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Customer Review

on 26 July 2011
This remarkable series was televised at just the wrong moment: not that long after the *Colditz* series, and at a time when popular culture was focused on the nasty, brutish and short [in a word, punk]. Politics was a mess, the economic situation worse. So a slow drama about a tiny island in the Channel set in 1942 did not have a lot going for it. Which is a huge pity as it was very well written, very well acted, and nicely filmed, displaying a good sense of time and place without resorting to the complex trappings of more current period dramas.
Colditz had laid out a rather cliched 'good cop, bad cop' formula, and to an extent that is replicated here with the three-way tussles between Wehrmacht, SS and Feldpolizei....but the acting is better and more nuanced [little shouting, no screams of Jawohl!] and the weekly plots, woven within a longer arc of relations between civilians and their occupiers, were of course more complex than one could develop in a prison camp.
I watched both series 1 & 2 with great pleasure. It would have been a nice touch to find someone who could provide a little commentary on production and writing, but I suspect that most of the protagonists are no longer with us. I do wish we knew quite why the story ended as it did [no spoilers here!], but in a way it would have become harder to maintain any sort of narrative balance between the two sides as one moved towards 1944-5, so perhaps it was an early precursor of *The Office*--do your best work and then stop.
An excellent series, a very good DVD [the colours are a little flat but I've seen much worse] and well worth your time and money.
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