My impressions? I found it very gripping and very moving. I don’t mind admitting that I was choked in a few places. Historically, it seems to have captured the essence of the story and with no major embellishments or historical licence. From what I can tell, the writers used real events quite well, albeit changing some names and circumstances slightly. Perhaps there was a little too much time given to romance and flirting, but hey that’s just TV I guess. I’m not althogether sure that the character of Hilda Smith existed, perhaps someone can enlighten me.
I have a feeling that the actions of the American B-24 Liberator crew may come in for criticism now. The drama’s portrayal of them was as hapless, inexperienced trigger-happy young men. I have to say that from what I know, their actions were irresponsible and sadly added to the loss of life and suffering from the sinking. But on the other hand, they were by no means the only men in wartime to make a bad call in a difficult situation. It would be nice to think that it was simply a mistake.
Overall I’m glad that such a heart-rendering story of humanity amongst war has finally got the recognition that it deserved. For too long the Laconia has been virtually forgotten in the annals of history, quite why is hard to explain. Hopefully that will change now.
Thank you to everyone who has visited here in the past few days, visits to my blog have gone through the roof. My record for daily visits was smashed by three times the old record, and today’s total will be even more too.
Finally, to anyone who was on the Laconia, or has a family story connected with it, please keep in touch, I will try and write about the story from time to time here. I’ve really enjoyed all of your contributions. There is also a Laconia group on Facebook that is a great way to keep in touch and exchange news and stories. Let’s make sure that the story of the Laconia is remembered.
- TV review: The Sinking of the Laconia and Martin Clunes: Man to Mantas (guardian.co.uk)
- The Sinking of the Laconia, BBC Two, preview (telegraph.co.uk)
- The Sinking of the Laconia – BBC2, 9pm (mirror.co.uk)
- TV ratings – 6 January: Alan Bleasdale drama sinks Chris Evans stunt show (guardian.co.uk)
- Michael Gove: the Coalition’s Werner Hartenstein (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Tonight’s TV highlights: The Sinking Of The Laconia | Martin Clunes: Man To Manta | Not Going Out | High – How Drugs Work | The Brain: A Secret History | The Cleveland Show (guardian.co.uk)
- Alan Bleasdale: TV bosses interfere too much (telegraph.co.uk)