WWI Tunnels of Death: The Big Dig

The Killing Fields

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Killing Fields



First of a two-part programme documenting the work of archaeologists over the course of eight months as they explore First World War battlefields near the village of Messines in Belgium. Accompanied by military historians Peter Doyle and Paul Reed and specialists in bomb disposal and ordnance clearance, the team, led by Simon Verdegem, uncovers well-preserved trenches, bunkers and tunnels from the Western Front. Against the background of the dig, the story is revealed of how the stalemate was finally broken by the detonation of huge mines underneath the German lines, creating the biggest explosion the world had ever seen and killing thousands in the process.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Benedict Cumberbatch
Executive Producer John Farren
Series Director John Hayes Fisher
Series Producer John Hayes Fisher