Reality show. A couple, their daughter and two grandchildren volunteer to spend several weeks living under wartime conditions. That includes clothing, learning to live with rationing (12 ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Narrator (2 episodes, 2001)
Piers Brendon ...
 Himself - Keeper of the Churchill Archives (2 episodes, 2001)
Guy de la Bédoyère ...
 Himself - Historian (2 episodes, 2001)
Ben Hymers ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2001)
Kirstie Hymers ...
 Herself (2 episodes, 2001)
Lyn Hymers ...
 Herself (2 episodes, 2001)
Michael Hymers ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2001)
Thomas Hymers ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2001)
Susan Jebb ...
 Herself (2 episodes, 2001)
Norman Longmate ...
 Himself - Historian (2 episodes, 2001)
Warren Rushton ...
 Taxi Driver (2 episodes, 2001)


Reality show. A couple, their daughter and two grandchildren volunteer to spend several weeks living under wartime conditions. That includes clothing, learning to live with rationing (12 ounces of candy a month, 4 ounces of ham a week etc) and digging up the back yard partly for extra vegetables and partly for an "Anderson" air raid shelter. Several historians and "experts" formed a War cabinet to direct events, and push the family went through 6 years of war in those weeks. Written by garryq

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Family | Reality-TV





Release Date:

2 January 2001 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sota-ajan virtuaalikoti  »

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Follows The 1900 House (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonder how many others could made it through?
9 September 2004 | by (St. Albans,VT) – See all my reviews

If you think that the discomfort of World War II was limited to that suffered by soldiers on the front lines, watch this for a moving and sometimes right amusing four hours.

The Hymers agree to spend several weeks living the life that home-island Britons had in the 1940s. They dig in their garden for the mass-issue Anderson shelter, they are limited to the food amounts given by rationing, they are berated by official letter for not following the blackout regulations at night.

I wonder how many contemporary Americans, not only permitted but encouraged by our economy to be profligate, could put up for two days with what the Hymers have to face. Example: Lyn Hymers accidentally drops a peach cobbler on the floor. She just scrapes it up and puts it back in the pan. If she didn't, the hungry family would go without some of their alloted calories at dinnertime. Behind the scenes, a board of simulators discuss what can be done to make things more realistic - ie., tougher - for the family.

In the British wartime economy, there was no place for cosmetics or high fashion. You get the impression sex went completely by the boards for Ben Hymers and the Mrs. (On the other hand, "Hope and Glory" and other accounts show that young, impetuous hormones were granted a big loosening of sexual mores.) Nonetheless, Lyn, in her indefegable way, tries to make hair dye from her Victory Garden. The results aren't bad.

When Ben goes away "to work at an aircraft plant up north," Kirstie and Lyn learn to make do so thoroughly that when he returns, he's more of an intruder into the house ecology than the husband. Little wonder soldiers on leave sometimes felt unwelcome and useless, and became impatient to get back to their outfits, where at least they knew they were needed.

On a grim note, the narrator notes that the home next door to the Hymers was bombed in 1940; and in a neighborhood house, a mother was killed by a fall when trying to respond to a baby in a blacked out house. Proof of something "Pvt. Ryan" alluded to - modern war does not only mean deliberate death as the two sides try to kill each other, but it is a fertile breeding ground for fatal accidents as well.

Definitely recommended watching.

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