Discussion in '1940' started by JCB, Jul 15, 2018.
Phil and his wife want you back
Stumbled over this thread whilst searching for something else. I'm glad to see so many people enjoyed the programme - I had a lot of fun making it. I was "the other historian" on the deck of the Harbour Defence Motor Launch 1387 "Medusa" - inevitably we filmed a lot of material but only a few minutes was used.
There have been a lot of turgid documentaries over the last few years, but I thought this one was quite good - and I don't say that just because I was in it. A lot of poor documentaries try and establish some sort of mystery that only the programme can solve with new evidence or archaeology, and quite often both the mystery and the evidence have been well known for decades. This programme didn't do that, and essentially presented a condensed history of the 51st Division in France. Yes a lot of stuff was missed such as Arkforce, and I could have easily filled the programme with the full story of Operation Cycle and the experiences of the ships involved, but at the end of the day they only had 45 minutes of airtime.
My usual measure for these programmes is my long suffering better half, and she commented at the end that it kept her attention right through and that she learnt something, having previously assumed Dunkirk was the final act in France in 1940 (despite my best efforts to teach her). I imagine it will have taught a lot of the general (ie non military history enthusiast) public a bit too, so in that sense I see it as a successful programme.
Undoubtedly the case. My mother in law got quite caught up in it when we watched the first broadcast during the summer and was right on the phone to tell me it was being repeated.
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