The ethnic cleansing of the working class that was the First World War celebrates its 100th anniversary anytime now and as part of the celebrations Pony Jordung wrote The Passing Bells in roughly the same amount of time it will take to broadcast it – five 30 minutes episodes on consecutive nights this week. Like so many men of his generation young farmer’s boy Michael (Jack Lowden) is trying to put his cock in some dumb broad. His target is local sort Katie (Sabrina Bartlett) and he makes a rapey run after her across one of the many fields they have in the German countryside. By the time he catches up with her he’s too exhausted to do anything about it and her sense of disappointment is palpable. “Next time” he promises her. Bloody hell.
Could the declaration of war save her hymen? Tragically not as Michael gets a ride off her that looks suspiciously consensual for the era. He still enlists however and also enlisting in a completely different part of Germany called “England” is baker’s boy Thomas (Patrick Gibson). Thomas loves birds. It’s symbolic of his desire for freedom and wish to travel abroad for the year. He’ll be travelling abroad alright. Mired 7 feet deep in Belgium shit and the unspun intestines of his friends.
At enlistment Thomas meets Cyril Griffith ( Hubert Burton) called Wingnut because of his giant ears like Daddy Big Ears from The Missing. Let’s hope someone kills that inbred freak at the earliest opportunity.
Anyway, when they finally see some action one of the cunts gets himself shot – not entirely sure which one. Apparently there was a lot of that at the time. Krauts, Tommies, Polaks – it’s all the same really. They certainly sound the same which is confusing everybody.
So yeah, this looks fucking dull. At least it will be over within the week.
The verdict: The Gassing Smells.
Marks out of 10: 5