ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3
Slightly off topic but.....
Recently the BBC screened a series of 7 episodes of The World on Fire. It was the early days of WW2 and began just prior to Danzig and Poland and ended just after Dunkirk.
What was actually surprisingly good about it was the way they managed (don't know how) to have proper Pz1s and Pz 2s and Hanomags and the battledress and vehicles all looked pretty authentic. Also the street scenes looked right for the period.
However after that anything went.... One character was in the Battle of the River Plate then later was on a rowboat at Dunkirk.... another was in the battle prior to WW2 for Danzig as a Polish soldier, then walked through Poland, encountered the Soviets, then next time you saw him he was in Belgium having walked across Germany with his mate, got to Dunkirk and despite being in civilian clothes was able to hop into another rowboat ahead of the troops queuing patiently. Another coloured trumpet player walked from Paris and managed to hop into another boat...... ho hum.
Said sailor (after helping to get rid of the Graf Spee) was machine gunned at Dunkirk, arrived in a Paris hospital, was then picked up by a member of the resistance and despite severe machine gun wounds walked to Spain across a few forests - with no intervening high ground and in roughly 24 hours......
I could go on, and on and on........
Even when they get some stuff right they are just plain lazy or don't actually care......
I did a mini review of World On Fire in the "What program/film/documentary are you watching now?" thread in the General Discussion forum. You’ve mentioned a lot of what I noticed too. Re your comment on the River Plate, I did a comment on that episode a few weeks before:
Mmmm the characters in this series are interesting and the Harry/Kasia/Lois story is entertaining so its worth sticking with but the attention to detail is pretty shocking.
So Lois' brother joins the navy sometime (a few weeks) after Poland is invaded - and after a double quick basic training, is then apparently teleported to the South Atlantic so he can join HMS Exeter....
The scriptwriters are either youngsters or are simply writing for the social media generation. The radio broadcasts that Graf Spee is being hunted off Argentina (the British didn't even know the identity of Graf Spee at that time) and mentions HMS Exeter as looking for her! Immediately after the battle, with the cruiser on fire from stem to stern, the whole of Britain (except Sean Bean) knows she's been 'hit'.
Next there'll be podcasts from the Western Front.....
And of course investigating broadcaster Helen Hunt seems to have all the info on the T4 program, names, places and even gets to speak to the guy in charge.....
Come on guys - there's some good material here but please stop treating the audience like imbeciles.....
For those interested here are my thoughts at the end of the series:
The seven-part first series of the BBC’s World on Fire came to an end last night (a second series has been confirmed).
I have to say it was a bit of a mixed bag, but overall it pleasing to have something WWII related to watch.
At its best it was brilliant, but there were a few not so good moments….large parts of episode 5 were a bit of a shocker….
Best of all was that the writers remembered the importance of writing characters that the audience cares about. In this they succeeded with a number of characters and the storylines they were given (even if historical accuracy was perhaps stretched…..).
Best of all were Shhhhaauauunnn Bbeaannn (Douglas) and Lesley Manville (Robina). This actor/actress combo were simply the class of the field, giving the show a degree of gravitas and a lesson in how to act and assisted by a nice story line. Robina was in danger of being a little too much of a caricature, but this formidable actress pulled it off. Bean, who allegedly checked with the director that Douglas wasn’t to be killed off, played his part to perfection and one couldn’t help but have massive sympathy for this wreck of a man (courtesy of the trenches of WWI). I loved (and hated!) the end where they parted – both seemingly wanting to say something to the other, but missing the opportunity…… watch this space (I hope). These two were given some excellent scenes and Robina and Jan (Harry’s little brother in law) at the school was a feel good moment.
Their offspring – Lois (Douglas) and Harry (Robina) – gave equally good account of themselves, as did Kasia (Harry’s Polish wife), Jan and Vernon (Lois’ intended and RAF pilot). I like how she changed her mind on him and the subject of marriage and why - very nicely done.
There were some annoying aspects, but these didn’t spoil the show too much. As mentioned previously, there seemed to be too much willingness to make this WWII for the social media generation – information seemed to be available on tap, including which ships were hunting Graf Spee, and what happened to the Exeter before the crew of the Exeter probably had time to realise…..
Everything seemed to have to happen at double speed – and they would have been better having more characters to share the work. Instead Douglas’ son Tom joins up after the start of war, has a quick basic training, is teleported to the South Atlantic, comes back after the River Plate in time to head for Dunkirk where he’s wounded, patched up and then assisted by the resistance who have already got an escape route to Spain planned…. Meanwhile SOE is up and running and Harry is parachuted into Poland in July 1940 for an implausible mission (and I’m not sure what aircraft could have done that or where it was supposed to have landed…..) even more so was the fact that he met up with…… his wife! Natch.
It perhaps goes with the times that the German family in the film are all anti-Nazi – although probably acceptable as a counter to the majority of Germans we come across who are good old fashioned bad guys.
The only character that really grates (but is no doubt necessary to sell to this production to the US) is Helen Hunt’s Nancy. For one thing she’s had too much facial work - she really doesn’t look good. There to tell the story of what is going on, she sticks her nose into the Nazi T4 Euthanasia program – of course!
So in summary, a reasonable first series and it’s welcome news that it will return. Let’s hope they get to dial back the storylines to keep within more historically accurate boundaries.
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 11/22/2019 4:37:32 AM >
England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805