In “World on Fire,” ordinary people wade through history’s most destructive war
“World on Fire” follows the hidden lives of ordinary people from Britain, Poland, France, Germany, and the United States during World War II.
There is a lot of TV series about World War II centered on the generals, dictators, or some heroes we don’t know about what. “World on Fire” focuses on ordinary people. It’s also not really about a certain well-known historical battle. The series is all about how certain individuals in Europe deal with the war. Their actions and the consequences of it lead them to cross each other’s lives.
As a sign of veering away from the ordinary, there are no Jews in here, either. In London, there’s Douglas, a pacifist father (played by Sean Bean) with his daughter Lois (Julia Brown) who applied as an entertainer for the soldiers at the battlefront. The lead actor here is Jonah Hauer-King who plays Harry Chase. He’s a British diplomat who has a somewhat complicated relationship with Lois. King has the most interaction with the majority of the cast, his character having been commissioned into the British Army.
The story will take us to Warsaw and Paris, during their fall to the hands of the Nazis, to the escaping soldiers in Dunkirk, and to Berlin itself. In the German capital, Nany Campbell (played by Helen Hunt) is an American journalist who is trying to broadcast the truth to the world. Not only what the Nazis are doing on the battlefield, but the effect of their “race purge” on the very people of Germany. Max Riemelt (from “Sense8”) is also here but sadly his role as a Nazi censor is not that exciting. Compared to the role of his “Sense8” co-star Brian J. Smith who plays a gay American doctor in Paris with a relationship to a black jazz musician.
So you see, there’s no shortage of intriguing characters and their stories here. With the backdrop of the war (and your knowledge of it), this is as satisfying as watching a war documentary. The individual stories are beautifully interspersed. The focus on the lives of individual characters, who are very far from the usual stories of World War II characters, makes this series extraordinary.
Sky god Worthy (5 out of 5 stars). I’m not sure about the accuracy of some of the depicted scenes here. But you know what, who cares? “World on Fire” is a masterpiece of BBC and PBS simply because it focuses on the struggles of ordinary people. Delving into their every action that is dictated by the war. How their stories were portrayed was brilliant, to say the least.
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