37 Days (TV series)
37 Days is a British drama miniseries that was first broadcast on BBC Two from 6 to 8 March 2014. The three-part miniseries covers the 37 days before World War I, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on 28 June 1914 to the United Kingdom declaring war on Germany on 4 August 1914.
|Written by||Mark Hayhurst|
|Directed by||Justin Hardy|
|Composer(s)||Andrew Simon McAllister|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||3|
|Running time||177 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hardy Pictures|
|Original release||6 March –|
8 March 2014
- Ian McDiarmid as Edward Grey
- Nicholas Farrell as Eyre Crowe
- Tim Pigott-Smith as Herbert Henry Asquith
- Sinéad Cusack as Margot Asquith
- Bill Paterson as Lord Morley
- Kenneth Cranham as John Burns
- Ludger Pistor as Bethmann-Hollweg
- Rainer Sellien as Kaiser Wilhelm II
- Bernhard Schütz as Helmuth Moltke
- Mark Lewis Jones as David Lloyd George
- Nicholas Asbury as Winston Churchill
- Urs Remond as Prince Lichnowsky
- James McArdle as Alec
- André Kaczmarczyk as Jens
- Holger Kunkel as Falkenhayn
- Stephan Szasz as Jagow
- Kate Ambler as Muriel
- François-Éric Gendron as Paul Cambon
- Niall Cusack as Benckendorff
- George Lenz as Mensdorff
- Chris Kelly as Gavrilo Princip
- Oliver Ford Davies as Cunliffe
- Patrick Fitzsymons as King George V
- Ian Beattie as Tsar Nicholas II
- Simon Coury as Franz Ferdinand
- Rainer Reiners as Von Below
- Gordon Fulton as Sukhomlinov
- Mary Moulds as Sophie Chotek
- Christopher Leveaux as Lieutenant Feldmann
The series was shot entirely in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is part of the BBC World War I centenary season and was first announced by Janice Hadlow, the controller of BBC Two, on 22 August 2013. The series seeks to quash assumptions about the war’s inevitability, such as the Sarajevo shooting making the war inevitable.
Writer and producers Mark Hayhurst and Sue Horth compiled a 175-page book tracing "every conference, every telephone call, private letter and telegram swirling around Europe" before writing the script.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|1||"One Month in Summer"||Justin Hardy||Mark Hayhurst||6 March 2014||2.89|
|2||"One Week in July"||Justin Hardy||Mark Hayhurst||7 March 2014||2.14|
|3||"One Long Weekend"||Justin Hardy||Mark Hayhurst||8 March 2014||1.84|
The series was positively reviewed by critics. In a four-star review for The Times, Andrew Billen called the series "a clear and often brilliant dramatisation", and praised McDiarmid's portrayal of Grey as "surely one of the actor's greatest performances," though he found "the humour becomes slightly broader" in the scenes set in Berlin and Vienna, and that the subplot of the two clerks "rather peters out."  In a four of five-star review for The Telegraph, Christopher Howse found the series "enthralling," but was distracted by the use of the Belfast City Hall as a location stand-in for Whitehall. Evan Davis of The Guardian called the series a "meticulous rendering" and "impressively wordy and careful imagining" free of "romantic digressions or fictional appeals to sentiment," with a "strong performance" by McDiarmid, but he also found the drama "rigid and simplistic," with "dubious stereotypes and an excess of rhetorical dialogue."  And in The Independent, Ellen Jones wrote the series' "masterstroke" was "to reframe this history textbook timeline as a subtle character study," praising its "terrifically well written" dialogue.
- "Drama". BBC. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "37 Days on BBC Two". Northern Ireland Screen. 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- "Janice Hadlow announces raft of new BBC Two and BBC Four commissions". BBC. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- Jackson, James (22 August 2013). "BBC serial 37 Days to overturn assumptions about First World War". The Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- Burrell, Ian (13 October 2013). "WW1 beyond the mud and trenches: BBC's plans for the centenary of World War One". The Independent. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "37 Days: Changing my perspective of WWI". BBC. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- "BARB Top 30s".
- Billen, Andrew. "TV Review: 37 Days". The Times. The Times. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- Howse, Christopher. "37 Days, BBC Two, review". Telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- Anthony, Andrew (8 March 2014). "37 Days; Line of Duty; Mind the Gap: London vs the Rest – review". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- Jones, Ellen E. (6 March 2014). "37 Days, TV review: A political thriller that grippingly uncovers the countdown to war". The Independent. The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2017.