I used to think that BBC documentaries were the bench mark everybody else tried to reach up to, but not that long ago I finally had to accept the truth that, as a default, BBC actually can’t make good documentaries. And why do I think that?
Excess reuse of the same computer graphics over and over again. I’m sure that BBC probably had to pay a lot of money to get the animation of the exploding volcano, fusion processes in the sun, or whatever it is, but please, I got the message when you showed it the first time. It’s just irritating to see the same sequences shown over and over and over again. It really is.
“This is the first time ever seen on TV…”, “Never seen before…”, “For the first time…”… All right, great, but could you please come to the point and actually show the damn thing and not only announce it thirty times before we get to see it?
Overdramatized. It is not necessary to use extreme close-ups, quick cuts and very dramatic music to everything. It often becomes laughable instead of dramatic. The story would probably be interesting enough by itself without all these cheap tricks.
If it’s a nature program, you can’t get enough of time-lapses and slow-motion, can you? In very saturated colors.
If it’s a historical documentary, then reenactments.
When I spot a BBC documentary my expectations plummet down to the basement. There are exceptions of course to the basic BBC-formula that I’ve described above, but most of the time I have to stop watching because it’s such an irritating and painful experience. In the past the productions were watchable, I think, but these new ones…too much fluff.