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World on Fire is a forthcoming drama series from the BBC about the lives of ordinary people during World War Two, starring Helen Hunt and Sean Bean. I noticed today from a social media post including a gif) from Brian J Smith (Sense8, Threadstone) that he is also in the featured cast. It is also scheduled to air on PBS through its Masterpiece franchise. A promo release today from that sources labels it as coming soon.  Here’s the PBS promo:

PBS Masterpiece promo for World on Fire

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World on Fire is an adrenalized, emotionally gripping and resonant World War II drama that follows the intertwining fates of ordinary people in five countries as they grapple with the effects of the war on their everyday lives. Don’t miss the premiere of the seven-part series on Sunday, April 5, 2020, 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS.

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The finale airs Sunday, May 17 at 9/8c.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/world-on-fire/

Edited by dcalley
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Helen hunt????

Sean bean???? Will he survive?

That one young man who's been in a handful of stuff the past year or so???

You can probably tell i haven't paid much attention to the casting or anything. Like, i've seen it advertised, but i figured l'd be watching regardless of anything so i didn't really pay close attention to the commercials and stuff 😛

Mom was shocked to see helen hunt look old-ish. I think the image of her in twister is probably stuck in her brain considering that's probably the only thing we've ever seen her in...and that movie is from  ~20-30 yrs ago. Lol. Like, ofc she'd be aging at this point.

A bit of a depressing opener, though it is about war so...

With it being more of a quick introduction to the characters and their situations, i can't say that any of the characters really stood out to me. I'm probably interested in kasia the most at the moment.

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(edited)

Another cast member who’s cast as the American doctor in Paris, is Brian J. Smith of Sense8 and Threadstone. One of my personal favorites.

And Cameron Monaghan is in this as well, although I haven’t figured out his character yet.

Edited by theschnauzers
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Kasia and the witchy mother are the only characters worth somewhat sticking around for and even then...I don't really care for any of the characters. Plus it's been pretty depressing so far.

That brother's an idiot to think he could come close to passing as a pacifist. Boldly claims for all to hear that he doesn't believe in fighting in the war but has zero issue with beating the crap out of regular people that get on his bad side??? Yes, that'll definitely convince them you're a pacifist. 

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War is hell and this is an especially tough watch with current events, but the hours fly and I enjoy Harry and Kasia (the wedding and bathed in morning sunlight before she sacrificed herself leaving them both shattered), queue Phil Collins’ masterpiece Against All Odds, Robina and little Jan. 

Less enamored of Lois cheating herself out of a proper first time to prove a point with someone she knew was gone before the backseat quickie and her hothead brother. 

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Right Lois, way to punish a guy for suspected lack of fidelity -- have sex with him!  They hate that.  Also, I think he said "Jan's sister,"  the same way he had said "his mother" and "his father," without naming them, so that's proof he had sex with all of them, I guess.  I don't really like Lois's singing much either.

Kasia's life  in the resistance should be interesting so long as she learns to resist the temptation to verbally spit in the face of every Nazi she meets. It only makes them mad, Kasia.  On the other hand,  the spit in the soup hurt me worse than it hurt them.

Helen Hunt's another one who doesn't seem to understand how dangerous Nazi's are, from stopping on the road to confront them in full rampage, to not understanding that an epileptic child might be in danger from them. 

Poor little Jan hanging out with the witch all day.  Go out and play Jan!  Maybe there's a secret garden in the back.

 

 

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I couldn't get over all these women confronting the Nazi soldiers.    Good grief, they witness them shooting people in the streets.  A bit hard to believe anyone living in that warzone would do such a thing.  

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Aside from The Pianist I don’t think I’ve seen any depictions of the invasion of Poland in film or TV, so Kasia’s story is interesting.  

I’m also happen to be reading The Splendid and the Vile so I’m above average disgusted by the Nazis and I don’t know if I can stomach things like the little girl with epilepsy.

The British-based characters are not compelling.  Is Lois’ bad singing supposed to signify the dearth of talent available/willing?  Her brother and Charlie’s mom are one-note so far.

Finally, with respect, I hope they find something to do with the gay characters and, specifically, I hope they don’t make the black man the Magical, Self-Assured unicorn used to prop up the white guy that so often black/gay characters are reduced to.

 

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On 4/5/2020 at 7:14 PM, HoodlumSheep said:

Helen hunt????

Mom was shocked to see helen hunt look old-ish. I think the image of her in twister is probably stuck in her brain considering that's probably the only thing we've ever seen her in...and that movie is from  ~20-30 yrs ago. Lol. Like, ofc she'd be aging at this point.

 

I spent the first few minutes wondering why Penelope Keith (I watched her in The Good Life and To the Manor Born in the 70s) had had so much plastic surgery.  And I don't think I've seen Helen Hunt in anything since Mad About You.  So your mom wasn't the only one a bit surprised!

image.png.e53b357b5fa4ebb4b7e68aab6db0b8da.pngimage.png.95b6fa67dffd8591c9c9dbe23f9370b8.png

Edited by Brookside
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On 4/13/2020 at 12:31 PM, JudyObscure said:

Right Lois, way to punish a guy for suspected lack of fidelity -- have sex with him!  They hate that.  Also, I think he said "Jan's sister,"  the same way he had said "his mother" and "his father," without naming them, so that's proof he had sex with all of them, I guess.  I don't really like Lois's singing much either.

Kasia's life  in the resistance should be interesting so long as she learns to resist the temptation to verbally spit in the face of every Nazi she meets. It only makes them mad, Kasia.  On the other hand,  the spit in the soup hurt me worse than it hurt them.

Helen Hunt's another one who doesn't seem to understand how dangerous Nazi's are, from stopping on the road to confront them in full rampage, to not understanding that an epileptic child might be in danger from them. 

Poor little Jan hanging out with the witch all day.  Go out and play Jan!  Maybe there's a secret garden in the back.

 

 

Or check out the closet where  the fur coats are stored .....Narnia awaits!

Edited by Tosia
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So far Kasia's story is the only one I care about too. 

They really haven't given me a reason to care about any of the British characters. Lois figures out he was with someone else and decides to sleep with him and break up? That'll show him Lois. I don't really care about Harry either. He wanders around but doesn't really do anything. Hey, Harry, maybe you should have mentioned you got married before Lois jumped you? That might have been nice to know. I don't really care about Lois's brother or Harry's mother. Poor Jan being stuck with her though.

I'm confused by Helen Hunt's character she seems like she should know more that's going on then she does. She's broadcasting the news from Berlin for how long? She should be more aware not less. Why isn't she 

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I hope Harry's sergeant is good because Harry himself is rather a drip. I know that he's young and immature but I don't find him interesting at all.  Same with Lois. I don't think I would have found them interesting even when I was their age. Tom is just straight out unpleasant.

Harry and Lois are probably endgame since she's pregnant but yawn.  Poor Kasia deserves better.

I think that Sean Bean is doing a wonderful job, so very far from Sharpe.  He really makes me feel what the character feels, the hopelessness and the frustration as he tries to convince people that there needs to be peace. Lesley Manville is interesting too as her characters learns empathy from Jan. 

I read that Arthur Darville comes in at episode 5. I'm hanging in to see that.

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I'm finding it difficult to get into this series.   I don't find any of these people likeable and most just seem too stupid.  Maybe it's just the wrong time to be watching such a depressing series.  And I think Helen Hunt is just awful in this.

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I love Stan already. Nutcrackers, heh. 

I wish Helen went against the grain and accepted aging. Her facial work is distracting.

I cannot warm to Tom at all. The chip on his shoulder and picking fights left and right... Totally off putting. 

And, Douglas, I pity him for his trauma—and the lack of respect his children have for him. They love him, but they do not respect him. It’s a hard thing to watch. 

I am not a Lois fan either, although I pity her outright as an unwed mother-to-be in 1939 or thereabouts. Yes, Harry should have fessed up about his marriage and not had a jump off with Lois. He was also a visible wreck on the way to and in the backseat. He had a random kid with him. He was emotional and Lois jumped him knowing that he was not the same guy who went to Poland and had found another. Perhaps Kasia had herself covered during those nights Nancy heard? Marie and Stefan clearly knew what was what about their daughter’s relationship with Harry. And Lois did say she was getting her virginity out of the way... Talk about biting off your nose to spite your face if you are Lois by not protecting yourself unless it was really a Hail Mary. Either way, I am not feeling it or her. 

Lois wants Harry to feel the way he may have thought he did about her. If he did, she wouldn’t have had to settle for that backseat and his sick appearance afterward was plain sad. And the can we be friends bit must have been especially crushing in light of the baby. Guilt over trashing your first love is not love and feeling for his baby is natural. Saying to Harry she will go it alone does not serve the baby either, that’s about her and her anger at Harry for not feeling the way she wants him to... You know that song, I loved the boy, never knew the man. 

Robina came through big for Jan. Perhaps learning from mistakes with Harry who was likely left to handle things entirely on his own. It shows in his behavior that he has not had anyone to depend or lean on. I bet Harry’s joyous smile in the photo is one she had never seen. 

Kasia is amazing. And as painful as it is for him now, Jan will thank her for putting him on that train. Harry does not know what hit him and he’s chasing bullets to not deal with the pain he is in and his worry for Kasia. 

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Helen Hunt’s plastic surgery is jarring.  It looks as if every inch of pliable skin has been stretched so tautly across her mouth and cheekbones.  She looks almost mummified, and sounds as if she has a hard time speaking because there is no flexibility in the skin or muscles around her lips.  Does she have an ill-fitting pair of dentures crammed in there?  I think her attempt to “look fresh and young” has stilted her acting ability.  She can’t emote with her eyes or facial expressions anymore. Her character is annoying too.  Big tough American broad who think she  knows the way to stop Hitler is to antagonize and be self righteous.  You’re gonna get people killed, Ms. Worldly Reporter.

I remember a history class in college covered the eugenics movement.  It was not Hitler’s idea.  There were many well respected Americans and Europeans in the late 1800’s and into the early 20th century who thought eliminating “weaker” genes was the way to physical and economic health of the world.

 

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I still love Kasia and her story best. Yeah their kind of stupid at times. But at least their doing something. I can kind of see how it might not be so hard the first time to set up a Nazi soldier to be killed. Its interesting to see the progression. And again at least their doing something.

Yan is the next one I care about. I did like Robina standing up for him. That was an awesome moment. 

I still don't care about Lois or Harry. She's pregnant. Well of course she is. She did it for a stupid reason and Harry's married to someone else and still hasn't told her. Even though he really has had plenty of time to do so. Even before their moment in the backseat. 

I still don't understand Helen Hunt's character. How long has she been in Berlin? She really doesn't seem that aware of what's going on despite being a reporter and one from another country. They show her somewhat "defying" what she's suppose to say on the air but then clueless on almost everything. It makes no sense.

Seeing the ship attacked and how bad that went was good. So far seeing the actual war and what's happening in Poland is the best part.

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Three episodes and I'm out.  It's  turned into a soap opera--sort of a British version of 'Winds of War'/'War and Remembrance.'  (I liked Herman Wouk's books, found the TV series unwatchable).

Also, too many contrivances in Ep 3.  In addition to the conveniently pregnant Lois popping up at the camp where Harry was stationed, Harry's assignment as an officer in a front line unit just a couple months after joining the army as an officer was unrealistic--that early in the war the British army was made of of regulars with maybe some trained reservists; no need to put an untrained twit like Harry in charge of anything.

Worse, Tom being on the Exeter made on sense at all.  Let's see, Tom joined the Royal Navy sometime in September 1939.  In early October the Exeter was ordered to the South Atlantic.  There was no way he could have been on that ship. Even if it had departed from England (rather than directly from some other duty station) they wouldn't have assigned someone with two weeks training to that crew.  Another contrivance to progress Tom's plot line that pulled me out of the story.

(If they had been patient, they could have waited and shown Tom on the Exeter in early 1942 when it was sunk by the Japanese off of Java and the surviving crew taken prisoner).

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PBS is cutting dialogue. Ick. 

The DVD cover is photoshopped to the hilt in Helen’s case. Her longevity in Hollywood, an on to the next place if there ever was one, speaks for itself. Sad what that place does to actresses as they age who do not have the stuffing to let themselves be. See Lesley Manville looking and acting fabulous on this same program. Quite a cutting commentary, pardon the pun, on the entertainment business on my side of the pond. Lots of trade offs for the money and fame that I hope the talented younger set here have their eyes open and guards up about...

The Rosslers and Webster and Albert thinking they can ride things out as their situations become increasingly dire and threatening... A lot of people thought they could, with tragic consequences. GTFO 

“I’m shell-shocked, not stupid, Lois.” Lois needed that kick in the rear. The Bennett characters get down to it with each other for the most part rather than stiff upper lip it until they explode like Harry and Robina. As grating and contemptible as I find Tom, he did the same when he approached his father to weasel him out of the service. And Douglas dropping the baby bomb on Robina rather than beat about the bush soap style was good too. The pregnancy itself? Soapy and convenient for plot to keep Lois in there, yes, but I can see it as Lois is a 1940 local girl without her mother’s counsel who had set on who she would have it all with... I knew girls like that in the 1990s. 

Task at hand Robina coming to the visibly crushed Lois—getting her virginity out of the way, my a**—to inform her of Harry’s marriage with her brand of humor and a backhanded compliment in closing was true to character. I hope we eventually see Robina thank her lucky stars Harry married the “Polish waitress.” Kasia is true blue without being a Mary Sue, credit to the writers and actress, and she deeply loves Harry as he does her. And her little brother is teaching Robina and her son how to love and care for others and each other. The way Robina whipped around the second she caught her bearings to make sure Jan had not heard Douglas... 

Harry and Kasia’s parallel experience as they navigate the war illuminates their abiding connection and Jonah nailed the scene after Harry kills for the first time. “Silly Bollocks” stepped up hard. I continue to love his 5 Star Sergeant Stan and the moments of levity among all the men. Brick and two stab wounds... “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.”—Sir Winston Churchill 

Douglas said he wanted to tell Robina the truth. It’s his truth. Like Stefan believing the sickly and innocent Grzegorz was safe in the war because he was with him. Stefan was executed in front of Grzegorz—so we see how that is turning out. I think Connie was right to see through Lois’ bluster and denial. Lois has a track record of not being honest about her feelings. I all but forgot she dumped Harry before he left for Poland. He was a translator, not a mind reader—especially coming out of an ice cold manor house instead of a home. Not to say Lois not dumping Harry would have made any difference, but it’s bad luck, not malice, when your own heart is broken by the rare love and connection Harry and Kasia found and sustains them. Kasia’s comrade is getting nowhere with her. 

Catherine Carey descendant here, so I have some context I bring to my viewing of this piece of fiction. Lois figuratively spitting in Harry and now Robina’s faces is selfish to the baby and foolhardy. They could make this so ugly for Lois if they wanted with the ancient name (!), connections (!!) and money (!!!) and they really do not have to give her squat for the baby, especially when she insists astride her high horse that she does not want anything. So many people of that social class and above would just develop amnesia about the whole thing. I remembered what Douglas said too. “We were tenants of that family.” That family could still literally crush them if they wanted, but it’s not even on the table. 

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I, for one, don't think Helen Hunt has had work done, I just think she's always had the mouth of an eighty year old. It's one of several reasons, why I could never get into, "Mad About You," when it was a big hit.   

I usually just watch the first few minutes of this before falling asleep but I liked how Lois was all set to break the baby news to her father and he just said, "You're pregnant."  Heh!

 

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Turns out I really don't like either one of the Bennett kids. I can't muster any pity for self-righteous judgy Lois when she dumps a guy before he leaves, acts as if nothing has happened when he gets back, and then has the audacity to flip out on him because he found someone else after she dumped him. To top it off she fucks him and dumps him again in a move that was icily premeditated and specifically designed to cause as much damage as possible on the way out. I think the show wants us to want Harry and Lois together, but honestly Kasia is much nicer and a lot saner. Although as others have said, Kasia deserves better.

The less said about her brother Tom, the better. I would like very much for him to be dead soon.

Also, I can't stop yelling at the people in France to GET THE FUCK OUT OF FRANCE.

Edited by MJ Frog
Some more thoughts.
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I hate Lois and her brother.  And Harry.  He was okay in Warsaw, but he's a total drip in England.  I hope Lois dies giving birth and her brother AND Harry die in the war.  Then Kasia is able to come to England and be reunited with Jan, Harry's mom loves her and also decides to marry Lois' dad and they all live together in the big house raising the baby.   

Helen Hunt's face is very distracting.  She looks like a lion.

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49 minutes ago, theschnauzers said:

I am letting the show tell it’s story. I have no presumptions concerning the characters and its storylines, since season one is only the first year. And it’s already been renewed for a second by the BBC.

I had a miniature schnauzer growing up. I love your screen name and profile picture. I am so glad we get another series of this show. 

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In episode three, Konrad and Grzegorz were in Poland.  This episode, they encounter British soldiers.  I looked up on the PBS show website and it said they’re now in western France.  I read the recaps of episode 3 and 4, but I swear I can’t figure out how they got to France so fast on foot.  

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15 minutes ago, terrymct said:

In episode three, Konrad and Grzegorz were in Poland.  This episode, they encounter British soldiers.  I looked up on the PBS show website and it said they’re now in western France.  I read the recaps of episode 3 and 4, but I swear I can’t figure out how they got to France so fast on foot.  

I think they had started moving westward, as they encountered Russian solders first, then ran into German solders, In episode four they again encountered German troops, and then encountered British troops either in Belgium or northern France. It wasn’t stated where they were for any particular encounter or when, so the obvious implication is that they traveled for a long enough period outside of cities and towns to make their way across. 

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That would have meant traveling all the way through Germany.  On foot.  In Polish army uniforms.  A distance of more than 800 miles.

It's fantastical geography and unlikely coincidences all rolled into one.

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Kasia's story continues to be my favorite. You keep killing those German soldiers. Its just so great watching them doing something.  

I hate all the Bennets too. Tom signed up for the Navy and now wants out going to his daddy hoping he'd let him get out. Wow, aces. Way to be a coward. Lois is so stupid I don't care about her. As @MJ Frog points out she dumped him before he left for Poland, then acts
like nothing has happened when he returns, gets mad at him for finding someone else, then jumps him because it was always suppose to be him and to get it out of the way and dumps him. The whole mess is her fault but nope she thinks its Harry and his mother.  I hate her. I'm not sure what I think about their father. I did wonder before Robina asked if he told her about the pregnancy for money. 

I am surprised by how much I like Robina. I really hated her in the beginning. But she's actually trying with Jan, defending him to the boys and in all her talks with Mr. Bennet. 

I actually didn't hate Harry in this episode. Its nice to see the fighting. I'm still confused by how confused Helen Hunt character still seems to be. She still seems too naïve for living in Berlin and a journalist. How long as she been reporting from Berlin? Terrible things were going on in the years up to the attack on Poland. Yet she seems so absolutely surprised by it. She's surprised that they know who her neighbors are? Does she really think they'll keep their word about Hilda? She's been to the "clinic" and talked to the doctor but thinks with Germany winning and fighting in France. Things will some how be better? And she's a reporter? I know it was very common for people to try and ride it out but its hard watching the Rosslers, Webster, and Albert doing just that knowing its for nothing.

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On 4/28/2020 at 6:56 PM, ComeWhatMay said:

I had a miniature schnauzer growing up. I love your screen name and profile picture. I am so glad we get another series of this show. 

I’ve had this online persona for about 25 years. My avatar is of my current mini schnauzer, a black and silver female, who will be three next week. But schnauzers have been in my family coming on 50 years next year.

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It feels like the storyline with the two gay lovers comes across as a tacked-on afterthought and that they don't really know what to make of it; the two guys were even absent from the previous episode (unless they fell victim to PBS's frequent editing to fit British shows into a more standard US length).

So after realising that their killing of an SS officer led to reprisals and the execution of a good number of civilians, Kasia and her associate decide that the best course of action is to kill more Germans soldiers, with the predictable consequences? Impressive logic.

On 4/30/2020 at 1:54 AM, andromeda331 said:

I'm still confused by how confused Helen Hunt character still seems to be. She still seems too naïve for living in Berlin and a journalist.

Same here. She is either the worst journalist ever or is deliberately turning a blind eye to reality because she enjoys her stint in Europe and wants to stay there no matter what.

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I can understand Helen Hunt's character in the sense that there are Americans who believe that they are untouchable because they're Americans so they think that they can go into places and uncover things that other people can't. It really seems like it's going to bite her hard.

I am so over Tom and Lois. Harry improved marginally in this episode but I don't care for him either.

I want to like Kasia but I'm disturbed by how easily she kills German soldiers.  The Nazis are bad but as the scene with the foreman showed, many of these soldiers are just boys who were conscripted and had no say in it. I had relatives who fought on both sides of the war not because they chose different sides but because the governments of the countries they lived in chose different sides.  I can see my uncle in the place of one of those boys Kasia is killing and I hate it.

ETA: Kasia and her group killed a German soldier. In retaliation, the Germans ordered 30 innocent Poles killed. Kasia's response was to say 'then we will kill 30 more Germans.' Something that will most like result in even more Poles being killed in retaliation.

I understand Kasia's thinking but I cannot like it.

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Re the Doctor and his musician friend in Paris. Given the timeline of real events in the first year of the war, things in Paris got a later start, so it makes sense to me that the story arc comes along later. I’m sure that story will start to develop in the latter half of the first series. I have the dvd set now, but I’m planning to watch an episode a week until I get an overdue manuscript finished in the next two weeks. ( And with Outlander’s season over after next weekend, as well as some other shows ending early this season, I’ll be down to World on Fire, Upload, and Hollywood to watch soon enough.)

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Saying this now given how long it took to produce the first series... Understanding the virus has all film and tv production rightfully on hold, but remembering the 3 and out Dan Stevens debacle and other departures from Downton Abbey; Mary-Elizabeth Winstead’s absence from Mercy Street in the second series; and Victoria’s eternal hiatus, I hope Bowker and the other producers here keep it right and tight with the program out of respect for their actors and the actors level with them too about their plans with sufficient notice. Fans make their livings and others are likely to have Hollywood calling as Jonah already does. I will be happy for whatever I get from this fabulous group, but no Christmas car crashes and salty show runners please. Learn from the past. 

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I know from his social media that Brian J Smith decided to wait out the quarantine and production hiatus in Berlin. (Still haven’t sen anything about whether Threadstone got an order for a second series, but that would be an added reason he’d stay in Europe.)

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21 hours ago, theschnauzers said:

Re the Doctor and his musician friend in Paris. Given the timeline of real events in the first year of the war, things in Paris got a later start,

There was already plenty of conflict and unrest in France before the war and the invasion. The far right (like L'Action Française and other groups) was very active and even got some candidates elected to the French Parlement; they were openly sympathetic to Hitler and supported the puppet government of Vichy under the Occupation. In this series, their only involvement was to beat up the musician, a plot device so he can meet the doctor, and then paint hate graffiti on his door, both times offscreen.

There would have been as much potential there for plot elements as with the other characters, not to mention room for more details as to how the guys' relationship evolved and managed to work out in that context; it seemed mostly idyllic and they even got to hold hands and kiss in public, rather unrealistically.

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(edited)

I debated whether I wanted to watch this.  Historical fiction interests me but given the era, I didn't know if I wanted to view a depressing story with innocent people being killed (which has been the case with every episode... even though a lot of them were redshirts, I still get affected by it).  However, the concept of intertwining lives and seeing each year of the war every season was intriguing, so I decided to give it a try.

I've caught up on the first four episodes, and so far, I find it engaging enough to continue.  

I'm disappointed to hear PBS cut out dialogue.  Now I don't know if the flaws are in the show itself or because of the editing.  Maybe I should have waited for the DVD.

I wish they would put a time stamp more often to indicate how much time had gone by.  

I agree that the characters themselves are not too likable, though I guess they aren't hateable either, with the exception of maybe Lois's brother.  Though he was a bit better after the naval battle.  I guess his character does have a lot of potential for growth.  The CGI of the ship wasn't that great, though.

In Britain, it was harder to warm to Lois after the whole car incident.  I liked Harry at the beginning, but then he became all wishy washy with the lies.  On paper, war stories focused on regular people are great, but it so often devolves into soap opera territory, as others cited above.  It's most evident with this story thread.  Harry on the front is an improvement, and I liked the insight he got on his father.

Lois's father and Harry's mother are slightly more interesting.  I think the only character on the show I fully like is Jan.  Though his character is limiting since he can't actually say anything.

On the war front, Kasia and Gregor alternate between being easy to root for and frustrating to watch.  I was very confused how Gregor was heading east to "Eastern Poland" and then somehow suddenly, they were seeing British troops.  I can see why Kasia's heart is hardening, and I'm sure the resistance did feel that killing any German soldier was a win.  But it makes it harder to root for her.  It's a bit disingenuous that they humanized Helen Hunt's German neighbor's son, who she saved, but then she let her partner kill some other nameless German soldier an episode later (and then vowed to kill 25 more after the firing squad).  War is senseless, but it's hard to connect with that.  It would be easier to identify with her, if she was hunting down the specific German who killed her mother, or if she had a more concrete goal like trying to smuggle people out of the country or steal intelligence.

I also find Helen Hunt to be very distracting (first time seeing her since "Mad About You"), and I'm not sure what she feels she is accomplishing with her reports given they were being severely edited.  The Germans might as well just give her a script.  Did the British people listen to American news a lot?  Would the British not have their own reporter in Berlin?  Or was it more international back then?  I like the story with her neighbors, though.

The plotline with the doctor is Paris is sort of there.  I was worried they would get attacked after kissing out in public.  I can see their story becoming more prominent as the war progresses, though I'm worried for the trumpet player who will be a target.

Edited by Camera One
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I feel like there are just too many storylines, and characterization suffers accordingly. I think Robina and Douglas are the strongest characters, but that might just be the actors. I like Harry's sergeant and Kasia's partner (Tomasz?). I don't mind Kasia, and I don't even mind her becoming a ruthless killer, but her character feels kind of flat at the moment. I like Gregorz more than Kasia (even if their opposite reactions to watching their parents die is a bit too on-the-nose), but so far his storyline has basically just been running around and coughing. I enjoy Harry's scenes because the actor is so pretty, but the character has left me kind of "meh" these past few episodes. Though I am intrigued by whatever happened to the father... previously I thought they said or implied that he killed himself, but I'm unclear when (does Harry remember him?), and now we find out (or did we already know?) that he was a coward in battle and/or made poor leadership choices... maybe kind of a parallel to Douglas's war experience? I don't really care about Lois, Tom, or Helen Hunt. I want to care about the doctor, but we haven't seen much of him, and even less of the musician boyfriend, so I don't really have anything to care about yet. Jan is awesome, though.

The Canadian series X Company did a far better job at showing the moral dilemmas of resistance workers as well as the subplot of euthanizing "defective" children. Granted X Company didn't tend to focus much on actual battles or the homefront, but again, I  think that's World on Fire's problem-- it's just trying to do too much.

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I echo everyone else who's saying there's a lot going on, but I would say my favorite standouts are definitely Robina, Kasia, and Douglas. I love Jonah Hauer-King's acting as Harry as well, and am really excited to see him in TLM.

Overall I would say it's definitely entertaining, and has been a great way to spend a Sunday night.

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Some of the dialogue cut from last episode was great stuff with Harry/Stan. They did it again here. Especially badly done, PBS. I am glad I bought the DVD, not just to get what I am supposed to from the show, but because there is just so much going on here. It still results in some fill in the blanks on my part. 

Such as... The men emerging from the mist... Only four and Harry’s exhausted and dejected face told me the remainder of his men are dead or maimed? I think Harry shielding the lost Claudette from the horrors around her until he got her to what he prays is a safe place allowed him to visualize and fully appreciate what Kasia did with Jan. You shield and remove children from war rather than allow them to exist in the midst of one if you can possibly prevent it. 

I am rooting for Kasia to get out. The killing is killing her. I share the discomfort with what she is doing, but I remember the girl we met, her sacrifice, her mother shot in her arms and her bombed out city. The fog of war, you know, and no one left as a touchstone but her hardened resistance friend. I also think Bowker goes out of his way not to have strict heroes and heroines based on interviews I have read. He is all about the flawed as we all are to varying degrees. That’s fine, but keep them in likable territory too if we are supposed to root for them. Lois? Am I? 

Webster and Albert the Jazz man in the hospital carnage and chaos... Again, GTFO. 

Getting rid of that body with easygoing Nancy should have been the final push Herr Rossler needed to get his wife and daughter out, if not himself as I get their son is a reluctant Nazi soldier. 

“Pied Piper” officer and a gentleman Harry is indeed charismatic. His tough love with Stan’s prejudice and wound and refusal to abandon the shell-shocked men he saw and finally understood his father in was profoundly moving and heroic. Harry seeing Robina in Stan made me chuckle. Similar prejudices and calling out Harry on his s***. Seriously, though, they both wanted/want him to be best that he can be, pardon the pun, and I think he’s come a long way. The salute from Stan when Harry dismissed him made me tear up as did Stan’s guilty face on the boat at having left Harry behind. I hope we see Stan again and that round with the not so “typical officer.” I see what the Hollywood studio saw on that beach. The look Jonah’s Harry gave that vile creep after he handled him. 

I do not think forsaken without warning meant the same to Robina as it did to Douglas based on the look on her face. Robina is caring for Harry’s young brother-in-law his wife heroically and selflessly sent in her place to save him and he is at war in harms way avenging her loss. Harry’s baby with Lois has her head spinning and placing blame, I gather. She’s Harry’s mother and whatever her clear failings, has his back in this, the way Douglas has Lois’ back. Watch yourself slating someone to his or her mother. 

I gather Harry was never allowed to kick a ball around. Douglas storming to Robina to see if she knew something... She is worried out of her mind too, but tries to bury it, which makes sense—her father was a military surgeon and it’s clear she was taught not to convey emotion from the cradle. And this war is an equalizer when it comes to information about loved ones in the line of fire. I know from family you went an inhumane amount of time not knowing anything at all. It was months (!) before my cousin, also deployed, learned his brother was killed. His CO helped him get through it.

Connie is a great friend to Lois. It was... interesting... to see Lois reference Harry when Connie was worried about Eddie. And as you cannot write a woman whose address you do not have, Lois ended up giving Vernon the envelope from an old letter from Harry when he was at university that she carries around with her. So much for she does not want him back... She wants the iPhone 4 version of Harry, though, that doesn’t exist any more. 

Is Lois trying to out Harry with the seemingly nice anarchist Vernon on the slick sly to try and force his hand? Harry knows he messed up having sex and unprotected sex at that with her resulting in her pregnancy, hence his I am not kind to Geoff. I remember Lois sneering/smirking at Harry when he was about to cry after he found out. She lost me totally on the spot. She has known this has not been about her with Harry from the get go, with the “can we be pals again” cherry on top, and she is p*****. 

The school photo of Lois that Harry carries with that of him with his wife and his in-laws made a striking contrast. She’s still fundamentally the girl in that photo. He is worlds away from the “posh boy” as Tom called him that she gave the photo to... Love and war made a man of him. 

Grzegorz and Tom... Oh boy. More family drama queueing up for series 2? We’ll see. Tom is just so utterly foul. Douglas and his “bloody minded” wife produced quite a pair. 

Hand waving how Grzegorz managed to get to Dunkirk, especially in his condition. I think the fantastical nature of the show with the cavalcade of coincidences that knit it together is part of what I like about it, quite honestly. I also think they nailed the casting, especially for Harry (Jonah is so very nice to look at), Kasia (the look and feel of Zofia and Jonah together reminds me of Downton’s Dockery and Stevens, only better for Stevens reasons), Robina, Douglas and Jan. 

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Concerning Kasia being a serial killer who specializes in German soldiers: it doesn't do anybody any good, and doesn't serve the resistance in any way, but I absolutely understand it. Don't underestimate the brutality of the German army in WWII, and don't underestimate the hatred engendered by that brutality. Kasia's story makes me think of Tania Chernova, the Russian sniper who saw it as her mission to break as many German "sticks" as possible after her parents were murdered by them.

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I had mixed feelings about this episode centered around the evacuation at Dunkirk.  It almost felt like the episode was elsewhere, because Harry and company didn't actually spend much time on the beach.  It was admirable of him to look after the shell shocked men, but having a whole bunch of them together felt a little too out there.  I enjoyed the loyal yet contrary relationship between Harry and the sergeant.  

The war scenes in France were pretty cinematic, so the brief cutaways to Poland or Manchester or wherever the girls were singing made the episode feel disjointed.  

Of those subplots, it was more of the same with Kasia and her partner, so I guess it was to remind us they existed.  I would have expected more with Lois' brother showing the naval side of the evacuation, but nope.  

The scenes with Lois really dragged.  The pilot she had tea with gave off some creepy vibes.  

Grzegorz showing up out of nowhere was random.  If he had to be there, bumping into Harry would have been nice.

They did a good job showing Lois's father literally going crazy from worry.  I really felt for him when he was using the magnifying glass on the newspaper photos looking for his son.  I think this was the only unique perspective that I hadn't seen before.  Of course, Harry's mother's approach is ignorance is bliss, though I expected her to show up later in the episode.

I still like seeing that German family with the daughter, though that father really is his own worst enemy.  He joined the party but he couldn't make nice with that disgruntled employee of his?  What makes him think Helen Hunt would know how to get rid of a body?  At least that makes her slightly more interesting, though you'd think they would toss the body into the ocean under the cover of night.  I hope they thought about the currents, so it doesn't wash up somewhere.  Clearly, it wouldn't look like an accidental drowning.

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(edited)
7 hours ago, MJ Frog said:

Concerning Kasia being a serial killer who specializes in German soldiers: it doesn't do anybody any good, and doesn't serve the resistance in any way, but I absolutely understand it. Don't underestimate the brutality of the German army in WWII, and don't underestimate the hatred engendered by that brutality. Kasia's story makes me think of Tania Chernova, the Russian sniper who saw it as her mission to break as many German "sticks" as possible after her parents were murdered by them.

I see Kasia as an amalgamation of female resistance fighters. This group made me think of her as well. History.com

Edited by ComeWhatMay
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6 hours ago, ComeWhatMay said:

I see Kasia as an amalgamation of female resistance fighters. This group made me think of her as well. History.com

Wow. THAT is a story. It would be interesting to see a series about the two sisters.

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Three main things struck me about the episode:

Robina's statement that she's glad that France and Belgium fell because now Mr. Hitler would be coming to the table was a nice way of showing that kind of Briton who thought that 'Mr. Hitler' was Our Kind of People and could be reasonable, as opposed to those of her own country like Douglas who were just too different.  (Sean Bean did an amazing job in this episode with his frantic worrying.)

Lois' pianist friend telling the soldier that he didn't sound Canadian struck a very wrong note. Surely someone living in England knows that accents vary from region to region. Also Canada was in the war from the beginning, fighting alongside the British while it took until after Pearl Harbor for the Americans to join so her default assumption should have been that he's a Canadian.

Harry was better this episode, showing both leadership and empathy. I'm glad Geoff didn't die in the bombing.

19 hours ago, Camera One said:

I still like seeing that German family with the daughter, though that father really is his own worst enemy.  He joined the party but he couldn't make nice with that disgruntled employee of his? 

He never believed in the cause but he joined the party because he had to in order to remain in charge of the factory and also as an attempt to keep his family safe.  He was terrified that they would be coming for his daughter any day to eliminate her because she was inferior.

There could be no making nice with the woman employee. She believed that she was superior because she was a party member and she was going to turn him in unless he gave in to her every order. I'm too young to know about the time of the Nazis but my parents told me stories about people like that from the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe. You had to do what they wanted because they had all the power as True Party Members.

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