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The First World War

  • 2003
  • Season 1
  • 10 episodes
  • Documentary

Summary

The First World War is the definitive documentary series about the global conflict which shaped the 20th century. Based on the book by Hew Strachan, the series covers all aspects of the war.

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Episode 1: To Arms

Summary

Documentary based on the book by Hew Strachan, examining all aspects of the conflict. The first episode explores the roots of the war, examining whether Britain was persuaded to join because it wanted to defend small nations, or to protect her great empire. It also illustrates some examples of the brutality of the conflict in the early stages, which were to become a pattern throughout the next few years.
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This thorough 10-part documentary series, initially broadcast in 2003 on Channel 4 and based on Oxford University professor Hew Strachan’s book of the same name, traces the First World War from brewing unrest, through devastating conflict to uneasy peace, utilising rare archival footage, photos and documents. 

The first episode, To Arms, investigates tensions in the Balkans, while the second, Under the Eagle, follows the war to the Western Front. The tone is rigorous and academic. Actors reading eyewitness accounts, such as letters and diaries, adds a personal insight to monumental events.

How to watch

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Streaming

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
NarratorJonathan Lewis

Crew

rolename
DirectorBen Steele
ProducerBen Steele
ProducerJonathan Lewis

All episodes

  • Episode 1

    To Arms

    Summary

    Documentary based on the book by Hew Strachan, examining all aspects of the conflict. The first episode explores the roots of the war, examining whether Britain was persuaded to join because it wanted to defend small nations, or to protect her great empire. It also illustrates some examples of the brutality of the conflict in the early stages, which were to become a pattern throughout the next few years.
    Recommended

    Review

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    This thorough 10-part documentary series, initially broadcast in 2003 on Channel 4 and based on Oxford University professor Hew Strachan’s book of the same name, traces the First World War from brewing unrest, through devastating conflict to uneasy peace, utilising rare archival footage, photos and documents. 

    The first episode, To Arms, investigates tensions in the Balkans, while the second, Under the Eagle, follows the war to the Western Front. The tone is rigorous and academic. Actors reading eyewitness accounts, such as letters and diaries, adds a personal insight to monumental events.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Streaming

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    NarratorJonathan Lewis

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorBen Steele
    ProducerBen Steele
    ProducerJonathan Lewis
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