Thursday 17 October 2013

The BBC's coverage of the First World War

You can find an anthology of teasers for the BBC's centenary coverage of the First World War here. Yours truly appears at 10:04, introducing Ivor Gurney. From these brief highlights, the programmes look very promising. The BBC has evidently thought about how to challenge prevailing myths, hence much discussion about the necessity of the War, and more importantly, the necessity of winning it. Also apparent are attempts to move away from the Western Front: attention is given to the role of women at home, and to the fact that this was a world war (the clue being in the name, after all).

History, particularly social history, dominates throughout. Poetry is accommodated via the Gurney documentary and a programme exploring some of the writers who fought at the Somme. I hope that the BBC will commission more documentaries about the art and literature of the War over the next five years.

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