World War 1 films to launch on iPlayer

Dan Snow in WW1 uniform and holding gun Dan Snow tests out the First World War uniform and weaponry

The BBC has commissioned a series of short films about World War 1 exclusively for iPlayer.

WW1 UNCUT - part of the BBC's World War One season - will explore factual aspects of the conflict, including what soldiers wore and the development of weaponry.

Historian Dan Snow, who features in several of the films, says: 'I was really excited about the opportunity to create content without the restrictions of a linear schedule. Producing this for BBC iPlayer let us tell these war stories in a short, snappy and fun manner.

'From a production point of view, it made us take a new approach to content making and gave us the chance to bring history programming to a new audience.'

Additional presenters in the 12-part series include One Show's Michael Douglas, Dr Saleyha Ashan from Trust Me, I'm A Doctor and Sam Willis from Nelson's Caribbean Hell-Hole.

The first film in the series, presented by Snow, focuses on the battlefields of World War 1. With over 400 miles of trenches stretching across the Western Front, the historian answers the fundamental question of why the war was waged from a hole in the ground.

With Douglas as his partner, Snow outlines the dilemma that faced the infantry at the start of the war, and he explains an aspect of the fighting that is often overlooked: the use of barbed wire.

In the second film, the historian returns to explain why 'an army lives or dies by the uniform', with a sequence in the film showing the evolution of the British uniform. The presenter also picks up his daily rations to judge who was better fed: the British or the Germans.

Executive producer Tim Plyming, from Knowledge & Learning, says that the films enabled his team to 'take a new and creative approach to storytelling, and the content has an exciting and contemporary feel whilst dealing with more seriously toned topics'.

  • WW1 UNCUT, begins April 10 on BBC iPlayer


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