Get Your First Look at World War II Drama 'World on Fire'

Sean Bean as Douglas Bennett (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen)
Sean Bean as Douglas Bennett (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen)

The BBC and PBS have released a first look at upcoming World War II drama World on Fire.

The seven-hour period drama spans the first year of the war and its story is split between multiple main characters in a variety of locations, including Manchester, Warsaw, Berlin and Paris. The idea is to show the impact of World War II through the eyes of different ordinary people around the world.  

Game of Thrones star Sean Bean and Academy Award winner Helen Hunt star in the series, but they’re joined by a ton of other talented and familiar faces, including Lesley Manville (Harlots), Blake Harrison (Prime Suspect: Tennison), Jonah Hauer-King (Howard’s End), Julia Brown (The Last Kingdom), Brian J. Smith (Sense8) and Polish Academy Award-winner Zofia Wichłacz (Warsaw 44)

World on Fire will begin with the German invasion of Poland in September of 1939 and end with the Battle of Britain. Of course, should this series go on to be a hit, there’s every chance that it might continue and explore the subsequent three years of the war from a similar perspective as well.

Watch the trailer for yourselves below:

Though we’ve certainly seen our fair share of period war dramas in recent years, there’s something about this series’ set of diverse perspectives that feels particularly intriguing and necessary at the moment.

“At the very heart of any war are the families affected by it,” Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton said in a statement. “World on Fire follows the fates of five characters -from England, France, Germany, Poland, and America - as their stories weave in and out of each other’s. Love, death, heroism, and forgiveness bind them together as the world changes around them.”

“Our colleagues at Mammoth Screen and the BBC are just the right people to tell this story,” Eaton declared.

World on Fire doesn’t have a release date yet, though it seems likely to premiere on the BBC later this year. That probably means a 2020 Masterpiece broadcast, though where exactly in the schedule it might fit is anyone’s guess. Late Spring feels like a possibility, but that’s a complete guess.

What do you think of this trailer? Interested in World on Fire? Let’s discuss.