"World in Crisis," a limited broadcast miniseries, is a magnificent look at an important turn of the century period in US history. The documentary's filmmaker, Warren Chaney has easily produced the most comprehensive fact-based assessment of the computer scare surrounding the changeover at the turn of the century. Moreover, this production's director has foregone the temptation to use newscasters and instead went for capable actors with high viewer credibility.
The miniseries stars veteran actors Hugh O'Brian, Dick Van Patten, Richard Roundtree and Deborah Winters. Together, they capably host the miniseries movement as it constantly rotates from scene to scene adding momentum and curiosity.
The series assessment of the financial outcome at the close of the century has proved to be the most accurate of all the productions from that time. Where others predicted unmitigated disaster, Chaney acknowledged the possibility but stated that if the nation's management invested in the needed computer repair, then the outcome would most likely be a rather severe recession.
The miniseries' prediction turned out to be true and it was an incoming President's recognition of that recession that lessened the financial impact. Furthermore, the series accurately predicted a future cover-up of computer failures, stating that the nation's management would be hesitant to admit to computer system failures they'd been told of for decades. Failures did occur on a large scale but was little covered by the press. Likewise, few in the press connected the economic downturn with the century changeover. None of this detracts from the high production value of the series.
The "World in Crisis" miniseries has been credited by many media observers of the time as having the greatest impact on motivating management to make needed repair than any other writer of the time.
"World in Crisis" is dated because it is directed at a specific time in history. However, its clear production and fully documented recounting of an important historical period makes for a "must" see screening. The viewer, knowing history's outcome, can look backward and forward, appreciating both directions.
The film's writing is clear, concise, and extraordinarily well researched and documented. The intense credibility brought to the screen by its hosts cannot be underestimated. Neither can the long lists of program guests from President Bill Clinton to Computer World's Tony Keyes.
Finally, the films caution that one should remain prepared personally rings a bell with the viewer a full decade later. "Circumstances," said the series, "may change but the need to remain prepared will not."
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