Friday, 19 June 2009

Review: OCCUPATION

This three-part war drama is definitely the best thing to come out of the BBC in recent years. Superb writing from Peter Bowker is what really drives it home. An incredibly powerful and original story, combined with Nick Murphy's clever yet subtle direction are a perfect combination.

Then there's the acting - perfectly executed. Great performances from James Nesbitt (as always) and Stephen Graham, as well as Warren Brown, who deserves a special mention for some particularly emotional scenes - his agent's phone is going to be ringing off the hook now!

The story seamlessly skips in time, often showing 'three months later' etc. When this happens so often in shows, people can become confused and lose connection with story and characters. In OCCUPATION however, this is not the case. Rather than throwing layers of exposition and lesser moments at the audience, the story remains fast-paced throughout. At no point do you feel cheated in what you see, as the audience is given the freedom to resolve certain story elements for themselves.

It's a must-see for everyone (war fan or not). Packed with great characterisation, strong storytelling and powerful emotion, OCCUPATION is a landmark in British television. Hopefully there will be many more dramas like it in the coming years (and if we're very lucky - one of them will be mine!)

Note: you can still catch this on BBC iplayer here.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Can't agree the direction was subtle; thought it was naive - "teardrop" as the backdrop for when the soldiers all go in? "Let's get the party started " -- "We're all in with the boys", etc? A real distraction for me. Plus he had a habit of sidelining characters behind desks and windows. Not keen at all.