Helen Hunt leads cast for BBC1’s World War II drama World on Fire

The A Word's Peter Bowker has created the series, which tells the story of the first year of the Second World War

Getty, TL

Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt is set to lead the cast of new BBC1 World War II drama World on Fire.


The star best known for her Oscar-winning role in 1997 film As Good as It Gets will appear in the seven-part series, along with British star Lesley Manville.

Jonah Hauer-King (Laurie from Little Women), Julia Brown (Keri Summers in CBBC’s M.I. High), Brian J Smith (Sense 8’s Will Gorski), Parker Sawyers (Southside with You), Bruno Alexander (Eden) and Polish actress Zofia Wichlacz will also feature in the cast, with more actors still to be confirmed according to the BBC.

The series is written by Peter Bowker, the writer behind dramas including The A Word and Desperate Romantics.

Telling the story of the first year of the Second World War, World on Fire will explore the impact of the conflict on ordinary people from Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the United States.

As Bowker outlines, “World On Fire tells the hidden human stories within the big historical events we think we know. From Harry, a young English translator in Warsaw caught up in negotiations with the Nazis and trying to smuggle his Polish lover Kasia out of the country, to Lois, the girl who is waiting for him at home, a young Mancunian factory worker who will come to take all the opportunities the war can offer to live a different kind of life.

“To Nancy, a female US war correspondent who can’t find peace unless her life is at risk, to the Rossler family in Berlin, worried for their soldier son and willing to do anything to protect their disabled daughter from the attention of the ruling Nazi regime.

“These are the stories of the ordinary people who shaped our world. Stories of loyalty and brutality, courage and fear, hopes, stories of love and loss, hopes and dreams forged in extraordinary times.”


Filming begins in October 2018 in Prague; other filming locations include Manchester, London, Paris and Berlin.

Sign up for the free RadioTimes.com newsletter