The three-part drama focuses of the lives of five German friends during the Second World War (set between 1941 and 1945). The acquisition of the German drama comes as British broadcasters increasingly look abroad for dramas to fill its schedules with.
Arguably the recent trend, for showing foreign dramas, was started by BBC Four when it showed the acclaimed Danish drama series The Killing as well as the Swedish version of Wallander. BBC Four quickly picked up the rights to fellow Scandinavian dramas Borgen and The Bridge, the Italian drama Inspector Montalbano and the Australian drama The Slap. Channel Four recently showed the acclaimed supernatural French drama The Returned and will screen the second series next year.
Generation War will be the first foreign language series to premier on BBC Two since 2001.
BBC Two acquires Generation War – the 3×90-minute ground-breaking German drama will be the first foreign language series premiere on BBC Two since 2001 (The Kingdom, series two).
Generation War depicts the lives of five German friends from 1941-45; two brothers who become Wehrmacht soldiers, a singer, a nurse, and their Jewish friend. Described as a German ‘Band Of Brothers’, the series drew record ratings for ZDF, sparked a nationwide discussion about the role of ordinary Germans during the Second World War, and was called “…a turning point in German television” by Der Spiegel.
Sue Deeks, Head of Programme Acquisition, BBC, commented: “Generation War has a truly epic sweep and emotionally compelling narrative – we are really delighted to bring this critically-acclaimed and thought-provoking series to BBC viewers.”
Berlin 1941. Highly-decorated officer Wilhelm is off to the eastern front with his younger brother Friedhelm, a sensitive dreamer more interested in books than warfare. Deeply in love with Wilhelm is Charlotte, a young nurse who feels her duty calling and agrees to serve in the Wehrmacht, also on the eastern front.
While talented singer Greta dreams of being another Marlene Dietrich, her Jewish boyfriend Viktor begins to realise that the lives of both him and his family will be in grave danger if they stay in Germany. As the war takes hold, none of the friends can imagine how the conflict will ultimately change not only them, but the rest of the world.
Alex Agran, Managing Director, Arrow Films, added: “Arrow Films and the BBC have a long heritage of working together and we are thrilled to have the BBC as the perfect broadcaster for this superlative series.”
TeamWorx produced Generation War for ZDF and ORF in association with Beta Film. The worldwide distributor is Beta Films in cooperation with Arrow Films in the UK.