3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Damn and blast!,
This review is from: Danger UXB: The Complete Series Special Edition [DVD]  (DVD)Damn and blast! This is the second time I have watched my way through all 13 episodes in less than 12 months and once again I have got to the end of the last programme and been left itching for more. This really is (possibly?) one of the best series of its type from the 1970s. It ticks all the boxes: excellent scripts, convincing acting, superb production. Throughout, there is a realistic invocation of London in wartime. At the heart of the series for me is the incredible transformation of the central character of Brian Ashe from university undergrad to consummate professional. It takes enormous acting skill to grow a character in this way and Anthony Andrews handles this superbly. He is helped by a supporting cast who create highly believable characters that you enjoy watching. Ian Cuthbertson who I remember far better as the east end villain Charlie 'Endle in 'Budgie' does a superb job as a robust academic and Maurice Roeves as Seargent James is the most convincing S'arnt Major I've seen yet.
But what you must appreciate about this series is the research that went into the individual programmes which is based on absolute fact, as far as the bomb disposal is concerned. In fact, I watched the series a second time because in between I read Danger UXB by James Owen. Having read more deeply a factual account I found myself realising as I watched the series again just how true to life and fact are the episodes. In particular episodes like "Cast Iron Killer" which deals with the removal of the contents of bombs through the "Steam Steriliser", "17 Seconds to Glory" which investigates the use of parachute mines and the "Butterfly Winter" which concentrates on the use of antipersonal devices.
In addition to Andrews, Cuthbertson and Roeves you will also be entranced by Judy Geeson (in possibly one of her best ever roles) and early work by Kenneth Cranam (destined for bigger and better things) and George Innes.
Although the last episode was in 1979, this entire series has not dated (imho) and in fact benefits from the lower budget and lack of effects to communicate through a magnificent total package the tension, dangers and sacrifice of bomb disposal in WWII. If only some enterprising production company would realise that with a new cast it is would still be worth continuing the series until the end of WWII.