Skip to comments.Patton, With a Hi-Tech Twist (10 Part History Channel Series on general Patton)
Posted on 04/10/2009 4:02:02 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Gen. George Patton's exploits in World War II - three astonishing years in which he did more than his share to crush the Adolf Hitler-led Axis - easily earned him the 10-part History Channel series that kicks off Firday night.
But the way this series is done, specifically its use of contemporary animation techniques to simulate various aspects of his battles, at times feels a little jarring. By featuring a visual style most closely associated with modern video games, the production at times makes World War II feel like a video game itself, as if the viewer should deposit another quarter to let the Allied troops invade Sicily. For those who have grown up immersed in World War II lore, never mind those who fought the war, the intriguing question then becomes whether this high-tech stuff "sells" the story to a new generation for whom it may otherwise seem like ancient history. Maybe it does. Maybe people born 40 or 50 years after Patton died need to have him repackaged as an action figure before he can command their attention. In any case, happily, the animation scenes are just one element of "Patton 360," which in most ways is a solid, traditional History Channel documentary.
The producers don't let the glory of Patton's triumphs overshadow the cost, and they also don't treat Patton as a god. Rather, the general comes off as an ambitious man with a big agenda, a bigger ego and the military skills to match.
All this humanizes him, which makes it all the more impressive to watch him overcome the weather, skeptical superiors, aggravating infighting and - oh, yes - the Axis army to help rescue Europe and the world. In telling its story, "Patton 360" digs out authentic period film, interviews surviving veterans who fought under Patton and draws on several top historians whose chronological narrative and analyses build the spine of the series.
The voice-overs become a little overheated at times - "Patton's troops know they're in for the fight of their lives!" - but the story itself has enough internal drama and inherent power that it will carry along any viewer who would like to see how the modern world was saved and shaped.
Hard to believe these days that Pasadena, CA could produce a warrior like Patton.
Why did they have to start it on a Friday night. I'm heading out to dinner.
What time is this being broadcast?
I’ve seen their series on the Enterprise. They have good quality battle footage and ruin it with all sorts of lines and dots and ghost images constantly flowing past. It adds nothing at all and is a distraction to the topic at hand. I’m sure Patton will be covered in the same background goo. What a shame.
I had no idea Enterprise Rent-a-car was named after the carrier by WWII vet Jack Taylor, founder of the company.
Just checked, tonight at 9 PM Eastern.
Thanks to both of you. The link with the preview has me interested.
I watched the series on the Enterprise and thought it was pretty good, tho I do agree the computer generated scenes looked pretty amateurish.
One thing which really impressed me was how the U.S. commanders went right for the throat of the Japanese even after taking a pounding at Savo Island and Coral Sea. For a time the Enterprise was our only surviving carrier yet we didn’t back down a bit.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to check that out tonight.
Sounds like the show Battlefield 360 that I think is shown on the Military Channel. We enjoy that one, as well as the one about Dogfights.
I’ve read it wasn’t just the commanders who went for the throat. The Japanese pilots were amazed that US pilots would always attack, even when heavily outnumbered.
The writer shows his age.
Watching now, so far I like it!
A running theme with the Vichy French seems to be: “The French Retreat”, “The French immediately surrender”.
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