Yesterday evening ITV aired the first in a four part series of The Great War- The People’s Stories. In partnership with the Imperial War Museum and in commemoration of the First World War, it tells the stories of soldiers at war and their loved ones they left behind all told through the letters sent and received during that time.
The first episode was very strong, using old news reels and photographs and opening with a letter from Winston Churchill declaring the start of the war in 1914 to set the scene before introducing viewers into the lives of four people, two soldiers, Reg Evans (Daniel Mays) and Alan Lloyd (Matthew McNulty) through the letters they wrote back home to both mother and wife, Dorothy (Claire Foy).
We also got an insight into the life of Dorothy Lawrence (MyAnna Buring) through her memoir as she disguises herself as a soldier in order to become a journalist and risks going to prison if she gets caught.
Through these letters and memoirs the viewer is given a general idea of what it was like to live in the time of war, both in the trenches and at home. Receiving huge news via letter rather than in person, news such as your son being born and not being there to witness it, just like we saw in the first episode with Alan Lloyd, and his wife Dorothy.
With a voiceover from Olivia Coleman to follow the soldiers on their journey to France and Ypres to the front line and a strong casting in Daniel Mays and Matthew McNulty as Reg Evans and Alan Lloyd and support from Claire Foy and MyAnna Buring. If the first episode of The Great War- The People’s Stories was anything to go by, then you will most certainly want to stay tuned to ITV for the next three weeks.
Did you watch the first episode? Share your thoughts on it below: