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 Post subject: The Last Post (TV 2017-)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:20 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:43 am
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The Last Post on BBC1 is a drama about British military policemen fighting insurgents in Yemen in 1965. And the lifes the officers' wives who apparently went along on deployment and lived on base. As the old second in command is seen off, new and young man Capt. Martin fresh from Aldershot has to step up and soon finds himself under pressure in his job and his also still very young marriage to Honor. Meanwhile among the officers' a wife a changing of the guards is brewing, from 50-ies homemaker wifes to women looking for self actualization.

This is something y'all ex-military around here emight like. Or not.

The Good:
Acting: As I've grown to expect from Brit telly the acting is good. I especially like the young couple, Jeremy Neumark Jones does a good job of portraying Capt. Martin's being on one side insecure, but on the other hand a hard man. Jessie Buckley as is wife (pious Marya Bolkonskaya in the BBC's latest production of "War and Peace") is also great as his wife. Jessica Raine is furthermore very good as Mrs. Laithwaite, the strumpet.

The writing is very good at setting up counter universes like the one of the wives and the soldiers. Also I like that they got the demographics of the unit right: a mix up of very young, still boyish, rankers, experienced grunts and NCOs. And more or less seasoned officers.

The production values are good.

I am no expert on the era and have not seen much about it on TV. I like the period firearms, I suppose I spotted Webley revolvers, FN-FALs, Stirling MPs and Vickers MGs. (?)

The Bad:
I had a bad feeling from the start about everything military, which I found confirmed on imdb where several people claiming to be ex British military during the time critizise is strongly. For one the officer-men relationship sits wrong and is far too fraternizing, especially for the mid sixties. Another thing is the portrayal of the MP: as I suspected they were the internal security force to keep order in the military and not a service intentioned to directly combat insurgents. Wrestling drunks to the ground more than shooting Vickers at tribal warriors.

Even not knowing much about the British military and the time and place, tactically things fall apart pretty early. E.g. in the first ep the anti-sniper measures at base are nonexistant. Hard to belive given that the British must have been the most experienced military at counter insurgency and that they are in the midst of a fledgling insurgency. But maybe I understood the plot wrong and the insurgency was just starting in 1965 and the commanding major lives in a bubble of false security. I however found a sniper attack not being reported very hard to swallow.

In the second ep things however get unambiguously worse. Expert consulting can't be that expensive, can it? We are treated to on paper exciting action sences: RM commandos try to arrest the insurgents' leader in a raid. But why in broad daylight? And why take an overweight military policeman along who can't keep up? This is also where a goof (I suppose) happens: a machine gun is left behind for insurgents to find for no reason at all other than the major's wife going through a difficult childbirth. The tactics actually feel right until bullets start to fly. People then are running around or shoot from a kneeling or standing position. Nobody bothers to hug the ground.

Meanwhile the MP (and not the infantry?) wait for them at the rendezvous point. The major tells them to get out of the land rovers and "Take up defensive positions." Which apparently means you stand around in one of various gaggles of your choosing like schoolkids on a trip right in front of the vehicles with your Stirling casually at the hip?? I won't even get to the female embedded journalist hitting on the lad and rubbing him with sun lotion while he is supposed to secure the area, because I respect Australian actress Essie Davis too much. It finally dives into completey silly melodramatics when the commanding officer leaves it up to Martin if he, the commander, should go off mission and race back to the hospital where his wife is giving birth. Or head the effort to relieve an embattled unit. WTF!?

VERDICT: A pity, could be very good, but everything military is obviously written by people with no clue whatsoever. Still on the fence, but more of the bad and I am outtie.

"The seevens maehn... he wasn't wearing a vac suit!"

I know, but big girls need love too.

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