Tonight on the History Channel: Tomcat Sunset

In case you get the History Channel and have the time and interest, tonight’s episode of Modern Marvels is “Tomcat Sunset” at 9pm ET…about everyone’s favorite retired naval interceptor. It’s 90 minutes long and looks like it will be repeated at midnight 1am ET.

UPDATE: Incidentally, a show I’ve never watched before called “Shootout” is on right now. It’s pretty good. It appears to be about small-unit military engagements. The episode I’m watching is about the Makin Island raid in 1942. Pretty good.


  1. I never picked up on who was narrating, this, and while I assume he’s done some bits for HC/Disc/MilChan before, this was just posotivly aweful. Just so…dull. Like he was readin the script at a differnt speed than he was actually speaking it, or something.

  2. the Makin Island raid in 1942 The subject of a pretty hoaky movie titled: GUNG-HO starring; Randolph Scott Noah Berry Jr. Robert Mitchum J. Carol Nash It’s based on the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion’s assault on Japanese held Makin island on August 17, 1942. As war movies go it ranks just below ‘Sands of Iwo Jima’.

  3. mrnitro, I smell what you’re steppin’ in. The History Channel has bought some really weak shows over the years, weak through unengaging writing or for lean content. Old content, too- that show ‘Making Marines’ has been running for about 5 years. Those kids have already gotten out or reenlisted. Hey maybe that’s a show, History Channel- go find everyone you can from that training cycle and see how they turned out. Plus, how many times can we all see the same WW2 stock footage of the same dogfights or artillery shots, with the added weirdness of dubbed sound effects? Why does it seem every show about modern fighters or aircraft weapons has to spend the first 20 minutes talking about Kitty Hawk and German rocketry? What irritates me most though is their continuous refusal to apply the past tense. Nearly all of their narration is done in the present tense, and for no readily apparent purpose. If any programming on any network OUGHT to know its way around past tense conjugations, wouldn’t it have to be the History Channel?

  4. Bummer. My wife TiVoed the show for me and I was going to watch it this weekend with my son, he of the USS Nimitz pinewood derby car built after watching ‘The Final Countdown’, who definitely likes planes and ships and shows with computer graphics of maps and such. We’ll check it out anyway, but I was certainly looking forward to a good Tomcat show. Regarding the History Channel overall, there’s no doubt that a fair amount of their content is, shall we say, subpar. I have no doubt that a great part of the problem is due to the sheer number of channels out there buying and airing this stuff, creating a market in which mediocre shows get picked up. This would also help explain the ridiculous amount of old re-runs we see. The channel is GREAT for folks who don’t know much about history, and especially for kids. In fact, most of the shows seem to be geared exactly for less-informed viewers and, in that sense, they’re usually okay. Better to learn history from the History Channel than from Hollywood. I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to see a ‘History Icon’ thingy in the corner of shows (maybe integrated with the channel logo we already see) that would indicate A-Actual footage of the event being discussed B-Actual footage of similar/relevant events from about the same time period of the event being discussed C-Reenactment You could obviously go into more detail (such as when training films from the period are used…they’re reenactments but also historical), but you can’t make it too complicated. This would go a long, long way toward greatly improving the quality of some of these shows for folks who already have some knowledge about the issues at hand. I recognize that there’s only so much WW2 footage available, and that often there’s no actual footage of the particular event depicted. I don’t mind them using similar footage from elsewhere or reenactments, but it would be nice to be able to know. Since they use so much archival footage, and since sometimes the reenactments are so good (though sometimes they’re bad bad bad), I can imagine that a lot of folks just don’t know what’s real and what’s not and what’s real but not really what they’re talking about on the show. The icon thingy would be an unobtrusive way to let viewers know. (And my guess is kids, the ones you wouldn’t think would care, would notice when it changed…) All that being said, we see more marching Nazis on the History Channel than we do in typical Democrat political ads…

  5. re: the history channel f-14 show Watched about 20 minutes of it last night, set my DVR to record the entire thing in a later showing. It has lots of great old footage, especially from the testing phase of Tomcat development. I highly recommend it, if you like that sort of thing.