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SS-GB, and muttered dialogue on television February 25, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

How did I miss this? A BBC adaptation of Len Deighton’s rather fine novel of an alternative history of a Britain in the early 1940s under German occupation? I missed it because of no access directly to terrestrial television.

Did I miss this? Not getting great reviews unfortunately, but hey, if it’s like Sherlock etc, it should be out on DVD soon and usually at a reasonable price. Though come to think of it the last season of Sherlock didn’t get much love from the critics.

Just on the complaint aired in the Guardian piece about how the dialogue was muttered – that’s an issue with a fair bit of television these days. Taboo, which I caught an episode of, and liked, had similar issues.

And not sure I’m entirely convinced by the historical analysis in the last two paragraphs.

SS-GB imagines what would have happened if the Nazis had won the Battle of Britain in 1941. It was written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the Bafta winners behind Bond films Spectre, Skyfall and Casino Royale.
Wade said the drama was aimed at making viewers think, “What would I have done?”
He added: “It’s very important that we talk about this stuff. It’s become part of our mythology that we stood alone. We did, but it was a very close-run thing. We could have lost the Battle of Britain if the weather had been different. In fact, it was miraculous that we won that battle.
“Britain was alone at that period. America wasn’t involved. They were looking the other way. It was before Pearl Harbor.”

Well, not exactly looking the other way. FDR was, without question, assisting as best could be done under the various constraints.

Anyhow, anyone see it?


1. 6to5against - February 25, 2017

don’t really get this complaint about lacking clarity in the actors speech. For years I’ve been using the subtitles for pretty much everything. It adds a lot of clarity to everything.
My problem was BBC reception is crap in my house


2. EWI - February 25, 2017

As I understand it, the conventional wisdom is that the British were at the brink of defeat when they started bombing civilian targets in Germany at Churchill’s orders, prompting the Trump-like Hitler to demand that the Luftwaffe retaliate with what became known as the ‘Blitz’, sparing the RAF.


Jeff Mooney - February 25, 2017

Deighton documents this in one of his historical books. A German plane offloaded some bombs on a civilian centre in error. Hitler had forbidden bombing civilians at this stage.
Churchill used this as an excuse to start bombing civilians in Berlin.
Here’s the book. It’s a great read.


3. Jeff Mooney - February 25, 2017

I found it a bit slow moving, but engaging enough. Bit too dark cinematography wise. Not how I imagined it when reading the book.

i prefer The Man In The High Castle, but, bar the obvious, they’re not in any way comparable.

Re the dialogue problem. Mostly that can be sorted by changing the settings on the TV/Sound System.


4. Michael Carley - February 25, 2017

Saw it, liked it, will watch the rest.

Alone? Don’t say that to Canadians or the old Empire. Well worth reading David Edgerton on Britain’s (non) isolation.


Jeff Mooney - February 26, 2017

Indeed. Churchill never considered Britain alone, supported as it was by the entirety of what was still then an Empire, through the commonwealth nations.


5. Dermot O Connor - February 25, 2017

I don’t get the muttering thing. I watch the shows on my computer, so I wonder if it’s a speaker issue? Poldark, Taboo and SSGB have all been fine – sometimes the dialects can be a bit thick, but I’ve had no problem keeping up.


6. fence - February 25, 2017

There is a bit of muttering, I find, in Taboo certainly, but not enough to stop me understanding what is going on.

I watched SS-GB, it was okay but nothing special. Will watch on to see if it picks up.

Liked by 1 person

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