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The World At War

Premier :: 1973-10-31

Airs :: Wednesday 9:00 PM on Thames Television

Genre :: Documentary

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Originally broadcast in 1973 as 26 one-hour programmes, The World at War sets out to tell the story of the Second World War through the testimony of key participants. The result is a unique and unrepeatable event, since many of the eyewitnesses captured on film did not have long left to live. Each hour-long programme is carefully structured to focus on a key theme or campaign, from the rise of Nazi Germany to Hitler's downfall and the onset of the Cold War. There are no academic "talking heads" here to spell out an official version of history; the narration, delivered with wonderful gravitas by Sir Laurence Olivier, is kept to a minimum. The show's great coup was to allow the participants to speak for themselves. Painstaking research in the archives of the Imperial War Museum also unearthed a vast quantity of newsreel footage, including on occasion the cameraman's original raw rushes which present an unvarnished and never-before-seen picture of important events. Carl Davis' impressive score underlines the grand scale of the enterprise.

Latest Episode

Series 0 - Episode 9 - Making the Series: A 30th Anniversary Retrospective
Aired - 09 November 2006

Episode summary:

In this 2 hour 30th Anniversary retrospective, we commemorate the original 1973 broadcast with new interviews with the makers of the programme.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 1

+ Episode - 26 Remember Aired - 08 May 1974
+ Episode - 0 The Making Of Aired - Air date unknown.

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