BBC Two announces WWI factual drama ’37 Days’

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Starring Ian McDiarmid, Sinead Cusack, Tim Pigott-Smith, Bill Paterson and Kenneth Cranham, the drama serial is written by Mark Hayhurst (Hitler On Trial).

37 Days will “overturn orthodox assumptions about the war’s inevitability” and wiill follow “the rapidly changing crisis through the eyes of the principal players, during a hot summer, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914, to the declaration of war between Britain and Germany on 4 August”.

The official synopsis reads: “Such a disaster did not happen by chance, and nor was it a foregone conclusion. It took considerable effort and terrific ingenuity, as well as staggering bad luck, to destroy a system that had kept the general peace in Europe for the 99 years that followed the Battle of Waterloo and the fall of Napoleon.”

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