Customer Review

5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but let down by the production teams attention to detail, 21 Sep 2010
This review is from: Joe Maddison's War [DVD] (DVD)
I have rewritten this review as I have added quite a bit to the original, and what I write below are a few of my observations on this programme.

Joe Maddison (Kevin Whatley) in the programme is seen wearing medal ribbons as a veteran of the First World War (1914-15 Star Trio), as is his friend, Harry (Robson Green) - see the picture above of the DVD cover.

Throughout the whole programme the continuity regarding these medals and ribbons is dreadful. One minute Maddison is seen wearing them correctly, the next they are upside down and worn the wrong way round, then they suddenly disappear altogether, and this is all in the same scene !

If someone was wearing a jacket in a scene, then in a cut away shot they are suddenly wearing it back to front or it disappears altogether, it would be pulled up immediately. This is no different and shows a complete lack of respect by the production team as to what those medal ribbons represented. Almost every single aspect of their use, even on the remembrance parade the lads attended, was wrong.

If they can get things like this correct in Blackadder and Dad's Army, I certainly expect it to be correct in a production like this.

I understand this is only a minor point, but this and the continuity in this programme was extremely sloppy throughout.

Moving on.......

Both Joe and Harry had been deeply affected by their experiences in the Great War, with Joe crying in his sleep and Harry regularly unsettled, so we are told. This, however, was never expanded upon to show how this dreadful war affected so many of the young men of their generation and I felt it was a wasted opportunity.

When Harry strikes his commanding officer the Major (Derek Jacobi), you'd expect all hell to break loose and the full weight of the Army brought down on him. Not at all, he gets let off with a warning, as do all the other lads in the Home Guard for going 'on strike' - totally unbelievable.

Another point I found quite amazing was just after the above incident when Joe comes across a unexploded bomb, which suddenly goes off. Instead of a bomb it was like a large firework going off, and although he was only a matter of yards away there seemed to be little if any damage around him that wasn't there already. In reality this bomb would have taken out several houses and him as well with the blast.

Finally we have Joe's son, who was flying with RAF Bomber Command as Sergeant Aircrew and apparently did around 50 missions, yet he was not wounded, promoted or even decorated and finished the war still as a Sergeant - again unbelievable.

All this aside the programme moves at a rapid pace as it races through the Second World War, interspersed with actual footage from the period as the two lads join the Home Guard and do their bit. The acting and script is fine, however, I thought the production over all was poor and I blame them and not the actors for all these errors and I was rather disappointed to say the least.

The programme passed an evening and was entertaining, but if this was an attempt by ITV at recreating another 'Foyle's War', then I'm afraid it fell well short of the mark especially with it's attention to detail - Two and a Half Stars.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Oct 2010 22:57:04 BDT
andrew buck says:
tell me again why you bothered watching it ??..... as for the full weight of the Army coming down once he "Pushed" is CO a push is a push and wouldnt warrant the full weight of the army on to him and just for the record, he was kicked out of the HG for his actions.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2012 12:29:50 GMT
Eyespy says:
Beacause you don't know what the standard of the product is until you've tasted it. Totally bleedin' obvious I would have thought. What a dumb comment.

Posted on 4 Jan 2012 12:46:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2012 12:48:37 GMT
Eyespy says:
Mr Chairman.I quite agree with you. Amateurish special effects, too much feel-good nostalgia, lack of attention to detail and no real character development. The latter criticism is because if this had been a mini-series instead of a 90 minute concoction I think it would have been so much better. Apparently 6 million watched the show in the UK so does it mean that there is still a market for this type of offering or was there nothing else on the other channels.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2014 00:42:31 BDT
To Mr.Chairman, it would appear your expectations if perfectionism are unrealistic. Why assume it's meant to replicate Foyle's War series, it isn't claimed to be. Why compare?
It's an entertaining lightweight famiy movie, not a military documentary.
To Eyespy, if it fails in your esteem at 85-minutes, how could such a lightweight proposition as a mini series succeed in your expectations? If there is no substance, as you imply, you're bound to deride a longer version. Half the attraction to watch it might be the cast, to see these esteemed actors work, but this might be lost on you, no matter what was on other channels. Your expectations also seem too high to be satisfied.
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