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British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Post : dramahistoryproduction deer. You can imagine that my imagination immediately went all over the place.

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Even though I was standing in the middle of extras and some horse-drawn carriages near the Baltic Sea, I said "Yes, yes, when do we start? I mean, in the beginning it seemed like Pearl Harbor meets Titanic with Das Boot as the icing on the cake.

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The only difference was, we had much less money - a fraction of what those big American movies had. The exterior submarine used in the movie Das Boot no longer exists. The interior sits prettily in Munich as part of the Bavaria Film studio tour. The submarine required for this show was a type IX-Cwhich was the biggest German submarine at the time. I would say our biggest challenge was to be historically as accurate as possible. Then I proposed that we build at least five different sets for the Laconia exterior and make it look like one: The first class deck, the bridge, the aft deck, the straight hull in the harbour, a tilted hull for the sinking and a second class promenade for the sinking.

To build all these would cost less in the end than the towing of a Laconia escort classified ship without mooring and insurance costs.


Only then did I get my budget approved for construction in South Africa. Please note that was four years after I started to think about possibilities! Yes, I worked on other films in the meantime. Truthfully, I have almost lost track of which de approach I liked best. Once we'd decided to shoot everything in South Africa, I pretty much started from scratch. So what you see in the finished film are the des I did in Cape Town at the beginning of I had so many favourite moments making this film.

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The most exciting one of course, was the launch of the Laconia escort classified submarine we had constructed ourselves for the open-water scenes. Other great moments are always when the actors appear on set for the first time in their period costumes by costume deer Monika Jacobs. It makes my heart beat faster to see Lindsay Duncan with her great outfits, along with the first class promenade we constructed with that horrible rust and patina. For further programme times, please see the upcoming episodes.

in or register to comment. Looking forward to this it looks fantastic, but it's a shame it's not being aired on HD at the same time. Complain about this comment Comment 1. My grand father and uncle were both killed when the Laconia was torpedoed so the film is an impetnat part of our family history. Sadly the sacrfices of the merchant seaman killed were never recognised with a medal unlike those serving in the armed forces even though their bravery and contribution matched those of their military counterparts.

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Complain about this comment Comment 2. Complain about this comment Comment 3. My Father survived the sinking of the Laconia. He never told me much about the sinking, but did express his respect for Werner Von Hartenstein.

It is thanks to the humanity of Hartenstein I am able to post this comment today. Complain about this comment Comment 4. Looking forward to watching this. True stories are so much more interesting. Wish it was in HD.

Complain about this comment Comment 5. My grand' brother was killed when the Laconia was torpedoed.

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His brother was also supposed to be on board but due to sickness a few days earlier, he was not on board at the time. It is such a shame that even with the many links to Liverpool, there is no memorial in the city. The ship is however commemorated in the Tower Hill memorial in London. I am so pleased to finally have the Laconias' amazing story shown on screen. Complain about this comment Comment 6.

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Gripping drama. The characterisation is so convincing and Franke Potente's performance particularly moving. It is so refreshing to have characters speak their native language and actors drawn from across Europe.

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The old stereotypical representations of Germans are I hope going to gradually fade as more sensitive portrayals of people from all nations become the norm. A fascinating story of humanity. I hope there will be more productions made of this kind, penned by good writers of drama. Thankyou Alan Bleasedale! Complain about this comment Comment 7. A tragic story indeed but remarkably well adapted by the BBC and a genuine masterpiece of free to air viewing.

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Setting aside for a moment the truly harrowing nature of this highly regrettable event, drama like this on the BBC is the reason why I shell out for a TV. This is the second quality war drama aired by the BBC in the last 12 months, you may remember the first. Keep it up BBC, very well done indeed!! We're looking forward to Part 2! Complain about this comment Comment 8. This production was completely ruined for me by the ridiculous mistakes made in the uniforms. The Captain wore four rings on his epaulettes, and a merchant service cap, fair enough. His second in command wore Royal Navy two and a half rings and a merchant service cap, and poor old Andrew Buchan wore something that would disgrace a fancy dress.

The crew were even worse. Complain about this comment Comment 9. My father was on the Laconia when it sank. Some inaccurate elements, but well produced story. I'm sorry to tell Martin, none of the service personnel received any medals or commendations for this action. As Britinoregon, he has nothing but praise for Captain Hartenstein, and he is still alive today at Complain about this comment Comment This has been an emotional show for me. My late father was on the Clan MacWhirter Laconia escort classified Hartenstein and U sank on 27 Augustimmediately prior to the sinking of the Laconia.

Hartenstein showed his compassion in this case as well as he surfaced and informed those in the lifeboats, my father included, of their co-ordinates and the direction of Madeira. They were in open lifeboats for ten days or more until a Portuguese destroyer picked them up. My father rarely spoke of it but, like britinoregan's father, he had great respect for Hartenstein's humanity.

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I share that respect; had it not been for Hartenstein's sense of decency I probably wouldn't be here either. I quite enjoyed the drama side of the programme, and it was broadly historically accurate.

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As a post has noted, the only accurate uniform shown was the Master's. A final point being that MN crew don't wear uniform anyway unless they're a steward, or a Passenger Ship's Quartermaster. This lack of attention to detail showed, to me, that there was no real interest being shown in the real story. That'll do for this, afterall nobody will know the difference".

It is evidence of lazy production. The other issue is that the relationship between the MN personnel was completely misunderstood.

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The Senior Radio Officer on the Laconia would have been in Officer's uniform, with 2 or 3 stripes, and would have been on terms of near equality with the "Junior Third Officer". He wouldn't have been a rating, as in the RN, and he certainly wouldn't have called the Junior Third Officer "sir". He might have had 2 assistant radio officers, with 1 or 2 stripes on their officer's uniforms, not a room full of als Ratings in RN working dress. Why no Engineers?

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Apart from a couple of Firemen, the Engine Room appeared to be empty. This lack of knowledge and understanding shows that even a writer from Liverpool, with it's rich maritime heritage, has no idea of the reality of the Merchant Navy, which is a pity, as this was such a good opportunity to redress the imbalance.

Great, especially the last half hour of the first part. But camera work was too restless. Great underwater model of the U-boat.

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Many Dutch people have seen the program. My Grandad was a survivor on the Laconia a Merchant Sailor, sadly he is no longer with us but his story and bravery lives on in our family. This film may have had its faults but has provoked old memories and emotions and above all respect for all Merchant Seamen, these men where at sea long before war and long after.

Yes a great story and some good photography. But I must agree with comments regarding the uniforms, lots of mistakes, especially RN badges sewn on upside down. A lot of detail was put into this sad story only to be marred by silly mistakes.

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