World War I began 100 summers ago. This September marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. The three-night miniseries “The World Wars” (9 p.m., History, continuing Tuesday and Wednesday) treats them not as separate conflicts, but as a cataclysmic 30 years’ war.
When I first began reviewing documentaries on the History Channel back in the late 1990s, they were decidedly cheap looking, filled with still pictures and stock footage from public domain movies, mostly silent. Things have changed and budgets have grown. “The World Wars” demonstrates how computer graphics can lend a cinematic flair to narrative history. Re-enactments are no longer slow-motion blurs, but competent, compelling re-creations of trench/tank warfare and sea battles.