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.[1]

37 Days
37 Days.png
Written byMark Hayhurst
Directed byJustin Hardy
ComposersAndrew Simon McAllister
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes3
  • Mark Hayhurst
  • Lucy Bassnett-McGuire
  • Susan Horth
CinematographyDouglas Hartington
EditorAdam Green
Running time177 minutes
Production companyHardy Pictures
DistributorBBC Worldwide
Original network
Original release6 March (2014-03-06) –
8 March 2014 (2014-03-08)
External links


Cast of 37 Days — the senior members of the Cabinet.


The series was shot entirely in Belfast, Northern Ireland.[2] 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.[3] The series seeks to quash assumptions about the war's inevitability, such as the Sarajevo shooting making the war inevitable.[4][5]

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.[6]

Episode listEdit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [7]
1"One Month in Summer"Justin HardyMark Hayhurst6 March 2014 (2014-03-06)2.89
2"One Week in July"Justin HardyMark Hayhurst7 March 2014 (2014-03-07)2.14
3"One Long Weekend"Justin HardyMark Hayhurst8 March 2014 (2014-03-08)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".[8] 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 for Whitehall.[9] 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; he also found the drama "rigid and simplistic" with "dubious stereotypes and an excess of rhetorical dialogue".[10] 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.[11]


  1. ^ "Drama". BBC. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  2. ^ "37 Days on BBC Two". Northern Ireland Screen. 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Janice Hadlow announces raft of new BBC Two and BBC Four commissions". BBC. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  4. ^ Jackson, James (22 August 2013). "BBC serial 37 Days to overturn assumptions about First World War". The Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "37 Days: Changing my perspective of WWI". BBC. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  7. ^ "BARB Top 30s".
  8. ^ Billen, Andrew. "TV Review: 37 Days". The Times. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  9. ^ Howse, Christopher. "37 Days, BBC Two, review". Telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  10. ^ Anthony, Andrew (8 March 2014). "37 Days; Line of Duty; Mind the Gap: London vs the Rest – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  11. ^ Jones, Ellen E. (6 March 2014). "37 Days, TV review: A political thriller that grippingly uncovers the countdown to war". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2017.

External linksEdit

Radio Times, 37 Days