BBC Somme thing

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by barbarasson, Jul 2, 2006.

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  1. What did people think of the BBC Somme thing? I see that Gary Sheffield was lead historical consultant. Fundamentally I felt it was a little half-cocked. The premise it set itself was absolutely fine, as was the general argument it put across. However, I the programme was far too brief to fully develop its argument. I fear it will be savaged in review, and will not convince those who take the Blackadder view of hidtory. An opportunity missed. Hopefully when Sheffield's biography of Haig comes out next year he will get a chance to put his view across on a serious programme. Nevertheless, I remain a fan of this drama/doc style the bbc has done recntly, with the DDay version being a notable success. When will the BBC pull their fingers out and do a programme of equal quality for 14th Army?
  2. I think it would have been better had it been on for longer, it felt a little rushed to me.
  3. forgot to add, even though it was meant to be about the whole battle and the way lessons were learned, it was 35 minutes before they got off the first day, and then they jumped to September, missing things like the night attack of 14/15 July. However, I must say in its defence it did chose interesting and not often used examples for unit actions. However, did it mention Haig or Rawlinson once? Perhaps this was deliberate, to take focus off the individual. When Channel 4 did a 2 hour job on the Somme recently, they totally focussed on Rawlinson, not haig.
  4. I think they had to tread a bit canny so as not to get dragged into the quite vicious enmity there was between our generals and pollys. This in itself would make a fascinating programme but, examined properly, would have drowned out the Somme story. Another thing I felt was overlooked was the scale of losses elsewhere - in that respect the programme made Somme look unique.
  5. Perhaps we are missing the point here, those in the forces know roughly what happened, having insider's knowledge as it were and so know the mistakes, the characters, the heroic sacrifces. However, this was a programme to the general public who may have no idea about history except that we won the war, and it was pointed out, people only know of the first day of the battle. Ask anyone when it finished and why it was planned, no-one but a few will know. If it was going to be a "heavy documentary" it would be on BBC2 on a Thursday night at 11pm, not prime time on BBC1
    I thought it was done well to whet the appetites of the public to go and find out more about it. For instance, I did not know tanks were used. My own great great uncle was killed at the Somme (in early September) so I will now go and find out more about it. That, I think, is the point of this kind of programme. Long may they continue.
  6. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Why would the Bair Broardcasting Service want to make a longer documentary? They have far more important 'projects' to spend OUR licence fee on! Topical programmes like Celebrity Ballroom Dancing,Eastenders, that sort of thing!
    Not a bad effort tho.Althought I agree it was a bit rushed.
  7. Re the point about being 'for all' Firstly, that doesn't mean you have to dumb down (see the similar programmes on ww2 last year). Secondly, given the tenor of the narrative the virgin Great War viewer might well be left wondering why it took another two years to defeat the Germans, as the programme left with such a rosey outlook.
  8. On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the programme, saving its "vignette" rich, actual history poor character. The relationship between Moreland and Rawlinson would also have been interesting to have explored. It was refreshing to see the Somme Battle described as a multi-month affair and not just some abortive suicide mission on the 1st of July 1916. Basically the Somme offensive achieved all of its aims and you would have been hard-pressed not to give Haig a good OJAR!

    Good to see a lot more of the German point of view. Try lying on the German first line at Hamel and look back towards the Caribou. It gives a tremendous sense of how critical those tiny rises in height were. Redan ridge is even more striking.
  9. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Not bad, but not in the same vein as Saving Private Ryan as promised by the press.
  10. I think the program was very well done. What we have to remember is that it was produced to be shown in a prime time slot and that most viewers of the British public have a very short attention span. The program appeared to be initiatally focused on the human factor and personalised the situation by use of the referal to the "Pals Bn" and especially the soldiers from Salford, this allowed the viewing public to make an immediate connection to the story being told. I believe it achieved its aim of making the public aware of the massive sacrifice paid by ordinary heroes in a time of great need.
  11. I bloody missed it anyone know if its going to be reshown on BBC2, 3,4, 5, 6, 7 - 99?
  12. A good show. Kept that nine year old of mine glued to the telly. I dunno if that was an attempt to stay up late

  13. Its being released as a DVD soon
  14. Genuinely? It was only 55 minutes.
  15. Yeah it had an advert at the end i think stating that it was being released.
    I'll check the BBC site