Flight 93 is A&E Network’s dramatic recreation of the events leading up to and surrounding the United Airlines flight that crashed in rural Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. A well-crafted film, the piece warrants praise for its delicate portrayal of these events and the anger, anguish and sorrow they caused.
Flight 93 carefully balances the events on board the aircraft — in the cockpit and with individual passengers — with those communicating with them from the ground. While a major focus is on one passenger who makes repeated calls to his wife, another salient portion comes from a man who keeps an emergency worker on the phone during most of the hijacking, providing an open line to the activity.
A&E outlines the reality that the jet was about to be taken down by military aircraft, a mission later aborted when the plane crashed. Disappointingly, the film leaves doubts, implying that after the crash, recovery workers were unable to find the wreckage.
The cell phone conversations show the production’s sensitivity to the tragic nature of the material and the effect it had on the loved ones of those involved.
The network even runs a special dedication to the passengers prior to the credits at the end of the film.
As was the case with The Flight That Fought Back, the documentary-style recreation of the events surrounding this flight that ran on Discovery Channel last year, from this perch it still seems too soon for this movie to have been made.
Then again, for many viewers, there may never be a right time to revisit this tragic event. But A&E’s attempt to put it into context do justice to the heroic efforts of the passengers who bravely attempted to take control of the plane before hijackers had the opportunity to crash it into an unknown target.
Flight 93 premieres on A&E Monday, Jan. 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT.