The March to War

Series 1 - Episode 2 The March to War



This is really good, solid TV history. If that sounds like faint praise, it really isn’t. Most history programmes are so scared of viewers getting bored they end up being all window dressing and no shop.

David Starkey doesn’t need to worry about that: he knows that whatever his standing in popular culture he can still declaim a historical narrative like no one else on television. His simple, incisive account tonight of the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, where John Churchill (Winston’s great ancestor) “changed the political axis of the world” is a real eye-opener, and the director deserves a medal for restraint.


Historian David Starkey explains how writing a biography of his ancestor John, the first Duke of Marlborough, changed the way Winston Churchill was seen by the public and politicians, and so paved the way for his return to power. The first volume, published in 1933, reinforced the perception of him as a man past his time. But it was the second instalment, depicting John Churchill's march to the Danube and victory at Blenheim, which began to mark out Winston as the only leading politician who truly knew war.

Cast & Crew

Presenter David Starkey
Director David Sington
Executive Producer David Sington
Producer Heather Walsh
Current Affairs