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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 March 2005
This is nearly the same review I wrote for Amazon USA, but I want the U.K. to know how wonderful this production is. Somewhere I read a review saying this was a rehash of the 70's series, "Enemy at the Door." Believe me, this is way ahead of that, richer, more beautiful, and we in the States are dumbstruck it wasn't better received in England. If it were possible, I would give Island at War 10 stars. It is the most magnificent series the Brits have ever sent us, and I've seen a lot of them. I truly hope there is more to come, although I read that the writer, Stephen Mallatratt, died tragically last November. Let's hope someone else can pick up where he left off, it is just way too good to end here. The only glitch is, the DVDs have been somewhat abridged compared to what I taped from Masterpiece Theatre, perhaps a half hour's worth of scenes. However, what is there is fantastic, and the principals are absolutely marvelous, especially Baron von Rheingarden, Felicity, and James. I can't get enough of it. If it were a movie, I would give Philip Glenister an Oscar, his portrayal of the Baron is brilliant, witty and an absolute delight. It is truly an excellent cast and a fascinating story. I highly recommend it. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone involved in this great production...
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on 24 November 2007
Having thorougly enjoyed this on TV I was desperate to obtain on DVD and have not been disappointed when re-watching it. Although it is only a few years since on TV it is interesting to see a few of the actors e.g. Laurence Fox becoming more well known. Scenery was magnificent and the acting made me feel for the islanders during this awful time. Am sure it depicted a good view of what happened on the channel islands during the war.
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on 16 October 2010
After the British and French armies had been beaten in France by the German army in July 1940 and the British had withdrawn from France and the Channel Islands it was widely believed on both sides of the English Channel that it was only a matter of time before landings took place on the south coast of England. The inhabitants of the Channel Islands fearfully awaited the arrival of the Germans and they preceded their arrival by bombing and straffing the harbour of St George killing several people. The Germans later claimed they thought the British army were still there preparing to defend the island. The Germans army landed unopposed soon afterwards and the long years of occupation began. As in other countries occupied by the Germans in western Europe the people had to decide whether to actively oppose their occupiers or try to endure the occupation as best they could not knowing if the British would be defeated or if they would ever be liberated.

"Island at war" tells the story of the relationship between the occupied and the occupiers and how this changed when an attempt by two British soldiers who landed by boat failed in its attempt to gather intelligence when they had to kill a German soldier who came across them shortly after they landed and their presence was revealed. A manhunt began and the consequences for all concerned were tragic. The Germans are portrayed as either bullies who throw their weight around as occupying soldiers before and since have done or sympathetic to the islanders situation and the islanders are portrayed as either hating their occupiers and working against them when they can or cosying up to them to make life easier or tolerable for themselves. It was the eternal dilema about what people should have done in countries occupied by the Germans during the second world war - to resist or not resist a ruthless force that was much stronger than yourself. Thank God that we in Britain were never called upon to make this choice.

The series is extermely well made, the acting is fine throughout and it intelligently examines the dilema shown in many films about the second world war of how an occupied people should react when they are invaded and liberation is unlikely, uncertain or many years off at best. Philip Glenister and James Wilby are especially good and the production is gripping and the stories are absorbing. It's a pity that a second series was not made as this series showed great promise and many other stories could have been told.
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on 25 May 2009
After reading the reviews on Amazon, I decided to buy this and really enjoyed every single epsoide. It's a affecting and haunting six part drama of how the Germans invaded Saint Gregory and how it changed many lifes for better or worse. The Dorrs are intresting to watch, finding out their son has returned from war but is a spy and there is something rather intense betweeen Mrs Dorr and the Baron. The Mahys lose the head of their family, their shop and one of the daughters falls for a German. The Jonases have a tougher time as they struggle through questions and the head of the family becoming the driver of the Baron. I do advice people to watch this through without stopping as it's very intense viewing but well worth the hours put in. If there ever was a second series like many want, I want it to focus on the building relationship between Mrs Dorr and The Baron as it was intresting to watch. Everyone played their parts well but it was really Philip Glenister that took my breath away, he was stunning and provided surpising sex appeal. He was the top of the lot, a tough German on the outside but inside very human and that's what could be found disturbing to many. So I recommend this series to anyone who likes world war dramas, a intense story line or just seeing a cast acting their socks off.
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on 2 April 2007
I was quite suprised at this DVD, as I only brought it because my favorite actor Julian Wadham is in it. So I was delighted to see all the other actors in this were exceptional as well, especially Phillip Glenister who plays the baron. After watching him in the television series Life on Mars, I thought it would be quite comical watching him do a German accent, but he pulled it off really well, and you forget that he is actually doing this. Brilliant production, Brilliant Cast, just a shame Julian Wadham gets killed in the first hour.
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on 19 November 2012
I didn't see this when it was televised but recently became interested in the German occupation of the Channel islands and based on the reviews decided to give it ago. The programme itself is quite good and I'm enjoying it. I'd enjoy it even more if every fifteen minutes or so the screen didn't go black and title come up. Then the title comes up again and the action resumes. Why? because the numpty who edited it for DVD didn't take out the advertising breaks!!! Oh you don't get any actual adverts just the annoying interruption of the title coming up not once but twice every fifteen minutes. A perfect way to destroy any kind of dramatic tension and frankly one of the laziest pieces of editing I've ever had the misfortune to see. What a let down. I doubt I'll watch this to the end and it will find its way onto marketplace very shortly. I just hope someone with more patience than me will be willing to buy it.
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on 28 September 2015
This is really great.I watched the TV series many years ago and thought it was excellent then. I know that it is probably not historically correct in every sense and that everyday life under Nazi rule was probably much harder than portrayed but nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think the acting is superb,especially Philip Glenister.He never forces the German accent which is hard to get right and you start to believe that he is actually the character he is portraying.In fact I was totally immersed in it as if it (the storyline) was actually true.All the actors are extremely convincing.Also some lovely scenery of the Isle of Mann which was used as the Channel Isles.Personally I think a second series would not have been as good as this as all the stories were told,unless the romances were carried on.Really enjoyable and interesting.
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on 7 January 2012
This is no cosy little wartime home front story, I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end and in fact couldn't watch more than one episode at a time. Brilliant plot, acting and scenery. I would recommend it to anyone.
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on 18 August 2005
I saw this in TV last autumn and absolutely loved it, but I don't understand why the dvd has been released as region 1, when in Europe we are in region 2!!
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on 12 December 2011
i recently purchased this dvd having watched the original story on tv some years ago.Great entertainment and acting as it should be compared to some of the rubbish programmes on tv today. Would recommend this to anyone to purchase with a slight caution about one or two sexual scenes albeit they are part of the story but may not be appropiate for younger children to watch.
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