World on Fire on Masterpiece

World on Fire on Masterpiece

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Pictured: Helen Hunt (as Nancy Campbell)

Credit: Courtesy of Gareth Gatrell / © Mammoth Screen 2019

Helen Hunt, Sean Bean, Lesley Manville and Jonah Hauer-King head an international cast in a gripping drama that follows the lives of ordinary people coping with the greatest war in human history.

Set in Britain, Poland, France, and Germany—on the frontlines and the home front—World on Fire traces the interweaved fates of several families in 1939 and 1940, from the Nazi invasion of Poland, to the near debacle at Dunkirk, to the fall of Paris and beyond. World on Fire on Masterpiece, a seven-part series, airs Sundays, April 5 - May 17, 2020 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

In Manchester, England, Douglas Bennett is fighting a losing battle for pacifism as his country spirals into war. His lawbreaking son, Tom, is given the choice of prison or the military. His daughter, Lois, is a factory worker and talented singer, involved in a romance with upper class translator Harry Chase —much to the dismay of Harry’s aloof mother, Robina.

Posted to the British embassy in Warsaw, Harry forgets Lois when he falls in love with local waitress Kasia Tomaszeski, becoming close to her family, including her studious little brother, Jan. Harry also befriends Nancy Campbell, an American radio reporter trying to uncover the truth about the Nazi regime. She gives Harry a momentous piece of advice as Nazi troops converge on the city.

Meanwhile, Nancy's nephew Webster O’Connor is pursuing his career in Europe as it plunges into chaos. Webster is a doctor at the American hospital in Paris, in love with the nightlife and attracted to a good-looking saxophone player named Albert.

All over Europe, no one can quite believe that their normal lives, their everyday pleasures and worries, are about to be demolished. World War II encompassed millions of people and millions of individuals' stories. World on Fire makes this wholesale tragedy achingly personal and, at times, heroic.

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