Preview – The World at War

Nuremberg rally

A welcome rerun of The World at War, the monumental Thames Television-produced, 26-part chronicle of the Second World War. Accepted 1am is not the most social of scheduling slots but if you have an HDD be sure to record at keep. Some critics say TV companies don’t make documentary series like this anymore – and they are right, they don’t.

This is a landmark documentary series that in our new ‘post truth’ and increasingly populist world deserves to be seen by a much wider audience. Narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, this first episode looks at the rise to power of a demagogic character who promises to make a country great again with an intoxicating campaign of nationalism and toxic far right policies. 

There are uncomfortable parallels with contemporary attitudes, the resurgent right and the demonisation of minorities based on religion. It is also a sobering chapter that shows the carnage that was brought on the world by the Nazi regime had its roots in a popular movement and that the civilian population were willing participants in it growth.

The World at War is broadcast at 1am on Yesterday.