A few months back I blogged about the BBC's iWonder guides. In this post I am excited to share with you the latest developments in our digital content as part of the BBC’s World War One season.
Today we are launching WW1 UNCUT - a series of short films made exclusively for BBC iPlayer that explore a variety of World War One topics, from trenches and a soldier’s kit to the development of the tank and the vital importance of a very simple weapon… barbed wire.
The aim of these new video shorts is to explain WW1 subjects in an educational yet entertaining way and by giving the content a fresh and current feel, we’re hoping it will appeal to audiences across the board – whether they’re approaching the topic for the first time or it’s something they have grappled with at length.
This collection continues to build on the exclusive content offering for the new BBC iPlayer and the series will see twelve episodes launch in total, starting from today and continuing throughout spring 2014.
Historian Dan Snow will be the collection’s lead presenter alongside other familiar faces including Michael Douglas (The One Show), Dr Saleyha Ashan (Trust Me I’m A Doctor) and Sam Willis (Nelson’s Caribbean Hell-Hole).
WW1 UNCUT marks the latest stage in our ambitious digital content plan for the World War One season. For the first time - rather than being a complimentary part of a season – our digital content sits at the heart of the BBC WW1 coverage, allowing us to tell the story of the war to audiences in new, innovative ways. This also enables us to interact in different ways with our audiences.
We are continuing to publish interactive BBC iWonder guides for WW1 - topic areas already include the role of women in WW1, the development of mental healthcare, the role of horses and the forgotten composers of WW1 – with plenty more to come. We have been lucky to work with some wonderful presenters for the guides including Greg James, Matt Baker, Baroness Shirley Williams, MP Alan Johnson, Joan Bakewell and Rory Cellan-Jones. We also just launched a new iWonder homepage, you can read about that from my colleague Chris Sizemore’s blog.
Another digital project we’ve launched this year is World War One At Home, which tells the story of life on the Home Front. Its digital offering plays a central role by bringing the BBC’s local and national radio programming together in one place, creating an unparalleled digital archive. The project shows the momentous changes that the war brought. You'll find stories on the factories that fuelled the war effort, the women's football teams who kept the game alive, the terrifying impact of the zeppelin raids on the streets and communities of the east coast and how defence systems responded to the U-boat threat.
We will have launched over 1,000 WW1 At Home stories by the end of 2014, with hundreds more to follow in the run up to 2018. Organised by location and theme online, the stories will also be searchable by postcode or place name in the summer of 2014.
We have plenty of exciting interactive content coming your way this summer, and I will be sure to keep you posted on our new offerings.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy WW1 UNCUT and that you find it as interesting and engaging as we do.
Tim Plyming is Executive Producer, History, Science & Nature in Knowledge & Learning.
- For more blogs about the World War One Centenary on the BBC visit our blog archive.