The BBC has delivered some truly smashing television this year.

Audiences are ready to embark on an incredible journey into the past with this World War II-set drama. 

New miniseries World on Fire offers viewers the chance to explore people of the past and witness the many ways that war affected this varied ensemble. Across seven episodes – it’s billed as a mini-series – we’re introduced to and get to know a range of characters as they strive to survive and fight their cause during the first year of the Second World War. 

As it’s told from numerous perspectives, there’s a lot to digest; who are the characters? Well, there’s Harry (Jonah Hauer-King), an English translator in Warsaw trying to smuggle his Polish partner (Zofia Wichłacz) out of the country in evasion of the Nazis. We also follow his first love back home called Lois (Julia Brown) as she works for a better life beyond the war. Along with Nancy (Helen Hunt), a US war correspondent and the Rosslet family in Berlin, there are plenty of characters to connect with across Peter Bowker’s compelling portrait of humanity. 

Where was World On Fire filmed?

As you can tell from our description of the series, its narrative spans numerous locations. So, where was it all shot?

According to IMDb, here are the four crucial locations:

– St. Annes on the Sea, United Kingdom (Beach Scenes)

– Prague, Czech Republic

– Zatec, Czech Republic

– Wigan, Greater Manchester, England, UK  (around Duke Street and Castle Street)

 BT notes that filming commenced in Prague back in October 2018 and then moved onto Manchester, filming in Castlefield and beyond. To be more specific with the Manchester shoot, it’s noted that some filming took place around Duke Street and Castle Street. The Prague shoot was particularly important, as the location was also used for the scenes set in Berlin, Paris and Warsaw. 


The importance of Prague 

As highlighted by The Sun, director Adam Smith discussed the experience of working in Prague to recreate the sense of another place entirely. 

In an interview, he expressed: “Prague was amazing to work in, with some fantastic locations. They were so varied and so different. We built a big set of Warsaw… We tried to get as many real locations as we could then add CGI on top.”

Executive producer also spoke of her confidence in the shoot: “They’d found these incredible factory ruins, and then we built some of the Warsaw set beyond it, so you had these perfect streets, then as you told the story of [the war in] Warsaw, we pulled apart the set and destroyed it, and then revealed the ruins beyond…. You’d walk along this beautiful set and feel like you were there.”


When is it on?

It’s here!

The first episode premieres at 9pm on Sunday, September 29th 2019 over on BBC One.

Subsequent episodes will air weekly at the same time. If you miss it, you’ll be able to catch up with episodes on BBC iPlayer once they’ve aired!

So, with everything in place, we hope you enjoy World On Fire – who knows, perhaps you’ll spot a bunch of familiar locations yourselves as the series progresses…

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