The compelling Saving Private Ryan is still fresh in most people’s minds. A logical question might be: How unique would Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg create a new way to revisit World War II combat without repeating what others have done?
Band of Brothers is the quick answer. It’s a miniseries of 10 hours, costing $120 million, made in partnership between France2 and BBC. Based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s book. The project defies war-story convention and more closely resembles an event journal than a drama with story arcs. This is not the journal of an individual. It’s the diary of Easy Company within the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Many men died or were injured in the fighting, but they were replaced by others who would experience the same fate.
Basis of story
Band of Brothers is the best war Cancelled TV Shows to capture the experiences of ordinary soldiers. The mini captures everything, from the terror of facing an unknown enemy to the joy of completing a mission successfully. It also reveals and celebrates the humanity of each member of Easy Company. This is why the Greatest Generation, a group of ordinary guys, and others like them, have been called.
From the beginning, storytelling is not the same. Each episode opens with a few comments from the Easy Company’s surviving veterans. Their comments can often be as insightful and as revealing as anything in the scripts.
Although the mini is told chronologically, there is no need to begin episodes with a recapitulation of an episode that has been previously seen. Each episode explores a variety of themes including leadership, reaction to fire, and how to cope with difficult circumstances. It is difficult to connect with anyone because each story is shared among many characters. The other side of the coin is that the wider portrait of a company going through transition offers a fresh, new perspective on this war drama.
The HBO will show the first two hours back-to-back, and then a new hour every Sunday. “Currahee” is the first hour. It features David Schwimmer, Friends sadistic commanding officers more interested in disciplining than training the Easy Company’s recruits. Although Schwimmer does his best, he doesn’t seem like the heartless martinet. There are many outstanding performances from the cast, including Damian Lewis who plays Lt. Winters. Lewis is a junior officer who assumes a larger role in subsequent episodes. Scott Grimes’ turns as Malarkey, Matthew Leitch’s Talbert, Ron Livingston’s Nixon portrayal, Frank John Hughes’ Guarnere performance, and many others are worthy of note.
The second hour, called “Day of Days,” sees Easy Company’s first combat mission as its members parachute behind enemy lines hours before D-Day. John Orloff, the writer, and Richard Loncraine can portray the action in all its gruesome chaos and horror.
Nine directors (Hanks was responsible for the fifth hour, “Crossroads”)) and nine writers contributed to the mini. While stylistic differences can be easily identified, there is a common vision that pervades each episode and acts as a unifying force. Joss Williams, visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton, and Mat Beck are outstanding, as well as the haunting and memorable theme music composed by Michael Kamen. Barry Garron originally published September 5, 2001.