

With each invention the programme goes into back story of who the inventor/scientist was and who the breakthrough came about with the usual mix of expert interviews and some stock visuals. After explaining the discovery it then goes into how it not existing would cause almost instant disruption with the use of some dramatisations.

The programme itself is an easy enough watch though the way a couple of the inventors/inventions are claimed to be Canadian could at worse be seen as tenuous.

3.7/10

America: Promised Land (History)

AmericaPromisedLand

America: Promised Land (History) – Premieres 29th May – Miniseries

A documentary the looks into the how the different immigrant groups that have settled in America have been part in creating who the country is today.

It starts off with showing a map of the States which shows where the the immigrant groups are clustered around the country, and then goes through highlight in group. With each group the focus on one pivotal immigrants contribution where in between experts being interviewed they reenact what that person contributed to the society at the time.

As a documentary about the historical roots of the US it is interesting, but with it being an hour and a half long to becomes a bit repetitive in its delivery.

4.3/10

The Keepers (Netflix)

TheKeepers

The Keepers (Netflix) – Premieres 19th May

Crime documentary which looks into the 1969 unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a nun who worked as a teacher in a Catholic all girls school in Baltimore. Where two of her former students, along with a reporter who covered the case at the time, try to find out what happened.

The first episode is used to go into setting the scene of the documentary, where it covers the history of the school the sister worked at, showing how the murder was covered in the press, and how the body was discovered. Along with briefly covering another murder that happened five days later with a young girl in the area in similar circumstances. As it goes through the history of the case there’s are interviews with former students, clergy who knew the sister and former police who worked the case who give their of what they thought happened.

For an opening episode it has more in common with the documentary Paradise Lost than Making A Murderer, and with it only revealing the next lead at the very end of the episode gives it a slow paced vibe. That said it’s worth watching.

6.4/10