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Remembered Today:

"The Passing Bells" new BBC1 drama series, coming soon


NigelS
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The Beeb is just starting to show trailers for its next WW1 Centenary five part drama offering (scheduled for BBC1), The Passing Bells, hopefully it will be a much better effort than The Crimson Field. Can but hope that 'Auntie' has learnt from her mistakes.

Some links Click & Click

NigelS

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This sounds interesting Nigel. I thought they had forgotten about drama in the centenary after the C......F....... ( I dare not mention it).

Anne

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Well I have just seen the first episode and in my own opinion, only one word sums it up - exceptional.

David

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That's one more word than I could summon....

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The British chap seemed to get supplied with a uniform and sent to the trenches exceptionally fast for a 1914 volunteer.

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Found it a little confusing as éverybody speaks perfect English. Who is who? Oh right, this must be the German guy, he's wearing a Pickelhaube..

A little bit of accent would make it easier to follow (Not a theatrical "Ve ar German! ", but just a hint of an accent)

Missed opportunity with the starry sky, and it's quite a tall order to compress 5 years (x 2 guys = 10 years) into 5 half-hour episodes, but this first episode left a good impression.

WW1 in fast forward.

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Well I have just seen the first episode and in my own opinion, only one word sums it up - exceptional.

David

Was it? I dozed off after 15 minutes.

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I agree JWK certainly was fast forward.

Enlisted , walked out of recruiting office in full uniform , off to France with apparently no training , straight into trenches.

The German lad spent longer trying to lose his virginity in a field than spent training for the "field"

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It was a bit little fluffy kittens and all things nice, BUT it was ok drama :thumbsup:

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Bit intense for early evening viewing, and I agree with JWK about the accents of the Germans, who could have been British Tommies but for the uniforms.

The early scenes of the attack did impress on me how constricting and claustrophobic those primitive gas masks must have been.And going over the top in greatcoats must have been cumbersome. Was the mutual co-operation in retrieving casualties over-dramatised?

Moonraker

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Came away with a definite 'Crimson Tide' feeling...

Very, confusingly, fast forwarding (with no timeline captions to cling on to). Somewhat simplistic directing to keep switching between the battle and the parents at home in the rural idyll 'for dramatic effect', I feel.

Remind me, when did 1914 volunteers reach the front line? Were they still using jam tin bombs at that point?

Anyway, all publicity is good publicity, as they say...

James

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Quite good I thought, but we'll see how it pans out throughout the rest of the series...

The accent thing...........I think it would have been better to have had the German family actually speaking German and subtitled the scenes...

I also think it would have been wrong to have had the Germans speaking English with a German accent.....

As it stands...its OK......but not that good.....smacks of production budget restraints....

Another thought regarding the swiftness of the uniform availability.....well fitting uniforms on the day of signing up?... I think not!

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... I also think it would have been wrong to have had the Germans speaking English with a German accent.....

I found myself thinking of other war films, both WWI and WWII, where British or American actors have portrayed German servicemen, but I can't think of one where it was so obviously so as in "The Passing Bells".

Moonraker

Edit: Just checked the

IMDB

and it appears to be an Anglo-Polish production, certainly with a fair number of Polish names in the cast. Perhaps a few more could have been used in the production to contrast with the British actors.

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It did seem to move very fast, it almost seems as if a child wrote the screenplay. I suspect the accents all sounding the same is a BBC subliminal message that we`re all the same underneath the uniforms.

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I'd echo the above - far too fast. To tell both sides of the story from the beginning like it's trying to do needs a lot longer.

Craig

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................. the accents of the Germans, who could have been British Tommies but for the uniforms.

Moonraker

I rather think this is what the director was getting at, the fact that they were all just ordinary blokes/families thrown into war. They were all the same underneath, it was just their language which set them apart.

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Forgive my ignorance, but a 'ceasefire to tend to the wounded'? I'm fully aware of the Christmas truce, but did this really take place at other times along the western front to this extent?

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I rather think this is what the director was getting at, the fact that they were all just ordinary blokes/families thrown into war. They were all the same underneath, it was just their language which set them apart.

This thought did occur to me. Swop the uniforms, the men would be the same.

Forgive my ignorance, but a 'ceasefire to tend to the wounded'? I'm fully aware of the Christmas truce, but did this really take place at other times along the western front to this extent?

Not really my subject area, but I understand there were occasions during a lull in the fighting when soldiers from both sides intermingled to retrieve casualties. As I say in post 15, this seemed to be over-dramatised in the first episode.

Moonraker

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Solid, sentimental, unconvincing

"All characters have English-sounding names and use English accents – a deliberate tactic. Writer Tony Jordan said they had chosen to strip away accents to emphasise that there is ‘nothing’ between the two main characters." - Metro

Sentinel review

Doubtless other reviews will appear on line and in today's printed papers.

My Googling also took me to a review so obscenely worded as to be treated with contempt.

Moonraker

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