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Battle of Britain & Bomber Boys Double DVD Box Set - Ewan McGregor - BBC1
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BOMBER BOYS Brothers Colin and Ewan McGregor follow up their documentary The Battle of Britain with a film exploring Bomber Command, a rarely-told story from the Second World War. The film focuses primarily on the men who fought and died in the skies above occupied Europe, with numerous examples of individual heroism and extraordinary collective spirit, and Colin learns to fly the key aircraft of the campaign: the Lancaster bomber. But this is also the story of a controversy that has lasted almost 70 years. The programme covers six years of wartime operations, and traces the obstacles and challenges that were overcome as the RAF developed and deployed the awesome fighting force that was Bomber Command. BATTLE OF BRITAIN There are few occasions in history when we can say that the actions of a few changed the destiny not just of a country - but of the world. The Battle of Britain is one of those moments. To mark the Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, arguably the most important event in modern British history, brothers Colin and Ewan McGregor present a ninety minute special for BBC1 leading us through the timeline of events during the height of the Battle. Colin is an R.A.F veteran of twenty years' service - Ewan a hero of the big screen and fledgling pilot himself. Together they take us on a journey to honour the heroes of 1940 both on the ground and in the air, bringing the story of the Battle of Britain to a new generation. They will take to the skies over Southern England as Spitfires and Hurricanes once again fly over the White Cliffs of Dover. They discover the legacy of the Battle and reveal the inspiring personal stories of the few who were there and those still with us today. Using great aerial footage mixed with impressive historical archive film material this is truly the definitive programme on the Battle of Britain.
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For instance, not only do we hear about the aircraft involved from the viewpoint of those who worked with them, but also we share the experiences of Colin McGregor, an RAF pilot with twenty years recent experience, as he learns to fly some of the few remaining examples of aircraft of the WW2 era.
The narrative is linked superbly by Ewan McGregor, who also involves himself in some of the attempts to empathize with the experiences of the WW2 veterans, for instance by re-creating what it might have been like to have been rescued from the sea. His interviews are also most coherent and his affable personality encourages a relaxed response from those with whom he interacts.
Surviving British and German aircrew and pilots of WW2 also discuss their experiences and some thought is given to the question as to why the bomber crews, whose risk of survival was so poor, were not given due recognition until many years after the war had ended.
The programmes also apply a sensitive focus on the perspectives of others caught up in the European airwar, including survivors of the bombings of German cities.
The only criticism I would make of this DVD set is that it does not include subtitles, which is somewhat surprising, as they were included in the original broadcasts.