The To Serve Them All My Days miniseries is based on the novel (of the same name) by R. F. Delderfield. I admit to not having read the novel, but I have seen the miniseries… and I love it! It is not a mystery, but it does stand up to its BBC counterparts in that it is an extremely good production. The thirteen segment series was produced in 1980 and is set during the time between World War I and WW II.
The miniseries follows “David,” a soldier who survived WW I physically (albeit with a limp) but who was left with a somewhat shaky mental outlook… commonly known as shell-shock. Although not a teacher by trade, he is given a job as a teacher at an exclusive, upper-crust boys boarding school. (A “public” school… which to us in the USA translates to “private.”) David, the teacher, is beautifully played by John Duttine— who— if you are a lover of BBC/ITV productions, you will surely recognize.
David does not come from the privileged background that his students come from, and is not entirely sure he wants to teach at this posh school. But, with time, you see how David is able to identify with these boys who are expected to be “brave, little men:” while being taken from their families and placed into boarding schools at very young ages…
The cast is superb, the wardrobe is authentic-looking, and the setting is wonderful. I think that the only negative thing I have to say is that the series is simply too short. I would have loved watching more segments>>> actually, many more segments!
I missed seeing this series when it was broadcast on Masterpiece Theatre in the early 1980s so I was delighted to find it recently. I strongly recommend this wonderful production… even though it isn’t a mystery!
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