The Lost Tapes

Watch The Lost Tapes

  • 2016
  • 2 Seasons

The Lost Tapes is a fascinating documentary-style television series that explores pivotal moments in history through the use of rarely seen archival footage. Produced by Smithsonian CHANNEL, the show presents a unique perspective on past events by piecing together old photographs, audio recordings, and film footage to provide an immersive, first-hand glimpse at historical events.

Each episode of The Lost Tapes is centered around a particular event or person, shedding new light on cultural, political, and social history. The show's producers have taken great care to research and authenticate the material used in each episode, ensuring that viewers get an accurate glimpse into what really happened during each moment in history. From the Vietnam War to the assassination of JFK, each episode provides a unique look at significant events that shaped our world.

One of the show's most notable features is its use of previously unseen archival footage. The Lost Tapes has access to a wealth of old film, photography, and audio recordings, some of which have never been shown to the public before. This footage is used to support a range of narratives, from personal stories of soldiers fighting in Vietnam to the impact of John Lennon's assassination on the world. By mixing narration, interviews, and historical footage, The Lost Tapes creates a truly immersive experience for viewers looking to learn more about history.

The show's attention to detail and level of research is another standout feature. The producers of The Lost Tapes are committed to presenting an accurate and unbiased portrayal of each historical moment they explore. This means digging deep into archives to find all available resources, including researching original documents, conducting interviews with experts, and scouring historical accounts to find new information. This level of detail provides viewers with an in-depth understanding of the events shown on screen, making The Lost Tapes a must-watch for history buffs and curious viewers alike.

What sets The Lost Tapes apart from other historical documentaries is its willingness to show a range of perspectives. The show is careful not to take a particular political position, instead presenting different viewpoints and allowing viewers to make up their own minds about events. For example, an episode about the civil rights movement highlights both the inspiring bravery of those who fought for equal rights and the violent resistance of those who refused to change. By presenting a range of voices and opinions, The Lost Tapes creates a nuanced and complex view of history that is both informative and engaging.

In addition to its unique look at history, The Lost Tapes also offers a thoughtful reflection on the role of media in shaping our understanding of world events. The show explores how historical events have been portrayed in the media, and how different kinds of media can shape public opinion. For example, an episode about the space race shows how the media created a sense of excitement and pride around scientific achievements, while a different episode about Watergate highlights the role of investigative journalism in revealing government corruption. By juxtaposing different forms of media with archival footage, The Lost Tapes helps viewers think more deeply about the impact of news and media on the way we view the world.

Overall, The Lost Tapes is a must-watch for anyone interested in history, media, or the power of storytelling. The show offers a unique perspective on some of the most pivotal moments in history, using previously unseen archival footage to create an immersive and engaging viewing experience. With its thoughtful reflection on the role of media in shaping historical events, The Lost Tapes is sure to spark conversations and inspire further research into the events that have shaped our world.

The Lost Tapes is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (10 episodes). The series first aired on December 4, 2016.

The Lost Tapes
Filter by Source

Tornado Super Outbreak
6. Tornado Super Outbreak
December 9, 2018
A powerful cold front over the American plains joined a warm air mass from the south on April 3, 1974, creating the perfect conditions for an 18-hour catastrophe now known as the Tornado Super Outbreak. Revisit the epic disaster that swept from Michigan to Alabama, powered by 148 tornadoes, 30 of them category F4 or F5. Through local news broadcasts, stunning audio recordings, and eyewitness home movies, look back on one of the most violent natural disasters in history.
DC Sniper
5. DC Sniper
December 2, 2018
A year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there is still widespread fear that there will be another attack on U.S. soil. That fear is soon realized in October 2002 when an unseen gunman in the Washington D.C. area begins shooting residents for no apparent reason killing 10 total, triggering one of the most intense and complicated manhunts in American history. This is the story of the D.C. sniper's three-week reign of terror and the nation grappling with a different kind, told through police audio and video, plus local and national media reports, most of which have not been broadcast since 2002.
Apollo 13
4. Apollo 13
November 25, 2018
An immersive, chronological recounting of the Apollo 13 near-disaster, told entirely through news footage, mission control audio, and NASA archives.
Tet Offensive
3. Tet Offensive
November 18, 2018
Never-before-seen tapes capture the Tet Offensive, the military campaign launched by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in January 1968.
Clinton Impeachment
2. Clinton Impeachment
October 29, 2018
From the start of his run for the presidency through his eight years in office, Bill Clinton was dogged by scandals, none more consequential than his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Their relationship, exposed in detail in the Starr Report, captivated the nation and led to the first impeachment of a U.S. president since the years just after the Civil War. Revisit the story of betrayal, political ploys, and media madness, as told by news reports, investigative documents, and secret recordings, many of which have not been broadcast since 1999.
Malcolm X
1. Malcolm X
February 26, 2018
The story of Malcolm X is told through newscasts, speeches, and rarely seen archival footage.
Where to Watch The Lost Tapes
The Lost Tapes is available for streaming on the Smithsonian CHANNEL website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Lost Tapes on demand at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Philo, Amazon, Vudu, FuboTV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    December 4, 2016