Cold War (1998)
10/10
This is a wonderful effort
28 March 2019
This is a worthy successor to Jeremy Isaac's "The World At War". It is a very even-handed account of the entire post-war period up to the fall of the Soviet Union. Isaacs repeats his brilliant move of hiring a top-notch Shakespearean actor to do the narration. Kenneth Branagh's voice has clarity and authority, as did Laurence Olivier's in the earlier series. One is amazed at the range of people interviewed - even jailed spies are heard from! The facts are of course all there for the grasping and this series is chock full of them. I thought I had a fairly good mental picture of the period but was constantly shown something new, something that demanded a new perspective. That is all you can ask from an extended series like this. The production values are absolutely outstanding. And like the earlier series, this one features the outstanding music of Carl Davis. The opening theme ends with a jarring dissonance played by a single violin, almost a cry of pain. While "The World At War" ends in triumph and nostalgia, this series ends with question marks and regrets. "If only.." Yes, if only. If only there had been no Stalin. If only.

I cannot recommend this series enough. It deserves a 10.
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