1 9 7 8 – 1 9 8 0 (UK)
26 x 60 minute episodes
An exciting drama series from LWT about the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands (the only part of the United Kingdom to be occupied by the Germans during World War II), as seen – mostly – through the eyes of 20-year-old Guernsey girl Clare Martel (Emily Richard, pictured below right) and her family.
The drama analysed the effect the occupation had on the day-to-day life of the local residents.
The action began in June 1940, with the islanders waiting with trepidation for the impending invasion and continued through the darkest days of the war itself.
Most of the episodes sprang from minutiae and expanded exponentially, usually ending tragically.
‘After the Ball’ strangely but effectively linked the requisitioning of a father’s Rolls Royce with the daughter’s claim of rape against an amorous Nazi soldier who she followed to a dance. The Nazis returned the car and executed the soldier, though clearly, her claim was mainly about saving face.
‘The Polish Affaire’ started with a request for 150 bicycles, before surprisingly twisting into an espionage story worthy of John le Carré.
In ‘The Jerrybag’ a love affair bloomed between a young German officer (David Beames) and a lonely Island woman (Norma Streader), both of whom were eventually cut off from their own respective societies when she became pregnant.
The series was filmed partly in the naval dockyard at Gillingham in Kent. Alfred Burke (Public Eye) played heel-clicking Nazi Major Richter.
Dr Philip Martel