Is They Shall Not Grow Old on BBC iPlayer? How to watch Peter Jackson’s stunning First World War documentary online

The Lord of the Rings director's remarkable WWI centenary documentary is only available on iPlayer for one week

They Shall Not Grow Old

First World War film They Shall Not Grow Old is one of the highlights of the BBC’s Remembrance Day 2018 commemorations.


The documentary, by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, takes archive footage and revives it using the latest digital film technology.

Grainy, jumpy black and white silent film reels are transformed into full dramatic colour, bringing the soldiers’ stories, the scenes they witnessed and the lives they led on the Front Life to dramatic life.

“I wanted to reach through the fog of time and pull these men into the modern world, so they can regain their humanity once more – rather than be seen only as Charlie Chaplin-type figures in the vintage archive film,” Jackson said.

“By using our computing power to erase the technical limitations of 100 year old cinema, we can see and hear the Great War as they experienced it.”

The documentary has already aired on BBC2, but if you missed it first time round or want to watch again, find out how to watch They Shall Not Grow Old online below.

Is They Shall Not Grow Old on BBC iPlayer?

The documentary, unlike most BBC shows, is only available on iPlayer for a limited period. It will be available for just one week after broadcast, meaning viewers will only be able to watch They Shall Not Grow Old on iPlayer until Sunday 18th November 2018. Watch here.

A behind the scenes documentary with Peter Jackson about the making of the documentary will also be shown on the BBC.

The programme, part of BBC4’s What Do Artists Do All Day? strand of documentaries, is on BBC4 on Monday 12th November at 7.30pm and available on iPlayer soon after.

Can I watch They Shall Not Grow Old online anywhere else?

A number of clips of They Shall Not Grow Old have been made available online as teaching resources for UK schools.

Visit the 14-18 NOW website here to find out more. Copies of the film are also set to be distributed to UK schools.


This page will be updated with more information when it becomes available.