First impressions can not only be deceptive, they can be wildly inaccurate.
When I saw the start of the first episode, in which the presenter introduces himself with "I'm 'arry 'arris, London cab driver an' 'istory guide", I thought "cocky, irritating little Cockney", and expected the worst.
Very quickly I had to eat copious helpings of humble pie. Harris turns out to be a marvellous presenter for this series. Like many of us born after the war in a (fairly) free country, Harry is in awe of "the greatest generation" who made it possible for us to live without the yoke of tyranny.
Harris' reverence towards these now-elderly people pervades the series, leading to many memorable moments. There is the genuine shock shown by Harris when he interviews the lady who was prepared to carry out a suicide pact with her husband if the Germans had succeeded with "Operation Sea lion", the Nazi plan to invade Britain.
Then there is Harris' disarmingly spontaneous gesture of gratitude when he embraces a pair of Battle of Britain fighter pilots, kissing them on the cheek. "What men!" declares Harris, "You're heroes!" Typically, the former Hurricane pilot and former Spitfire pilot deny that they are any such thing. Harris is having none of it - and rightly so. "You saved our country" he insists.
And most memorable of all is the episode in which Harris follows the journey of a single US soldier, an ordinary infantryman, from his billet in Devon, through the D-day landings, to the corporal's final resting place. As Harris reads the inscription on the tombstone, his voice falters and he bursts into tears.
Harry Harris not only takes the viewer into some intriguing byways of WW2 history, he has personified the awe, respect, gratitude and affection that postwar Britons feel (or should feel) towards an earlier generation whose courage and resilience gave us the freedoms we enjoy today.
"The debt remains, and will increase."