Wednesday, April 25, 2012

News for Downton Abbey & Potato Peel Society Fans

Here is good news (maybe old news but new news to me!) for fans of Downton Abbey and a very popular book (see below).   There is a 2005 British TV production called Island At War available at Netflix and perhaps other outlets.  It has gotten rave reviews and is about the German occupation of the Channel Islands from 1940 - 1945.  It is based on the events on Jersey and Guernsey Islands.  It follows three local families, one upper, one middle and one lower class and their involvement with four German officers that occupy the island.  

Masterpiece Theater website says it's "a riveting view of the German invasion and occupation of the Channel Islands, the only part of the British Isles that fell into Nazi hands, and how life was irrevocably changed overnight...Those who stayed were to encounter a hostile Nazi command, intent on imposing their way of life on the island."  

The production was filmed on The Isle of Man (an island in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland).  One of the stars is Anna Smith which Downton Abbey fans will know as the servant Anna.  You will also recognize the name Guernsey from the wonderful book by Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society.  The book gives a genuine sense of time and place and shows how the spirit of the islanders overcame the deprivations they suffered.  

In related news, Kenneth Branagh is set to direct a movie of The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society and Kate Winslet is slated to star.  Mr. Branagh has been scouting locations on Guernsey but filming has been delayed until January, 2013. 

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