What are some good documentaries on BBC history

How serious is history and science retention?

How serious is history and science retention?

Regardless of whether it is dinosaurs, ancient Rome or D-Day: Documentaries are no longer considered slow-moving on German private television either. Formats with Peter Kloeppel on RTL or e.g. the D-Day film shown by ProSieben attracts an audience of millions and also reaches many young viewers.

A trend can be observed: more and more computer-animated scenes and recreated or constructed sets are replacing the pure narrative style. The documentation genre is polished to a shine with special effects and targeted storytelling, and lecturing old masters who give lectures are replaced by smart off-screen voices that provide additional information.

On Tuesday in Cologne, RTL anchorman Peter Kloeppel, Welt der Wunder GmbH managing director Hendrik Hey, ProSieben documentation director Thomas von Hennet and Peter Arens ( Editor-in-Chief History and Society ZDF), Michael Kloft (Spiegel TV) and John Lynch (BBC Creative Director Science).

"The audience's interest in these topics has grown, but the implementation has also become closer to the viewer," says Peter Kloeppel, explaining the success of the elaborate documentary productions. ZDF colleague Arens added: The new technologies made it possible to tell entire stories. "The renaissance of the educational format is in full swing," is his verdict. His department also noticed this through feedback from schools and universities.

For ProSieben representative Thomas von Hennet, the success of these narrated documentaries derives from the feature film tradition of his station. The audience is used to such narrative styles. Spiegel TV producer Michael Kloft sees this as a danger and criticizes the BBC productions, in which the equipment and technology are right, but the content is lacking.

BBC Creative Director Science John Lynch denies the allegations. Even with the most famous BBC documentary production "Dinosaurs - In the realm of the giants" they worked cleanly. But, according to Lynch, you should have said in advance that what you show can of course only be what you believe to be correct to the best of your knowledge and belief.

Hendrik Hey, long-time presenter of the ProSieben program "Welt der Wunder" and current managing director of the company of the same name, jumps at his side: telling stories with the help of stories is legitimate. Some topics can only be staged due to their age.

By the way, RTL man Kloeppel believes the popularity of his documentaries is due to his role as a "museum guide". As a familiar and familiar face, it guides you through new themed worlds. And his documentaries are usually also moderated on site, which distinguishes them from many offers from the competition.

ZDF representative Arens sees the public-law advantage in the regular and fixed broadcasting slots for documentaries and cites the ZDF broadcasting slot on Sunday 7.30pm as an example, where a format like "Terra X" has been successful for twenty years. He would also have liked to have had the BBC documentary "Dinosaurs - In the Empire of the Giants" for ZDF. When the sale to ProSieben was sealed in 1997, he already had "tears in his eyes", according to his own statement.

In response, Hendrik Hey warns that German broadcasters prefer productions, e.g. buy from the BBC instead of commissioning productions yourself. Taking up the criticism, Spiegel TV producer Kloft regrets that in the new glossy documentaries to simplify the narrative style, alternative scientific views or insights are often left out.

Lynch (BBC) countered very fundamentally: "Even the most objective documentary filmmaker has to choose which statements to include in his film and which not. Every journalist has a line, there is no such thing as complete objectivity". Kloft only had to mention that his company still manages to produce documentaries that get by without effects and storylines. He was proud of that.