Saturday 27 September 2014

World War II in Colour

I must confess I normally inwardly cringe when I see any history programme appended with the words "In Colour" and I had no intention of watching the Channel 5 series World War Two in Colour, currently showing on Friday evenings. However I was channel hopping last Friday and caught a bit of the first episode about the invasion of Poland and subsequent Blitzkrieg campaign.

Whilst the colourisation of the black and white film is not always perfect (and I do wonder why the Germans have brown jackboots), overall it is very well done and, although I don't normally see the need for it, some of it adds a little something to the footage. I grabbed some screen grabs to show what I mean.

The programme is also quite interesting for a generic WW2 potted history. Last night's episode 'Britain at Bay' was not just about the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, indeed that only accounted for half the programme. It also covered the first commando raids on targets in Norway as well as the start of the SOE and Resistance in Europe.

Whilst there are undoubtedly better history programmes available, I was more impressed that I thought I would be by the first two of this series and will continue watching. The current episode is available in Channel 5 OD here.


  1. I caught some of this and there is some great footage... though I noticed on the odd occasion they 'filled' with generic shots like 'panzers rolling across fields'. It is fascinating, however, and rather than the potted history narrative, I'd quite like to know more about some of the film itself!

  2. Watched this last episode myself and enjoyed it. I generally tend to avoid these 'in colour' docs, but I did enjoy this one.

  3. I'll have to check it out.

    I am still working my way through the Soviet Storm series that you pointed out on Youtube a couple of weeks back (you didn't mention it was 18 episodes...).