The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen (History)


The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen (History) – Premieres 7th March

A docudrama that shows the pivotal parts of American history as the frontier was expanded west, from before the Civil War through to the gold rush. And expansion of the country as they reached California.

In the show it follows the main people who were important in the westerly expansion. Where it shows how they dealt with the native Americans, who were naturally peeved with the invasion on their land. And why they headed west in the first place and the problems they had just surviving at the best of times.

Along with dramatising the main points of the story, historians are interviewed to explain the conditions the frontiersmen would have faced, how their camps would have been built and how the conflicts they found themselves in were fought.

While it’s well made and the actual history it goes into is interesting. With the episode running at an hour and a half as well as the slow pacing of it all, it does feel it would have been better breaking it up into 45 minute episodes.



Girls Incarcerated (Netflix)


Girls Incarcerated (Netflix) – Premieres 2nd March

Following the young inmates of the Madison Juvenile Correctional facility, this is a documentary shows the girls as serve their time, and they give their opinions on what it’s like to be an imprisoned teenager.

The show follows them as they take part in their schooling and rehabilitation, and the conflicts that happen between them. Along with the girls being interviewed, the show also talks to the wardens where they explain how they believe their time there can help the girls. It also briefly catches up with any of the girls that have been released to see how they are doing on the outside.

The programme has the feel of a lightweight take on a Louie Theroux documentary but without an actual documentarian interacting with everyone. And while it covers everything you’d expect from it, it still feels like nothing much has been delved into.


Flint Town (Netflix)


Showtime at the Apollo (FOX) – Premieres 1st March

A documentary that follows the police department in Flint, Michigan, where after the car industry has left and the water crisis happened, the city is in a crime epidemic and the police force is underfunded and undermanned.

Starting in November 2015 the show follows a selection of officers as they go about their daily duties, holding town hall meetings with residents, and trying to improve their standing in the community. Along with this the officers are interviewed where they talk about why they joined the Flint department and how they hope the situation can be improved.

During this time the elections for a new mayor of Flint is taking place, and then shows the effect the new mayor has on the department as they bring in a new police chief to run the department.

As documentaries go this has a very slow pace to it all, but that said, the content it does show keeps your interest and is a decent bit of viewing.



Hitler’s Circle of Evil (Netflix)


Hitler’s Circle of Evil (Netflix) – Premieres 22nd February 

Another documentary on that troublesome Austrian and world famous despot Adolf Hitler. Differing from other documentaries, this looks at the people that worked with anf for Hitler, from those that brought him into the Nazi party to the more notorious people Hitler got to form his inner circle.

The programme dramatises the main historical parts of the rise and fall to the Third Reich, where it shows how the Nazi party was first formed by some strange occultist folk who picked Hitler to become their spokesperson due to his public speaking skills. And then showing the backstory of people like HImmler, Goering and Goebbels and how they were brought in and what part they played in the lead up and aftermath of the party achieving power in Germany.

Along with the dramatic reenactments the show intersperses the pieces with interviews with experts who explain the climate of the time and how the party managed to gain popularity. As wells as explaining the reasoning of certain plots formulated by Hitler, and how the success or failure of them influenced the Nazis during their existence.

With the documentary taking a slightly different angle to the regular Hitler based stuff, it’s an interesting watch. And with the opening episode covering a fair amount of pivotal moments keeps it going along at a decent pace.



Uncensored (TV One)


Uncensored (TV One) – Premieres 18th February

A 45 minute show where a celebrity is interviewed as they talk about their upbringing, career and the difficulties they encountered along the way.

During the show each segment is started off with a quote taken from the upcoming bit and while the celeb is talking about the subject posed, photos and film clips are run to set the scene. As well as getting the celebs take on things it occasionally has interviews with friends, family and work colleagues to give their take on certain parts of their life.

For what it is, it’s a solid bit of programming that delivers what you expect. Though it would possibly only really be of interest those that know of the person being interviewed.



Wild Castles (Smithsonian Channel)


Wild Castles (Smithsonian Channel) – Premieres 1st September

A nature documentary that looks into the wildlife that is local to a castle ruin in Europe. In the programme it plays out like a regular nature programme where it follows a type of animal and and document how it lives and procreates.

Along with the wildlife aspect, the show also goes through the history of the castle, and the major historical events that occurred there. With some of these events the show ties it in with the native animals, and plots the history of the building up to the point it was finally vacated.

As a hybrid of a nature documentary and a programme about European history, it is a bit of a weird mix but does enough from keeping either aspect from becoming worn out. That said it really is only of interest to a rather specific audience.



Project Nazi: Blueprints Of Evil (AHC)


Project Nazi: Blueprints Of Evil (AHC) – Premieres 9th August 

Another AHC documentary that looks into the life of dictator, facist and all round rum bugger, Adolf Hitler. Each episode looks the into a different aspect of the Nazi regime showing how Hitler and his cohorts took existing ideas and warped them into their ideology.

Along with interviewing experts about the certain aspects of their approach, the programme uses archival footage with quotes from Hitler to set the scene, as well as using reenactments to show the more pivotal points of the story.

As a Hitler documentary it does what you’d expect, though for an AHC programme it is of a better quality than some of the other programmes they released.