New BBC WW2 drama, World on Fire

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by CL1, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    All I an say is, the Missus likes it.!!!!!
  2. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    A 2019 politically correct rewriting of history, including all the current "tick box" items.
    Looking forward to the Spitfire in rainbow camouflage flown by a lesbian amputee.
  3. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Not going to add much to this thread..but anyhow.. I like the sound of my own key strokes.

    My conclusion is "each to their own".. although a bit flummoxed by some of the "Forest Gump" like timelines/logistics of movement across the various geographies, I'm actually quite enjoying it. Personally, I disliked a number of recent blockbuster filmed versions of Second World War events that others probably loved - but who really cares what I think. As much as the next man/woman, I would really like 100% accuracy and intelligibility but that's definitely not going to happen within such a limited dramatic context.. it's all about the eyeballs y'honour. Now, books on the other hand.. different story entirely.

    I was recently watching a number of 1940s' wartime made dramas/documentaries/propaganda flicks on Talking Pictures.. "Millions Like Us", "The New Lot"/"The Way Ahead" et al, which I really loved and especially loved the sing songs at the end.... and, I dare say, there were quite a number of people pooh poohing them when they were issued at the time. I know my Dad wasn't a great fan of such, probably because he had seen many things in Tunisia/Italy that he wouldn't wish to recall but at the same time he would love to watch that well known docudrama "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", possibly because of its use of the Mum was the biggest cynic of all that war time stuff, but I guess she spent too much time in '44/45 at the War Office in Whitehall.. a bit of Glenn Miller was really up her street.

    Maybe next week I'll start to hate the whole thing.. but that's for next week.
    Incredibledisc likes this.
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Sounds so bad I really must try to see an episode. When's it on next?

    JITTER PARTY Active Member

    I used to catch my dad watching crappy desert war movies, you know, the Rock Hudson sort, and I'd say "...but Dad, you served in the desert war!" He still liked them. I guess the truth is that those that were there knew the difference, and knew that they were really completely unrelated things. Maybe it is only those who come after that get confused/upset/angry/etc.
  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    another perspective:

    "...While it may be some time before more stories of contemporary Poles make it to the big screen, World on Fire certainly cut it with the Polish audience. Two-thirds gave it five stars, with one word repeatedly coming up: “Finally”...."
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  7. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    The key word of course is “drama”. It’s not a documentary or historical re-enactment. Most films and tv programmes require the audience to suspend a certain amount of disbelief to work. Time frames are compressed, characters meet in conveniently coincidental ways and so on. So, in the case of the Poles walking to France no director is going to show that in real time - too much else going on for that. Our main characters are required to appear in significant historical locations because the plot (not reality) demands it. Similarly, budget and time constraints mean corners are cut on uniforms, equipment etc. Nobody is going to spend a fortune kitting background extras in 100% period correct uniforms etc when they are only on screen for a few moments and the average viewer doesn’t give a toss. Ditto vehicles. As I recall, when the show was in pre-production one of the costume designers came to this very forum looking for help on getting uniforms correct so at least they made an effort.

    As for casting, it is worth remembering that gay and non-white people have long been part of our history but have normally been airbrushed out of being represented due to the less tolerant culture of the time - hence their virtual non-existence in all our old favourites. They’ve always been there so maybe we should stop talking about “politically correct” casting and accept that times have changed.

    Anyway, either you like the show or you don’t. Whether that is due to dramatic issues or historical issues is up to you. To trot out the old favourite - nobody is being “forced” to watch. Carrying on watching after you’ve decided you hate it does sort of imply a certain level of masochism though!

    So far I’ve mostly been enjoying it - not perfect by any means - I did roll my eyes at our man punching an enlisted man for trying to get off with his ex and then recklessly shooting off his revolver in the woods last week but it’s a rare beast that drags me away from Netflix and Amazon Prime these days.
    CL1, Enigma1003 and smdarby like this.
  8. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Taking a break not sure when I will be back

    tmac old chap,
    When Commissioned as an Officer in the British Army the Rank is probationary as Second Lieutenant worn on the shoulders as a single "pip".
    The "Commission" document is a piece of parchment signed by the Monarch who has the honour of signing anywhere other than on a signature line.
    After the required probationary period which in peacetime is generally two years, the rank is confirmed wearing a two pips as a Lieutenant.
    First Lieutenant is an American (or other army) rank unless you have been watching too many war films.

    Suppose I should put a smiley thing on here !
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  9. tmac

    tmac Senior Member Patron

    Thanks for the correction - honestly, I did mean Second Lieutenant. Just the old memory playing up.

    JITTER PARTY Active Member

    I have to disagree with that for several reasons. Nobody is suggesting that there were no black or queer people around in WW2. We can argue about percentages and prominence/visibility if you like, but I would suggest that these plot lines and characters have been inserted into the story for reasons other than historical accuracy. I think we can agree that it is not in any way an accurate historical drama – laughable, in fact. If accuracy, or indeed, history, is not the point, then you must ask, what is?
    You suggest that we must accept that times have changed, but it is some attitudes that may have changed, not the facts. I think that it is just as wrong to give a distorted picture of race, class, sexuality, social norms, etc. as it is to get all the ‘historical’ events wrong, even if it is only in an historical drama.

    As far as ‘old favourites’ (Burma war ones, at least), I should point out that there is an OK 50s war novel in which one of the main characters is black. I don’t think any particular point was being made, he was just black. The only really good Burma war novel that I’ve read ‘Look Down In Mercy’ concerns a queer officer who ‘sleeps with’ his batman during the 1942 retreat. Why doesn’t someone pitch that to the BBC. PC boxes ticked and pretty accurate too, since the author was in fact an infantry officer during the retreat.
    High Wood, CL1 and Incredibledisc like this.
  11. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your reasoned and well argued response to my post. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I would be against casting for “box ticking” reasons also and would be horrified at a wheelchair bound infantryman for example. My point about this series is that while the backdrop is factual the story itself is fiction which does give a certain license to the producers to follow their own agenda. It would be interesting to see if the makers could provide examples to justify their decisions such as the black Ensa girl and also if such an example did exist was she quite as readily accepted as portrayed in the show where her presence goes unremarked.

    My main issue was with the responses that dismissed the show for errors in equipment etc. There would be few war based films that would pass muster by these criteria. It should stand or fall as a piece of drama and, as I said, I completely respect anyone’s right to not like it for those reasons.

    Full disclosure - I teach History for a living so I’m all for anything that might get people interested in learning more about WW2 it History in general! It also gives me the opportunity to correct the mistakes and distortions of Hollywood and the like.
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

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  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    My 15 year old son was really keen on watching it but has given up on it as it's crap.
    Incredibledisc likes this.
  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Next weeks prog

  15. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    :D Well played sir.
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  16. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    There wasn't any airbrushing in American westerns. Everyone was represented.

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  17. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Off topic but "connected" to Blazing Saddles.. interesting documentary last week on BBC4 about Hedy Lamarr, "it's not Hedley" - who seems to have been heavily involved in some serious technological developments:
    Hedy Lamarr: The Incredible Mind Behind Secure WiFi, GPS And Bluetooth

    "...The patent she filed with co-inventor George Antheil aimed to protect their war-time invention for radio communications to ‘hop’ from one frequency to another, so that Allied torpedoes couldn’t be detected by the Nazis..."

    Perhaps a new thread required on this...
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  18. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Remembering vaguely what I was like at 15 years of age and out of interest, what current TV programme does your son think isn't "c..p"?
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  19. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Actually a brilliant song and, although apparently purely coincidental, with significant similarities to the Russian National Anthem and the Internationale. Putin would no doubt be delighted. :)
    JDKR and Incredibledisc like this.
  20. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

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