Island at War TV Series Overview (2004)


Introduction

Island at War is a British television series that tells the story of the German occupation of the Channel Islands.

It primarily focuses on three local families: the upper class Dorrs, the middle class Mahys, and the working class Jonases, and four German officers. The fictional island of St. Gregory serves as a stand-in for the real-life islands Guernsey and Jersey, and the story is compiled from the events on both islands.

Outline

During the Second World War, a quiet channel island community is thrown into turmoil by the invasion forces of Nazi Germany.

Cast

  • James Wilby as James Dorr.
  • Clare Holman as Felicity Dorr.
  • Sam Heughan as Phillip Dorr (aka Mr. Brotherson).
  • Owen Teale as Wilf Jonas.
  • Julia Ford as Kathleen Jonas.
  • Sean Gallagher as Sheldon Leveque.
  • Saskia Reeves as Cassie Mahy.
  • Julian Wadham as Urban Mahy.
  • Joanne Froggatt as Angelique Mahy.
  • Samantha Robinson as June Mahy.
  • Louisa Clein as Zelda Kay.
  • Philip Glenister as Baron Von Rheingarten.
  • Daniel Flynn as Captain Muller.
  • Colin Tierney as Oberwachtmeister Wimmel.
  • Conor Mullen as Oberleutnant Walker.
  • Andrew Havill as Oberleutnant Flach.
  • Laurence Fox as Bernhardt Tellemann.
  • Richard Dempsey as Eugene La Salle.
  • Ann Rye as Ada Jonas.
  • Sean Ward as Colin Jonas.

Production

Produced by Granada Television in Manchester, Island at War had an estimated budget of £9,000,000 and was filmed on location in the Isle of Man from August 2003 to October 2003.

Release

Overall, the miniseries earned more favourable reviews in the United States than in the United Kingdom.

In the Channel Islands themselves, the series faced widespread criticism in the local press due to inaccuracy, mispronunciation of names (for example, ‘Mahy’ was pronounced ‘Mah-hee’ rather than the correct ‘Ma’yee’), and the fact that the series was filmed not on the islands themselves, but the Isle of Man. The Guernsey Press noted that “the programme caused outrage among many people who accused the producers of distorting Guernsey history.”

Home Media

The complete DVD collection was released in 2008, by Acorn Media UK. The DVD received a second release in 2017 by Network.

Second Series Cancelled

Although highly successful during its initial transmission the series ended, rather abruptly. The writer Stephen Mallatratt died from cancer shortly after the series broadcast. This, coupled with the high production cost and controversy over historical accuracy, meant the series came to an end. Each episode cost around £1 million to produce.

Island at War Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Peter Lydon and Thaddeus O’Sullivan.
  • Producer(s):
    • Steve Christian … executive producer.
    • Andy Harries … executive producer.
    • John Rushton … producer: Granada ITV.
    • Sita Williams … producer.
  • Writer(s): Stephen Mallatratt.
  • Music: Geoffrey Burgon.
  • Cinematography: David Higgs.
  • Editor(s): Edward Mansell and Tony Cranstoun.
  • Production: Granada Television.
  • Distributor(s): ITV.
  • Release Date: 11 July 2004 to 15 August 2004.
  • Running Time: 70 minutes (per episode) and 398 minutes (total running time).
  • Rating: 15.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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