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P. O. W. (2003)
- Category: Screen
- Hits: 2769
Directed by: (Part 1-3) John Strickland, (Part 4-6) Roger Gartland
Script by: Matthew Graham & Matt Jones
Status: Release Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31 and Nov. 7, 14 2003 - ITV 1 (UK)
Genre: WWII War drama (6 part TV miniseries)
Runtime: 60 min
Production Studio: Company Pictures
Co-Stars: Joe Absolom (Pritchard), Patrick Baladi (Attercombe), Anatole Tabuman, Amelia Curtis, Matthew Rhys
Role: RAF Flight Sergeant Jim Caddon
Impulsive and idealistic Air Force man who always looks out for his mates. He is a maverick with authority and has a burning desire to escape. Jim’s plane has been shot down and he finds himself incarcerated in a German Stalag. An impetuous young man, he doesn’t take well to being imprisoned nor does he like the attitude of the POW’s senior officer, Captain Attercombe, who orders him not to attempt to escape.
Plot: Germany, 1940. After the disaster of Dunkirk, thousands of British soldiers have been taken as prisoners-of-war. Their German captors mock them: For you the war is over. But for the men of POW camp Stalag 39, it feels like the war is still very much alive. There's new arrival Jim, an impetuous young airman shot down on a bombing raid over Hanover. There's Captain Attercombe, a natural leader who's determined to get his men out of the camp. There's Drew Pritchard, who can barter or steal whatever you need... Very different men, united by one desire: to get out. POW shows life in a prisoner-of-war camp as never before. The grit, the hunger, the pain, the camaraderie, the adventure... and the hope.
Trivia & Facts:
- May 2003: In 6 weeks, 300 local craftsman along with the construction team from Lithuanian Film Studio have completed the £1 MILLION replica stalag camp set. The land was rented from farmers in Bezdonys near Vilnius.
- The actors are flown back to Lithuania for rehearsal week. The first night in town they sample the local vodka but had to put one of the younger boys to bed. The actors are knocked into shape by a British army major, Paul Harris, who drills the regulars and the core group of Lithuanian extras on the back lot of the studio. After 1940s haircuts and several hours of square-bashing they are beginning to look more like soldiers. That week they spend a night on the set with John - they take over one of the huts and sleep in the bunks The cast spent a night in the prison hut on straw beds with bread and hooch for sustenance in order to gain a taste of real captive life. A lot of vodka (hooch) and chocolate was consumed and the next day John has a gash on his knee after a 04:00 game of football
Film Location: Vilnius, Bezdonys (Lithuania)
James D’Arcy: I was at boarding school for seven years, so that was a fairly good preparation for it.
- (on spraining his ankle): It was really scary. It must have taken three minutes to get from the top to the bottom and you can't see where you're going. Both of us were a little worked up beforehand but there was a great sense of accomplishment. I sprained my ankle, but not badly. It wasn't a big deal. I had to go to hospital and I was out of action for the rest of the day. But I went back and did it all over again!
- (when he had to wade through the brown waters of the latrine): Mind you, they got the brown effect by using cocoa in warm water. And during a scene where we were being ‘deloused’ with ‘tar’ it was actually Bisto gravy. I stank of it for days.
- (on escape): I'd love to think I'd be fabulously heroic and try and escape. But how can you tell? The guns, which in our case were fake, were very real, and escape was incredibly difficult. My great grandfather took the surrender of the Germans on Guernsey. The German officer said he hadn't had his orders through from Berlin to surrender, and my great grandfather then said some choice words that reduced the Nazi officer to tears.
Amelia Curtis: The thing about boys is they're always doing stuff, so I ended up joining in, and doing all sorts of activities. I played table tennis with them, they'd set up a football league, Joe used to bring his golf clubs into work every day. I went bowling, I played pool, one day I even went fishing. We rowed out on this lake in the middle of a thunderstorm. I remember thinking, "I musn't complain, I mustn't be too girlie", though I was turning blue with cold. I didn't go to any lap dancing clubs. I did hear the boys talk about them, but I thought they were joking.