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The Crimson Field
The Crimson Field The full impact of war on human lives
  is tackled in the World War I hospital
  period drama The Crimson Field, as
  doctors, nurses and volunteers work
  together dealing with injured and sick
  soldiers often with appalling injuries
  and in the most difficult conditions

CARING FOR BRITISH SOLDIERS and troops from all over the world, along with civilians who have been caught up in the conflict or need medical treatment, a team of doctors, nurses and volunteers from all walks of life are thrown together in The Crimson Field, the story of a World War I hospital at a British base close to the front at Boulogne, France, in 1915.

Beginning with the arrival of volunteers Catherine "Kitty" Trevelyan (Oona Chaplin: The Hour), a deeply troubled young woman who intriguingly throws a wedding ring into the water; the passionately 'modern' yet naïve Flora Marshall (Alice St Clair) and the Honourable Rosalie Berwick (Marianne Oldham: WPC 56), The Crimson Field explores the personal and working lives of the inexperienced young women for whom the horrific consequences of war is to become all too real.

The Crimson Field
is a heartfelt, intriguing
and absorbing journey
into an important
milestone in history with
believable characters
portrayed sensitively...”
Latecomer Sister Joan Livesey (superb character development by Suranne Jones: Scott and Bailey) arrives by motorbike and is greeted with open arms as a qualified nurse. She obviously worries for her fiancé fighting in the war, but why is she so reluctant to talk about him?

Although blessed with a heart of gold, newly-appointed Matron Grace Carter (Hermione Norris: Spooks) rules the field hospital with a rod of iron. Like other professionals at the hospital, she is particularly hard on the volunteers who have yet to prove themselves.

Grace has her own secrets, shared with her long-time friend and colleague, Sister Margaret Quayle (Kerry Fox: Shallow Grave), who bitterly resents being overlooked as it seemed certain that she should have become matron. The hospital is overseen by the fair-minded and respected Lt Colonel Roland Brett (Kevin Doyle: Downton Abbey), who himself has a son fighting the enemy.

Each day more wounded, distressed and shell-shocked soldiers arrive at the hospital, including Lance Corporal Lawrence Prentiss (Karl Davies), who suffers from seizures that prove to be helped by music and who falls foul of the unsympathetic Colonel Charles Purbright (Adam James), who believes only visible injuries can keep soldiers from the war; Major Edward Crecy (Rupert Graves), who has lost both his legs and refuses to be moved to the tent that houses the officer's ward; and a Belgian man, Jaco Tillens (Daniel Betts), whose daughter Mathilde (Abigail Eames) has been hurt and who is suspiciously hiding a book of German poems.

Suffering personal tragedies, the newcomers struggle to earn the respect of the medics and deal with their own issues while faced with various problems that include a soldier who may have self-inflicted injuries, a possible spy, an Irish soldier who refuses to wear the British army uniform, a sick man being shot as a deserter, and a unit that believes they are the Lucky Thirteen and refuse to leave without all their men.

One will face her demons; one will find love; one will learn humility and another will risk being shot as a spy. Exploiting the rich mixture of human life in all its dimensions, each of the six episodes are at times emotive, tender, heart-breaking, amusing and surreal.

On the coast of France, the hospital is a frontier between two worlds = the trenches and the home front; between the old rules, regulations, hierarchies, class distinction and a new way of thinking.

This is BBC One's flagship World War I drama, the story of World War One's front-line medics that embodies the endurance, supreme courage and hope of all its protagonists; and their personal tragedies, hopes and fears as they fight for a better future. The Crimson Field is a heartfelt, intriguing and absorbing journey into an important milestone in history with believable characters portrayed sensitively.

The Crimson Field also features: Richard Rankin as Surgeon Captain Thomas Gillan; Alex Wyndham as Surgeon Captain Miles Hesketh-Thorne; Jack Gordon as Corporal Peter Foley; Jeremy Swift as QMS Reggie Soper; Michael Nardone as Private Elias Molloy; Simon Wilson as Padre; Jodhi May as Adelinde Crecy; William Troughton as Soldier Lucky; Guy Rhys as Patient Hemmings/Wounded Man; Fraser James as Noah Shoemaker; Tommy McDonnell as Private Jackie Byesford; Bradley John as Private George Shoemaker; and Peter Sullivan as Major Jocelyn Ballard.

Written by Sarah Phelps (one of British television's most exciting writers and responsible for the television adaptations of Great Expectations and Oliver Twist); Series Music by Rob Lane and Benjamin Wallfisch; Cinematography by Tim Fleming and Matt Gray; Producer is Ann Tricklebank; Development Producer is Sarah Barton; Executive Producers include Sarah Phelps; Directed by David Evans and Thaddeus O'Sullivan.

* To mark one hundred years since the start of World War One, this brand new BBC drama commission The Crimson Field aired on BBC1 in April 2014 and is released courtesy of RLJ Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on 19 May 2014. Running Time: 360 Minutes | Two Discs | Catalogue Number: DVD AV31651, RRP £19.99; Blu-ray AB2012, RRP £24.99. Special Features Include: Behind The Scenes | Cast Interviews.

"The Crimson Field is a heartfelt, intriguing and absorbing journey into an important milestone in history with believable characters portrayed sensitively" Maggie Woods