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World on Fire

Series 1 - Episode 3



War turns lives on their heads, and inevitably too worlds collide, which is the case for embittered former lovers Lois and Harry (Julia Brown and Johan Hauer-King). Harry is with his Army unit in northern France when who should turn up with an Ensa party to entertain the troops but singer Lois.

This is no gushing reunion, though, as Peter Bowker’s taut saga pitches us headfirst into the horrors of combat and the overwhelming sadness of separation, and regret. Meanwhile Lois’s annoying brother Tom (Ewan Mitchell) is in the Navy aboard HMS Exeter, mainly to avoid the attentions of the Manchester police.

He’s an oikish ne’er-do-well, but maybe he’s not the irredeemable boor he seems after he confronts an epic tragedy with bravery and brusque kindness. There’s nothing his pacifist dad (Sean Bean) can do back home but rage at the radio news in despair.


After enlisting in the Royal Navy, Tom finds himself on board the HMS Exeter in pursuit of German pocket battleship the Graf Spee, and Tom watches the carnage and death around him as a huge naval battle ensues in the South Atlantic. Harry crosses paths with Lois again when she arrives to perform at the BEF base camp in France, while Robina steps in to defend Jan in the playground. In Berlin, Nancy is shocked by rumours of sick children being forcefully taken to clinics and killed and decides to investigate for herself.

Cast & Crew

Douglas Bennett Sean Bean
Nancy Campbell Helen Hunt
Robina Chase Lesley Manville
Lois Bennett Julia Brown
Connie Knight Yrsa Daley-Ward
Harry Chase Jonah Hauer-King
Tom Bennett Ewan Mitchell
Kasia Tomaszeski Zofia Wichlacz
Claudia Rossler Victoria Mayer
Schmidt Max Riemelt
Grzegorz Tomaszeski Mateusz Wieclawek
Uwe Rossler Johannes Zeiler
Jan Tomaszeski Eryk Biedunkiewicz
Tomasz Tomasz Zietek
Ludwig Rad Kaim
Frau Pessler Helene Grass
Klaus Rossler Bruno Alexander
Alena Eva Josefikova
Ted Jack Deam
Konrad Borys Szyc
Hilda Rossler Dora Zygouri
Stan Raddings Blake Harrison
Campbell Patrick Kennedy
Joe Broughton Ceallach Spellman
Taffy Morgan Matthew Aubrey
Norman Thomas Dylan
Mrs Gray Lizzie Phillips
Terry Nicholas Nunn
Vic Adam Hugill
Henry Josef Davies
Arnold Mikey Collins
Frau Galash Katinka Auberger
Frau Klopp Pani Rihova
Dr Voller Bernhard Schutz
SS officer Jiri Bohm
Clinic guard Vaclav Jiracek
Postman Anthony Hunt
Farmer Zbigniev Kalina
Russian soldier Michal Sieczkowski
Director Thomas Napper
Executive Producer Peter Bowker
Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton
Executive Producer Damien Timmer
Executive Producer Lucy Richer
Executive Producer Helen Ziegler
Executive Producer Peter Nadermann
Producer Nickie Sault
Producer Callum Devrell-Cameron
Series Producer Chris Clough
Writer Peter Bowker
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