User Reviews (14)

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  • By now, anyone who hasn't seen this incredible series but has drifted across the reviews here with know that this amazing series is about an ordnance unit in Britain during the worst days of World War II as the Germans dreamed up increasingly ingenious bombs for killing British citizenry. As you follow individual members of the unit through the vicious business of trying to outsmart inventors whose main objective in life is killing if not civilians then the bomb-disposal experts, you can't help but cringe every second that one of the UXB heroes is working on a bomb. This is real-life, gut-wrenching drama at its best. Any of those bombs can go up at any second - and some of them do. With well-delineated characters which we can empathize with, this was one series that I went so far as requesting The History Channel to repeat. I thought I'd died and gone upstairs when they actually did. You won't want to miss a single episode, and you'll grip the edge of the chesterfield and clench your teeth as they try to deal with the fascinating array of different bombs. Way to go, Mr. Hawkesworth!!
  • This is an outstanding story of a British EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Detachment during World War II. The ordnance depicted along with the fusing used was actually used by the Germans during WWII. The methods used in the show are the actual (in some cases, trial and error) procedures used to defeat the ordnance during WWII.

    The RSP (render safe procedures) used today for foreign ordnance is usually classified. The main reason for this is so the enemy doesn't know that you can defeat his weapons. The British, during WWII, initially published that they defeated certain German ordnance and the RSP used as a morale booster for the citizens. The Germans, reading these accounts, then designed some of the fuses with booby traps specifically designed to kill the British EOD soldiers while they were working on the UXBs if they followed the published procedures.

    During WWII, the US Army EOD was modeled after the British detachments. Initially, the US turned to the British for training and help in getting our own EOD units established.

    One of my greatest joys from this series was the fact that I had taped it the first time I watched and then got to watch it over again with a close friend. The significance of this was: 1) I was US Army EOD, and 2) the close friend was a British EOD tech who had been awarded the George's Medal for his EOD work in Northern Ireland. To show what a tight knit group EOD personnel are - we still stay in touch with one another via the Internet after 26 years (we watched the show together in 1983).
  • I just saw it on video 20 years after first watching it on PBS. Great storytelling, great acting, great writing. John Hawkesworth made this well: he neither missed nor flubbed a detail, nor did he insert any improbable or cliched lines or angles. The actual stories themselves are simple enough: a few romances, comradery among the old boys, mateship among the men, a commanding idiot, the proverbial English eccentric ...

    But hanging over all their heads - literally - is the Nazi Blitz and its delayed-fuse calling-cards in particular. The fuses kept changing, forcing the engineers to respond to them.

    Hawkesworth didn't cop the "budget restraints" plea with "Danger UXB" like so many others would have done; he used what he could get to their fullest. He used the actual techniques used by EOD, RE, in exact detail, using real defused German bombs. I could almost feel the cold mud, a dull counter-part to the sheer terror.

    Period pieces are 100% dependent on the details to give their full effect. A wrong uniform, a 50-star flag in the 1940s, an anachronistic hairstyle or remark or attitude gives it all away every time. Hawkesworth gives nothing away in "Danger UXB;" he neither exaggerates nor underplays anything, nor does he throw in a "portent of the future" or "meeting the historical figure."

    As for the actors: superlatives won't do them justice. Talent abounds in well-written parts, great and small, with no room for star-tripping anywhere. Every role depends upon with whom they interact. About the only one I thought *may* have been short-shrifted was Maurice Röeves as Sgt. James; he seemed to be chomping on the bit to do more than bark orders, nurse the men or flip a coin through his fingers in a pub. Still, he was thoroughly believable as the backbone of Section 347.

    So: I liked it.
  • A magnificent achievement in British film-making, portraying the bomb-defusing activities and private lives of the men in this extraordinarily dangerous branch of the service in World War Two England. The acting is superb, attention to detail meticulous, casting perfect, scenes totally realistic, pacing perfect, and there's a wonderful balance of tension, romance, humour, and tragedy. I saw this series on TV in Bermuda in 1985, recently (2006) viewed the programmes again - still as marvellous today, maybe even more so as the production values have more than stood the test of time. How the person who rated this series "6" arrived at that figure completely escapes me! Highest recommendation.
  • Just finished viewing the 13 episode, 4 disk DVD set of "Danger UXB". Second time around--I saw the series many years ago on PBS.

    All the performances are outstanding but, I would like to single out Maurice Röeves as Sergeant James. Why he did not win a best actor award for 1979 is beyond me. I checked his IMDb awards. Maurice Röeves uncompromising portrayal ranks, in my opinion, right up with George C. Scott's "Patton" for outstanding screen performances.

    Rent (or buy) the 4 disk DVD set--well worth the 13 viewing hours. DVD picture and sound are very good. My only complaint about the DVD production--no closed captioning. The text is useful (to this mid-westerner) for understanding rapidly spoken dialogue.
  • Anthony Andrews stars in the 1979 series UXB (unexploded bombs). Andrews plays Brian Ash, a lieutenant assigned to a UXB unit during World War II. If a bomb dropped but didn't explode, it was up to this unit to defuse it so it would no longer be a danger. Of course you had to be careful it didn't blow up in your face. Also there were delayed- fuse bombs set to go off later.

    The show uses actual procedures, some of which were only experimental, that were applied to defuse these bombs. Initially these procedures were published, I gather, to boost morale, but the publication helped the Germans design bombs that would overcome the processes. Now the procedures, understandably, are classified.

    Danger UXB is terrifying to watch at times, because you simply don't know if the bomb will go off or not. There are no guarantees that a character is going to live - like in real life.

    What one is struck by watching this show is how archaic the methods were - huge, awkward machinery, and no protection for the soldier disarming the bomb.

    The show stands out not only for its use of real German bombs and the details of the time, but for the real human stories that it tells, with no clichés. Ash is a good, principled man, but he's often scared right down to his socks.

    The cast is uniformly excellent: Besides Andrews, Maurice Roeves, Kenneth Cranham, Iain Cuthbertsome, Deborah Watling, Gordon Kane, George Innes, and Judy Geeson, plus many others.

    I am watching this on Netflix - if you didn't see it originally, see it now - it's fabulous.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    !!! Suggestive Spoilers !!!!

    A few years ago I wrote a cursory view of this show based on memory . It was a good show according to memory but having recently seen the show in its entirety again I thought I'd give the show the respect it deserves because this remains 35 years after it was broadcast one of the greatest productions British television has produced

    The title sequence sets out the tone of the series . Its impact is in its simplicity of editing archive war footage of bombs being churned out of a German factory, being loaded on to Luftwaffe aircraft and ultimately their destination on to the British mainland . What makes this title sequence so attention grabbing is the incidental music composed by Simon Park which mirrors the very best of an oppressive Wagnerian opera

    Produced in 1979 when the war was still very much within living memory there might have been a danger of revisionism and rose tinted spectacles . Indeed since the 1950s we've all been accustomed to John Mills and the boys brewing up tea while giving those damn Nazis what for with fatalistic servitude . As historians are quick to point out the war wasn't any type of crusade against murderous fascism happily fought by democracy but was fought by countries forced in to it by Nazi expansionism and was reflected in the people who fought the war . From the outset this is mirrored by Brian Ash who finds himself conscripted in to the army and thinks his military career will be digging tunnels and building bridges only to be told his wartime service will revolve around bomb disposal

    " Don't I have to volunteer for that ? "

    " No " Replies his CO " None of us volunteered for it "

    And the camera perfectly captures the shock and horror as Ash digests this news . His horror and fear is compounded by the fact that no one in bomb disposal has any formal training and it's a case of trial and error in surviving the job

    There's a real danger of making Ash a hero . He is a hero but it doesn't make him a knight in shining armour and later in the show embarks on an affair with someone else's wife . This blurring of morality also extends to the rest of the squad where light fingered spivery isn't cured simply by sticking someone in to uniform . The characters are in the army because Hitler wants to conquer Europe , not because these characters want to be soldiers. It also makes subtle use of the painful class distinction Britain had at the time

    Another great aspect to the writing is that scripts are built upon . A seemingly throw away scene where an officer chastises Ash for wasting food sets up an episode where the officer becomes company commander and takes a personal dislike to Ash . It's also a show not scared to kill off characters . A character is introduced in the second episode then as you think he's going to be a regular he's killed off . Despite having different writers and directors there's a continuity rarely seen in television at that time along with genuinely cinematic production values

    Anthony Andrews was expected to become a major star after the series and despite being the lead in BRIDESHEAD REVISITED quickly disappeared from the radar . Two actors did become stalwarts of British television and film Maurice Roeves and Kenneth Cranham . Cranham especially is excellent as Jack Salt a likable but ultimately doomed and haunted character who has every right to feel hard done by destiny

    So 35 years after it was broadcast DANGER UXB remains one of the greatest shows in the history of television . If you've any interest in military history this is a show to enjoy . In fact if you like television in general you'll still enjoy it
  • So glad we decided to watch this series again! We watched it on PBS when it first came out & I remember holding my breath every episode! I haven't changed - Danger UXB is just as gripping in 2018!
  • mxsuba2628 January 2018
    This is a wonderful series about one part of WWII that is seldom covered in books or war movies - bomb disposal. Great cast headed by Anthony Andrews later of Brideshead Revisited. He does a wonderful job as the young new commander of a section of a bomb disposal unit working in London. Some absolute riveting scenes (the pier and the gas works are terrific episodes). His top sergeant is very believable as a career man as are the sappers. Side story of a love interest included that works well.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *Spoiler/plot- Danger UXB, 1979. This show follows a expendable British army group of munitions disposal experts coping with the many missions to clear up and disarm unexploded bombs dropped by the Natzi Luftwaffe during ww2.

    *Special Stars- Anthony Andrews.

    *Theme- British team work will win the day.

    *Trivia/location/goofs- UK. Filmed in industrial and renovated parts of English cities to represent the bombed areas of WW2.

    *Emotion- A thoroughly enjoyable character driven film plot about regular people's struggles with work, family and goals. It's a memorable film for it's themes, good casting, writing, and production. A first class British TV series with real acting, stories and pathos.
  • For me, personally, this is one of those shows that will always be my favourite. Nowadays, such type of shows don't exist even remotely, as in these times in the name of making the show so called 'realistic', they make it either kind of too depressing or just into something really stupid! After all, a tv show or movie's one of the main purposes is to connect with the audience in the best way possible. For instance, this show has everything, it's realistic, i mean uncannily realistic, it has got humour, it has got romance, it's unpredictable and has really got an element of surprise to it, in short it has got everything, a show of this genre must have, but the difference in this show is that the way in which it has attempted to tell the story of these brave men has a certain charm and understanding to it, which the today's shows thoroughly lack( at least I feel that way)!! According to me, it deserves an even higher rating.. seriously!
  • I rembered this series on its first transmission in 1979.Many viewers at that time would remember the blitz first hand.I purchased the dvd some years ago,and it has had a recent airing on TPTV. Just as good as ever.Marvellous to see Kathleen Harrison in one of her last roles.It it feels so authentic and gives an idea of the science involved without it ever becoming dull.
  • BlissQuest29 May 2020
    Excellent war drama, on par with Foyle's War. Produced when British television drama was at its best, in my opinion. A lot of up and coming young actors who are very familiar (much older) faces today. 13 episodes done just right.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    So I watched this for the first time on pbs and what a delight you have the royal engineers bomb squad going out to find and defuse bombs I watched a episode about the butterfly bomb and how they defuse them they had to use just rope 1 was in a church 1 was In a electricity line and link of them in field and 1 was in a kids draw but I will get to that 1 later also the way they deactivate the bombs makes you fill like your there as well oh yeah the last butterfly bomb in the kids draw well his mum finds it and goes and gets a soldier to come to her house to defuse it which he does but well I don't want to say what happens so your have to find out yourself =P