Band of Brothers

By Richard Moore

It is not often this chap can say that a TV series has grabbed his utmost attention but, in the case of the World War 2 drama Band of Brothers, it did so with a vengeance.

Usually the commercial hype puts me off, but this show had two strong drawcards.

One being the pairing of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks as executive producers, the second was a cast of semi-unknowns.

The latter on big-budget productions tends to point towards strong content not needing 'big-name' sellability. In fact the biggest name on the cast was David Schwimmer from Friends.

There was a lot of flak from critics about his use as a bully-boy, however, I thought he played the role particularly well. (Not being a watcher of Friends probably helped too!)

Anyway, putting aside the need for an early night on Mondays became a ritual as I got caught up in the adventures and lives of the men of Easy Company, in the 506th regiment of the 101st airborne division.

Band of Brothers is very similar in style to the brilliant Saving Private Ryan and it doesn't shy away from blood, guts and killing off characters. (Mind you, is it based on real life people so I guess there was little room for sentiment.)

It is exciting viewing and has the best battlescenes ever made for TV.

And that's not surprising as the series cost about $250million to produce and looking at the imagery leaves you in no doubt about where the money was spent.

The use of digital effects - particularly during the parachute jump scenes - is cinema quality. Spielberg and Hanks did not muck around when spending what they thought necessary to get the desired result and the reward was not only stunning TV - but a bucketful of Emmys.

The photography is utterly superb and the subtle use of grain and muted colours adds a period-quality to the look.

Another very likeable thing about Band of Brothers is its refusal to paint all the Americans as good guys.

There is Allied pillaging, robbing, even the shooting of prisoners and civilians, and the characters are well-rounded and involving. Many of the incidents portrayed come from the diaries, letters and interviews with survivors, and both Spielberg and Hanks have gone a very long way to serve up a thoroughly believable set of men.

The 10-episode series covers four years of WW2 from parachute training, through D-Day and the assault on the Normandy beaches, the battle to liberate France, Operation Market Garden (a Bridge Too Far), the Battle of the Bulge, freeing concentration camp prisoners and capturing Hitler's Eagle's Nest.

Two of the key characters are the young officers Richard Winters (Damian Lewis) and Lewis Nixon (Ron Livingston) and it is mainly through them you see the war unfold.

There are no weak links in the cast and the full-on action and drama will have you absolutely riveted to your screen.

On DVD the screen ratio is 1.78:1, wider than your normal TV, and the video transfer is excellent.

Sound-wise Band of Brothers will make full use of your surround facilities (it being Dolby Digital 5.1).

Having forsaken sleep over a three-month period to watch this series on late-night TV, I can honestly say that having it on DVD not only allows for watching it in longer sessions, but also gives the benefit of superior sound and vision.

A must for those who love action/war movies!


Day Of Days
The Breaking Point
The Patrol
Why We Fight

Conclusion: Movie 90% Extras 80%

Napoleon Bonaparte
Career Portraits
Quotes Family
Loves Letters
Plots Murdered?
His will Places
Era of Napoleon
Powers Opponents
Coalitions Allies
People Timelines
Key sites Shrapnel
Campaigns Battles
Armies Generals
Marshals Winners
Glossary Medical
Weapons 1812 War
Uniforms Battlefields
War at Sea
Naval War Heroes
Artworks Signals
Nelson Trafalgar
Key Maps Peninsula
Animated 1796/1800
1809 Russia
French Revolution
Revolution Guillotine
Posters People
Art, Film, Games
Education Goya
Sharpe Hornblower
Books Movies
DVDs Music
Wargames Images
Cartoons Caricatures
About Us Sources
Awards Sitemap
Links Militaria
Miniatures Reenactors
Forum Quizzes
Home Waterloo Diorama
Copyright Richard Moore 1999-2017 | Privacy Policy | Contact Us