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arrator. This has the effect of temporally distancing viewers from the event and potentially distracting viewers from the documentary itself, as in the case of one viewer who complained that thedocumentary had a 24 feel to it, a reference to Sutherland’s starring role in that television drama.37
But the most important reason why neither documentary achieves a sense of immediacy is because ofhow the medium they were made for – television – mediates time. While there are many types of televisual time, two major types are television programming time and television news time. Televisionprogramming time is marked by frequent commercial interruptions on-screen and the potential for further interruptions off-screen (such as when viewers walk in and out of rooms, change channels or speak toone another). This makes it more difficult for viewers to experience, much less sustain, any sense of immediacy in relation to the programme they are watching. But even more than this, televisionviewers understand that if the televised event they were watching was actually occurring in real time, then the entire format of the broadcast would be different. There would be few if any commercialinterruptions, there would be a ticker-tape along the bottom of the screen updating the facts as they came in, and there would be no dramatic soundtrack accompanying the news broadcast. For viewers toexperience a television programme as if it were a live television news broadcast, they would have to suspend all of this knowledge about these different formats, something that is very difficult to do.United 93 had none of these obstacles to overcome in its remediation of UAF93. The film has no narrator either on-screen or off-screen. It does not make use of on-camera interviews. And it was notbroadcast on television but instead shown in cinemas. As such, United 93 suffers from none of the typical constraints of programmed television and benefits from all of the possibilities of cinema. This...
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