Plot: What’s it about?
We’ve all heard the incredible stories of ace pilots in military conflicts, tales of steel nerves and narrow escapes from the very clutches of death. In The History Channel’s Dogfights, we’re taken inside some of the most famous and dangerous aerial battles in history. The show goes beyond stock footage and recreates the battles with cutting edge computer graphics, so you can see every angle and really see how the clashes unfolded. In addition to the harrowing visuals that paint the battles, you’ll hear from actual pilots involved and when they’re unavailable, modern pilots and historians. So when you hear stories right from the mouths of those in the battles while you watch it happen, it is memorable, to say the least. By the end of each episode, you’ll feel like you were up there right next to the pilots.
This is one of The History Channel’s best shows, which is a true compliment, given the number of great programs on that network these days. As you’d expect from The History Channel, the series provides historical perspective on some of the most famous air battles ever. These dogfights are dissected on a personal level, either by those actually involved or by other professional pilots, so you’re taken right into the thick of things. The show explores not just United States pilots either, but both sides in numerous conflicts, so the perspective is priceless here. If you’ve ever wanted to fly in an aerial showdown, this is probably as close you’ll want to get and in some cases, even this is too close. A total of seventeen missions are profiled and each one proves to be insightful, so if you’re a history or military buff, you’ll breeze through this set in no time. I simply cannot recommend Dogfights enough, so don’t miss this second season collection.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 non anamorphic widescreen. I have voiced my concern over this lack of 16:9 enhancement before, so I won’t spend much time on that here. The episodes look good, with decent clarity and depth, but we know they could look more refined. I’ve seen most of these in high definition and they look great, so I know even these standard releases can look impressive. But for what we have, the visuals look fine and show natural colors and contrast, with no serious issues. I want to see more anamorphic releases from The History Channel, but this series is so good, don’t let that keep you from enjoying this great second season.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio here is fine in this 2.0 option, but a 5.1 boost would have been appreciated. The dogfights sound good, but I know there is power that goes untapped in these episodes. Even so, the interviews sound clear and the battles offer some lively moments, so it all sounds good. I didn’t detect any errors, so volume is consistent and no troubles surface. I would have loved a full 5.1 option, but like I said, this still sounds fine.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes some additional scenes, sure to please fans.