Viewers’ Favorite Documentaries of 2018Viewers’ Favorite Documentaries of 2018

Viewers’ Favorite Documentaries of 2018


As we wrap up 2018, it’s time to reflect on all that’s happened. Memories were made, experiences were had, and documentaries were watched … and boy, did you all watch a lot of documentaries! But which documentaries topped the list? The results are in: Here are 2018’s top 10 most watched documentaries from MagellanTV.


9/11: The Falling Man



It was a day we’ll never forget, and one image has forever burned itself into our consciousness. “The Falling Man” was shot by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew on one of the darkest days of American history. The heartbreaking picture captures the exact moment a man fell from the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the September 11th attack. Although the photo was published in the immediate aftermath of the events of 9/11, it then vanished from the news. But who was this man? Like hundreds of other people who were forced to jump to their deaths, his identity has remained a mystery.  

Filmmaker Henry Singer’s 2006 documentary, 9/11: The Falling Man, looks back on the tragic day and attempts to construct the story behind the shocking image. Singer resurfaces the image, attempts to divulge the truth, and does what any good filmmaker does – he asks why? 9/11: The Falling Man is not for the faint of heart, and most describe the image and story as disturbing. As true as that may be, the events of 9/11 and the image itself are both important moments in our history, never to be forgotten.


Ekaterina: Rise of Catherine the Great




Who doesn’t love a good success story? The Russian series, Ekaterina: Rise of Catherine the Great, is no exception. This episodic historical drama shines a spotlight on one of history’s most powerful women – Catherine the Great. Focused on the empowered, strong, and renowned Russian Empress, this engaging series tracks Catherine as she rises from German Princess to wife of Czar Peter III, and finally to Empress of Russia.


Ekaterina: Rise of Catherine the Great has been one of the Russian Federation’s most popular TV series of recent years. It has already won the hearts of countless global viewers, and it’s now available to stream on MagellanTV. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?


Everything and Nothing: The Science of Empty Space




Are particles and energy more your thing? Check out the highly rated Everything and Nothing: The Science of Empty Space. This award-winning, two-part documentary tackles a pair of the greatest scientific and philosophical questions: What is everything, and what is nothing? The host, Jim Al-Khalili accompanies viewers through the search to find the answers.


Broken into two parts (“Everything” and “Nothing”), Professor Al-Khalili evaluates our universe and human perception. From the largest structures of the cosmos down to the smallest particles that make up our world, he takes viewers on a journey they won’t soon forget.


In the Shadow of the Moon




On July 16, 1969, the whole world paused to watch a rocket launch into space. With bated breath, families gathered around television sets to see what would happen. The event led to “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon. When he took that step, it opened up a world of possibilities for everyone – from NASA scientists to young children gazing up at the sky.


In the Shadow of the Moon tells the story of the monumental mission of Apollo 11. The award-winning documentary, produced by Ron Howard, features archival footage and interviews with the very astronauts who got to see it all, and offers a unique perspective on the historic event. In the Shadow of the Moon retells the amazing story of our flight to a new world, and is not to be missed.


Caught on Camera



Are you a thrill seeker? Then this next top doc is for you. Team up with journalist Nick Wallis as he meets with law enforcement agencies to solve crimes caught on film in the docuseries Caught on Camera. But what gets caught on camera?


Have you ever walked into a shop or down the street, only to look up and find a security camera recording your every move? Well, if you live in the U.K., where CCTV cameras are ubiquitous, you get that feeling a lot. Cue Nick Wallis, the British TV reporter with an eye for true crime. For years, he’s reported on arson, raids, scandals – pretty much every kind of crime you can imagine. In his show, Wallis brings viewers on the journey of investigation, providing a unique and authentic view into the thinking of law enforcement agencies and criminals alike.


Earth in 1000 Years



With many of us recently tracking the progress of climate change, it’s not surprising to see that Earth in 1000 Years makes the list. This environmental documentary focuses on the effects that rising sea surface temperatures will have on the planet – not just in the next few months or years, but 1,000 years into the future.


Earth in 1000 Years examines the past in order to predict the future – using the effects of previous geological ages to better understand what might be in store for our future. While some people say climate change is “fake news,” it’s hard to argue against these facts. And even though ice is melting, the projected results are chilling.


Castle Builders




Take an architectural tour of medieval Europe with the next documentary to make it onto the list. No matter how long the great castles of the continent have been standing, the grandeur they embody remains. But the structures themselves aren’t the only impressive sights, as Castle Builders makes abundantly clear.


Perfect for anyone who enjoys history, architecture, and art (or anyone who has enjoyed a good visit to the Renaissance Faire), Castle Builders offers a behind the scenes look at how these magnificent castles were made. With modern resources like CGI and dramatic reconstructions, the documentary series brings viewers into the construction process. Plus, with three episodes under an hour each, it’s perfect to binge-watch.




While they are often taken for granted, energy and speed are the driving forces of our everyday lives. But for those who want to know how they work, Power is for you. Buckle up for eight thrilling episodes about engineering, innovation, and exploration.


Whether by land or by sea, Power reveals how technology has influenced every facet of our lives. Each episode focuses on a different theme of related to power, ranging from planes to boats, trains to trucks – so there’s something for everyone. The future is driven by power. Get ready for this documentary to take you along for the ride.


The Real Inglorious Bastards



While many are familiar with the 2009 star-studded action flick Inglorious Basterds, some may be surprised to learn that the story didn’t spring entirely from the fertile imagination of Quentin Tarantino. In fact, this surprising, dramatic tale is rooted in actual history (but sorry … Brad Pitt wasn’t the leader of that group).


The documentary The Real Inglorious Bastards tells the thrilling story of the real heroes recruited to track down members of the Nazi party in Germany during World War II. The documentary focuses on Hans Wijnberg and Fred Mayer – two Jewish refugees fleeing from Nazi-controlled Europe. These men became agents for America’s Office of Strategic Services (the predecessor of the CIA), and were recruited by the U.S. Army for “Operation Greenup.” This is their story.


Faster than Light



Have you ever dreamed of exploring the unknown? Do you wonder what life on other planets might be like? Maybe you just like idea of space travel? Faster than Light is for you.


This documentary explores the reality behind an idea that has been fictionalized in literature, TV, and movies – what if there are other planets similar to Earth, and what if we could get to them? The 45-minute film explores the scientific requirements for making such a journey. What rockets will we need? How will we travel that far? Watch Faster than Light to learn how scientists are finding answers to these questions, and developing technology to make the dream into a reality,


History? Drama? Science? Health? What gets your intellectual motor running? No matter the subjects, MagellanTV has documentaries for you. We hope you enjoy these most-watched docs from the past year, along with the myriad other titles in Magellan’s vast library. And with the new year’s arrival, we’ll bring you new documentaries to watch and more ways to learn. What will make the list for 2019? We’ll just have to wait and see.


A Very Happy New Year from the MagellanTV team. Keep on Streaming!



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