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The World Wars - S01E01

War & Politics . Documentary . History . War

An assassin’s bullet sparks a global conflict that quickly evolves into the deadliest war humanity has ever seen. In the chaos, a new generation of soldier emerges, including a group of men who would become the most infamous leaders of the 20th century.

Episode Title: Trial by Fire
Airs: 2014-05-26 at 09:00 pm
  • Alasdair Wilkins

    This impulse for larger-than-life storytelling does mean that The World Wars is terminally superficial.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    A three-part, six-hour undertaking that proves fitfully interesting despite its offputting narrative approach.

    Variety Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    It’s a smart, imaginatively made and unusually sweeping look at what happened to the world from Sarajevo in 1914 to Hiroshima in 1945, or as Churchill put it, “one story of a 30 years’ war.”

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ray Rahman

    The lush narrative style is alluring, but when Adolf Hitler starts to feel like a pulpy Batman villain, you'll suspect this isn't the most insightful ­account available. [30 May/6 Jun 2014, p.111]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    The World Wars has a few annoying habits, including pared-down descriptions that can be depressingly inane.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    There is much to like and learn from the miniseries. Alas, executive producer Stephen David and his creative team seem intent on getting in their own way, cluttering up the inevitably fascinating narrative (offered here by Jeremy Renner) with all manner of clunky historical reenactments, hyperbolic characterizations and a soundtrack that should be shot for treason.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    Nobody will accuse it of being ponderous or academic. It's expensive-looking and shallow but long.

    Denver Post Full Review