TV Highlights

What's on Saturday 16th January

Deadline Gallipoli

Drama - 9pm

Who's in it?

A robustly talented cast – including Hugh Dancy, Sam Worthington and Charles Dance – get entrenched in one of the worst calamities of World War One in this big new drama.

In a nutshell

Gallipoli was a terrible thing, even by the standards of the Great War. Conceived by Winston Churchill (a fact which Churchill worshippers don’t like dwelling on), it was an attempt to take on the forces of the Ottoman Empire which massively backfired, leading to huge Allied casualties. Australia was badly hit, losing thousands of men. It’s a story that’s been told many times, notably in a movie starring Mel Gibson, but this new take on Gallipoli has an original angle: it focuses on the men who had the thankless task of reporting the events.

In that sense, it’s a strikingly relevant tale, especially in our post-Snowden era of cynicism about the media and the manipulation of our unseen masters. The main characters aren’t allowed to report truthfully, and have horrifying insights into how the Gallipoli campaign was so disastrously mismanaged. From the playboy press man from the posh family, to the father of Rupert Murdoch, the characters will be as fascinating as the events they chronicle.

What's the verdict?

A story not just of war, but of the abuse of power and the foolishness of those who should have known better, this promises to be one of the more thought-provoking and challenging war stories told on the small screen.

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07-07-2011