1 9 8 8 – 1 9 8 9 (USA)
12 x 150 minute episodes
This 30-hour sequel to the 1983 miniseries The Winds of War was based on Herman Wouk’s novel about World War II and was written for television by Wouk, Dan Curtis and Earl W. Wallace. Curtis also served as executive producer and director.
Episodes were filmed in ten countries using 44,000 actors and 757 sets and locations, with some of the concentration camp scenes actually filmed on location at Auschwitz in Poland.
The first seven episodes of the miniseries covered the years 1941 to 1943, while the final five parts ran from 1943 to the end of the war in 1945.
Principal players included: Robert Mitchum as American naval officer Victor “Pug” Henry; Polly Bergen as his wife, Rhoda Henry; Victoria Tennant as Pamela Tudsbury; Michael Woods as Warren Henry; Peter Graves as Palmer Kirby; Robert Hardy as Winston Churchill; and Steven Berkoff as Adolf Hitler.
Jane Seymour replaced Ali McGraw as Natalie Jastrow, Hart Bochner substituted for Jan-Michael Vincent as Natalie’s husband, Byron, and Sir John Gielgud replaced John Houseman as Aaron Jastrow.
Some of the combat footage consisted of outtakes from a 1941 motion picture called Dive Bombers.
Because of the huge expense of the production (estimated at $110 million) and the mediocre ratings it garnered, ABC is believed to have lost at least $20 million on the telecast. The era of the long-form miniseries had, unfortunately, already begun its eclipse.
Victor “Pug” Henry
Sir John Gielgud
Palmer ‘Fred’ Kirby