There is no release date yet for the £8.5 million series written by Stephen Malatratt, writer of ITV’s remake of The Forsyte Saga, but it could be screened as early as April.
Filmed in the Isle of Man by Granada Media, the series is now at the editing stage, having finished its 20-week filming schedule before Christmas.Island At War is set in the invented island of St Gregory and stars James Wilby (Maurice, Howard’s End) as Deputy Island Governor James Dorr, Clare Holman (Prime Suspect 6, Henry VIII) as his wife Felicity and Philip Glenister (Calendar Girls, State of Play) as German Kommandant Von Rheingarten.The six 90-minute episodes follow the lives of three island families – the Dorrs, the Jonases and the Mahys – as they struggled to come to terms with the Germans’ presence and the effect of Occupation.
The evacuation of the island is a major storyline, and the producers hope that Island At War will extend to at least two further series.’It’s way up in ITV’s priorities.
It’s a major piece of television,’ producer John Rushton said.
‘We took over an entire town, including the harbour, cutting off four main streets – I can’t see many places letting us do that during the tourist season.’Disruption during high season and the fact that the Isle of Man is closer – and cheaper to reach – for Manchester-based Granada Media were the main reasons for not filming in the Channel Islands.However, Mr Rushton said that although the characters and setting are fictional, storylines have been drawn from historical events, such as the bombing of Jersey before the Germans knew the Island had been demilitarised.