This is just a very quick post, an update really. I watched Part II of Birdsong, the BBC One TV drama based on Sebastian Faulk’s novel, on the weekend.
Here is what I wrote at the end of post I.
I didn’t mind watching it, I even liked it, but it isn’t great, it’s just very watchable. I’ll tell you my final impressions once I have watched part II.
Well, here are my final impressions. While part one was heavy on the romance element of the story, part two is much more about the war. The story is still told alternating flashbacks and episodes in 1919. Stephen has been at war for the whole duration of the war. Part II managed to change my view of the whole series completely and I have to say, I liked it a lot. I even thought that Eddie Redmayne was after all the perfect choice for this role of a heartbroken man trying to survive the horrors of the trenches.
Don’t miss it if you get the chance to watch it.
I watched it for the 2nd time and could not move from my seat. As entertainment goes it is well into the top quartile. The casual way death comes is chilling. Weir made a simple mistake jumping onto the parapet, and this after 3 years of warfare, and got his brains blown out by an alert sniper. Firebrace died after being involved in mining under trenches and so was conducting his war as a troglodyte. And it is all true in most respects. My only criticism is that the ‘away from the front’ scenes looked too clean. By this I mean that if you look at photographs of cities at that time, and well after, they were messy, ill maintained dumps with horse muck everywhere. This was a bit sanitised like the old western movies. Still; you can’t have a slattern for a love interest can you.
I feel I didn’t do it justice while watching part I but part II is really good and ties it all together. It’s true, now that you mention it, those streets and houses look a bit too good. The death scenes are well done, as absurd as they probably were.
I feel like watching it again as well.
What the heck is a “slattern”?
Thanks for the recommendation. I put it in my Netflix queue. Plus I have been on a WWI theme lately. You might note that after your review of part 1, I had no particular interest in watching it.
I understand your reluctance after part I but this is much better. But you have to be prepared for a romance heavy part I.
I suppose you would have chosen the word “bitch” instead of slattern or some such term.
I’ll return to WWI in my reading again in June.
[…] I knew about this miniseries from Caroline’s All About War Movie blog. I was quite intrigued by it and started downloading the series…unfortunately I didn’t like it as much as she did. You can read a better review for this series at All About War Movies, Episode 1 and Episode 2. […]
Personally I was disappointed by the series overall. That may be a little unfair because the book is one of the finest I’ve read so it had a lot to live up to. Alas, I didn’t feel the series quite captured the sheer black, claustrophobic terror of the men being trapped underground and of course in the book he was eventually rescued by a Jewish German officer rather than blasting his way out only to find that the raging battle of the Somme (historically in 1916) had suddenly turned into the armistace and ceasefire.
I love the book, not as much as Pat Barker’s Regeneration but a lot and, no, the series was not as good but it grew on me after a while. I’ve seen worse or maybe was just in the mood for it.