The Real Story

Watch The Real Story

  • TV-PG
  • 2009
  • 6 Seasons
  • 6.9  (92)

The Real Story is a documentary television series that originally aired on the Smithsonian Channel from 2002 to 2013. The show's format involves using historical events as a framework for retelling the stories behind them, with a particular focus on correcting any myths or misconceptions that may exist in the public's understanding of these events. The series features a rotating cast of actors who provide dramatic re-enactments of the events in question, while expert historians and scholars provide informative commentary on the events, their significance, and their impact on history.

One of the recurring themes of The Real Story is the idea that history is often more complex, ambiguous, and human than the simplified narratives we are taught in school or see in popular culture. The show's episodes cover a wide range of topics, from espionage and political intrigue to military battles and iconic moments in sports and entertainment. Some of the most compelling episodes delve into little-known or forgotten aspects of history, such as the true story of the Trojan Horse, the role of African-American soldiers in World War II, or the real-life inspirations behind classic novels like Moby-Dick or Alice in Wonderland.

One of the standout features of The Real Story is the quality of its production values. The show's re-enactments are often quite cinematic, with dramatic lighting, carefully composed shots, and evocative music. The actors who portray historical figures also give strong, nuanced performances, striving to capture the subtle nuances of the characters they are playing. These elements combine to create a sense of immersion that can make viewers feel as if they are witnessing history unfolding in front of them.

The show's expert commentators are also a key element of its success. These scholars and historians provide valuable context and analysis that help viewers understand the significance of the events being portrayed. Unlike some historical documentaries that may oversimplify or sensationalize events for dramatic effect, The Real Story takes a more nuanced approach, presenting multiple perspectives and inviting viewers to draw their own conclusions. This approach is both informative and engaging, making the show a fascinating exploration of history for viewers of all ages and backgrounds.

Another notable feature of The Real Story is its international scope. While the show is produced in the United Kingdom and features many events from British history, it also covers a wide range of international topics. Some of the most compelling episodes focus on events in the United States, such as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln or the Cuban Missile Crisis. This global approach gives the show a broad appeal and helps viewers see how different parts of the world have interacted and impacted each other throughout history.

Overall, The Real Story is a well-crafted documentary series that offers a fascinating look at history's most intriguing events. With its attention to detail, its expert commentators, and its cinematic re-enactments, it provides a comprehensive and engaging exploration of the many stories that have shaped our world. Whether you are a history buff or simply someone interested in learning more about the world around you, this show is definitely worth a watch.

The Real Story is a series that is currently running and has 6 seasons (32 episodes). The series first aired on April 19, 2009.

The Real Story
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Where to Watch The Real Story
The Real Story is available for streaming on the Smithsonian Channel website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Real Story on demand at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    April 19, 2009
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (92)