15th August 2004
ITV broadcasts final episode of Island at War
Island at War was a hybrid tale of life in the occupied Channel Islands. It took inspiration from real-life events but, rather than setting them in either Jersey or Guernsey, the action took place on a fictional stand-in, St Gregory. It was filmed on the Isle of Man.
The six-episode series focused on three local families: the Dorrs, Mahys and Jonases. Joanne Froggatt, who would go on to take a lead role in Downton Abbey, played Angelique Mahy. Philip Glenister, who would star as Gene Hunt in both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, played German officer Baron Von Rheingarten. The first episode was broadcast on ITV on Sunday 11 July 2004.
Television, film and theatre newspaper The Stage reviewed the first episode, commenting, “it will be interesting to see how Island at War fares in the ratings. Intelligent, well acted and very lavish, this six-part drama concerning the Channel Islands under Nazi occupation nevertheless makes for challenging and distressing viewing… It promises to be an uncompromising depiction of a horrifying part of British history but on the evidence of episode one alone, Island at War will reward perseverance.” The Times also reviewed the first episode, with Paul Hoggart saying, “Island at War is competent, easy on the eye and blandly entertaining. Nobody need go to bed with nightmares. Sadly this means that it is about as convincingly traumatic as a rubber shark.”
ITV didn’t commission a second series despite national feedback having been favourable.
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