ABC1 screens two-part UK drama Birdsong, based on the popular 1993 war novel by Sebastian Faulks.
This is a Working Title production for ITV and stars Eddie Redmayne (The Pillars of the Earth, My Week with Marilyn) as Stephen Wraysford and Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Gossip Girl) as Isabelle Azaire.
Filmmaker Abi Morgan (Iron Lady, The Hour) adapts Sebastian Faulk’s epic love story set against the First World War into a haunting and powerful mini-series.
Lieutenant Stephen Wraysford (Eddie Redmayne) is stationed in the trenches of the western front in France in 1916. But Stephen’s mind is elsewhere, reliving his relationship with Isabelle Azaire (Clemence Posey), the married woman he met and fell in love with in Amiens during the summer of 1910.
Stephen is ordered to oversee the men digging a tunnel under no-man’s-land to the German trenches and witnesses the deadly effects of a flash flood in the tunnel. Tunneller Jack Firebrace (Joseph Mawle) is the last man out, bearing news of the death of one of the men.
Stephen later finds Firebrace asleep on guard duty, and summons him to his quarters the next morning to be court-martialled. But when Firebrace reveals that his mind too is elsewhere – at home, with his young son who is ill with diphtheria – Stephen abruptly lets him go.
On the next shift, Stephen and the tunnellers encounter German soldiers whose tunnel has intersected with their own, and a battle underground battle ensues.
8:30pm Sunday June 29 ABC1.