I AGREE, to an extent, with Robert Kelly (Letters, 7 April) about history on television – both dramas and documentaries – appearing to be too obsessed with events surrounding the Second World War, usually at the expense of other periods and events.
I think there are three reasons for this, however.
The first is to do with the fact that we are still making sense of some of the atrocities committed in Germany during that period.
Because it happened in our lifetime – or that of our parents – it somehow seems more shocking. It is close – both geographically and in terms of time.
The second is because historians and programme-makers need time and distance to digest recent events before being able to do them justice.
The third is that most broadcasters value ratings above all else, and these programmes clearly generate good viewing figures while being relatively cheap to produce. (I say “relatively” because much of the research has already been done, though I know these things are always extremely expensive.)
For them, taking a chance on other areas probably seems like too much of a gamble.
It certainly is a shame, as there are some fascinating stories to be heard and explored.