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This is just awful-I appreciate that the time slot will constrain exactly what the film-makers can show, with the gore, the filth, the disease, and the horror all being toned down (although they don't seem to have the same qualms about showing sex), but the production is riddled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies-modern language (the term 'girlfriend' was unknown) and modern accents (I've yet to meet a German who speaks with an Estuarine accent, especially one from rural Germany), a complete glossing-over of both sides' arguments (whether right or wrong) for going to war, apart from a rather trite comment about the Belgians being 'our' friends, no general explanation of the real time situations in which the two volunteers find themselves (this may be a way of illustrating the common soldier's frustration with lack of information, but as a device for stimulating empathy and interest in younger viewers, it fails abysmally), and a maudlin obsession with sugar-coating even the bitterest pill... This is not supposed to be a Barbara Cartland novel, but an interpretation of the brutal realities of early 20th century warfare, and it's effect on its participants.
The BBC has concentrated on it's PC agenda, showing the mêlée from both sides, and deliberately avoiding any specific finger-pointing, but in doing so, it has completely obliterated any chance of showing real human emotion and partisanship. Nationalism may be unfashionable today, but it was one of the major motivational factors used by both sides in recruiting to their cause. If this is supposed to be a vaguely factual account of the events from 1914-1918 (and as has been pointed out elsewhere, why does the strap-line talk about "spanning the five years of the First World War"), it shouldn't be prejudiced by modern sensibilities. My forbears fought on both sides of the Great War-this simplistic, dumbed-down soap opera is an insult to all of them. I shall keep watching until the end of the week, if only to see how much worse it can get, and shall append further brickbats as and when necessary-this was yet another waste of licence-payers' money!..
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