When TV Goes To War (2011)


Introduction

Documentary looking at how war has been dramatised on British television from the Second World War through the Falklands campaign to contemporary conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Outline

Documentary looking at how war has been dramatised on British television from the Second World War through the Falklands campaign to contemporary conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, examining the challenges – both financial and dramatic – in bringing war to the small screen.

Why have so many of our greatest TV writers been drawn to the subject, and why has so much of their work been controversial? Should writers always respect the historical facts, or can dramatic licence reveal the greater truth about war? And in a world of 24-hour news, can drama tell us anything about war we can not now see for ourselves?

It also looks at the lighter side of war, and why it has inspired some of our most successful sitcoms. Is there something about army life that lends itself to comedy? Soldiers who have had their exploits dramatised for television – Colonel Tim Collins, played by Kenneth Branagh in Ten Days to War, and Robert Lawrence, played by Colin Firth in Tumbledown – talk about the experience.

Other contributors include historians Antony Beevor and Max Hastings, and playwrights Alan Bleasdale (The Monocled Mutineer) and Ian Curteis (The Falklands Play). Ex-MI5 chief Stella Rimington considers television’s coverage of the Cold War, and comedy writers Jimmy Perry (Dad’s Army) and Greg McHugh (Gary Tank Commander) discuss the rules of the war-based sitcom.

Production & Filming Details

  • Narrator(s):
    • Robert Hardy.
  • Director(s):
    • John Moulson.
  • Producer(s):
    • John Moulson … producer.
    • Rachel Boyd … executive producer.
    • Alan Tyler … executive producer (BBC).
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • Crocodile Media (for BBC).
  • Distributor(s):
    • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (2011) (UK) (TV) (BBC Four).
  • Release Date: 19 September 2011.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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