Shadow: The Great War
British historian David
Reynolds looks at the Great War,
its repercussions, how it shaped the
world today and its affect on future
generations in the intriguing and
informative BBC World War I
documentary series Long Shadow:
The Great War...
WE HAVE NOT LOST OUR CURIOSITY about The Great War, but what is the
truth about the promise of a "war to end all wars"? Was it really a necessary,
terrible, desperate attempt to bring peace to the world or a senseless waste
of human life in the pursuit of victory?
Much-respected British historian Professor David Reynolds masterfully examines
the facts behind the events leading to the First World War and the years of
carnage that raged from 1914 to 1918, drawing upon years of research and a wealth
of historical footage.
This remarkable series chronicles how the experience of war haunted the generation
who lived through it and the soldiers who survived it, citing such prominent
figures of the era as Benito Musolini, Éamon de Valera, Phillippe Petain, James
Ramsay MacDonald and Thomáš Masaryk.
The Great War...
Well researched and
a must-see factual series
lest we forget.
A very significant
and compelling documentary...
The conflict unleashed forces we are still trying to come to terms with today
and Professor Reynolds travels to locations across Europe, from Slovenia to
the Sudetenland, from Belfast to Berlin; uncovering the enormous consequences
of the war, what was left in its wake and how it impacted on the entire Twentieth
Using poignant, sometimes frightening, images of the conflict to give the viewer
an idea of the shocking events unfolding before the brave soldiers
some of whom were mere children, teenagers running away from home in search
of adventure who could who not possibly have imaged the nightmare waiting for
them and the consequences the war would have on their lives the
series aims to change the perception of the idea of the First World War as mud,
blood, Tommies and trenches.
Conscientious objectors at the start of the war were vilified but a deeper understanding
came in later years. Pacifist politician Lord Robert Cecil, one of the founders
of The League of Nations based in Geneva, Switzerland, had deep religious convictions
and, at 50 years of age, he was too old for military service at the outbreak
of the First World War so he began working for The Red Cross.
Professor Reynolds quotes from some of the many heartfelt poems of the Great
War. Poet Rudyard Kipling, having encouraged his only son Jack to enlist, was
one of the many to be told that his son was missing, presumed killed. His body
was never found.
Sadly, it was impossible to bring back all the bodies of the British and Commonwealth
soldiers, and lasting memorials such as Lutyens Cenotaph and those at the Continental
war cemeteries on the Western Front bear testament to those who gave their lives
for their country. England was a country worth fighting and dying for.
Nearly 750,000 would lose their lives and one and a half million servicemen
would be wounded; many returning from the horrors of the trenches struggling
to cope, having suffered sights and sounds that would leave a lasting, horrific
impression on them. Haunted by the experience of war were the generation who
lived through it and especially the soldiers who survived it.
However much information came back from the Front to those waiting desperately
at home for news of their fathers, husbands, sweethearts and sons, friends and
relatives who had not gone through the trauma of war would have had little understanding
of its true nature.
By bringing his work Journey's End to The Apollo Theatre in London on
9 December, 1928, R C Sherriff, gave his audience a glimpse of his own experiences
as a captain fighting in the trenches. Starring a young Laurence Olivier, the
play was set towards the end of the First World War.
The series explores the impact of the war and the long shadow it has cast over
Europe since the final shots were fired. Professor Reynolds questions whether
the war should be dismissed as futile and inconclusive or actually seen as an
important way forward in the superb BBC documentary series Long Shadow: The
Great War, based on the prize-winning book.
While most of Europe celebrated, Germany looked at the year 1918 as a humiliating
defeat, so perhaps it was inevitable that the rise of a deadly politician with
charisma called Adolf Hitler would lead to the peace being shattered for a second
time in the 20th Century by the outbreak of World War II.
Long Shadow: The Great War provides a fresh, captivating and, at times,
disturbing look at The Great War and its lasting legacy. Well researched and
a must-see factual series for everyone lest we forget. A very
significant and compelling documentary.
Written and Presented by Professor David Reynolds, University of Cambridge;
Director of Photography is Hugh Campbell; Composers: James Banbury, Pete Davis;
Producer is James Evans; Director is Russell Barnes.
powerful, remarkable three-part BBC1 documentary series Long Shadow: The
Great War, based on the prize-winning book, is released on DVD in the UK,
courtesy of Simply Media, on 4 July 2016. Running Time: 150 Minutes Approximately
on One Disc | Catalogue Number: 166451 | RRP: £19.99.
"Long Shadow: The Great War… Well researched and a must-see factual series
for everyone lest we forget. A very significant and compelling
documentary" Maggie Woods
"Engaging… humanising… powerful" Daily Telegraph
"I promise you that this will be the final war the war to end
all wars" Woodrow Wilson, US President, 1913-21