The Crimson Field

Season 1
 (510)7.82015TV-14
In a tented field hospital on the coast of France, a team of doctors, nurses, and volunteers work together to heal the bodies and souls of men wounded in the trenches of WWI. The hospital is a frontier: between the battlefield and home front but also between the old rules, hierarchies, class distinctions, and a new way of thinking.
Genres
Military and WarDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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  1. 1. Episode 1
    June 20, 2015
    58min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Follow volunteers Kitty, Flora and Rosalie, who soon realize they’re unprepared for front line work.
  2. 2. Episode 2
    June 27, 2015
    60min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Find out if the volunteers are ready to care for a convoy of new patients.
  3. 3. Episode 3
    July 4, 2015
    59min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Follow a patient who faces a court martial and hear Joan’s revelation of a dark secret.
  4. 4. Episode 4
    July 11, 2015
    60min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    See why the return of an old patient calls everyone’s loyalties into question.
  5. 5. Episode 5
    July 18, 2015
    58min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Learn why Grace is threatened and why Joan is in danger.
  6. 6. Episode 6
    July 25, 2015
    59min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    See how faith, hope and love are put to the test as the war machine grinds on.

More details

Directors
Thaddeus O’SullivanRichard ClarkDavid Evans
Producers
Ann Tricklebank
Season year
2015
Network
PBS
Content advisory
Foul languagedrug usesexual contentnudityviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

510 global ratings

  1. 79% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

shellpReviewed in the United States on February 28, 2016
5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic show. I was so excited to find such ...
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Fantastic show. I was so excited to find such an amazing series only to find out there are only 6 shows. Why? Why do great series get axed but the Kardashians have a million. So frustrated right now.
85 people found this helpful
MyD -- The ViewpointReviewed in the United States on June 23, 2015
5.0 out of 5 starsBEAUTIFULLY FILMED WWI MEDICAL DRAMA --- FICTIONAL CHARACTERS POPULATE A VERY HISTORICAL SET
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STUNNING CIMEMATIC LEVEL FILMING --- FOCUS MORE ON SOCIAL ISSUES AND PERSONAL DRAMAS RATHER THAN COMBAT --- (CC on streaming and SDH subtitles are on discs)

BRIEF HISTORICAL CONTEXT --- PLUS MENTION OF DVD/BLU-RAY QUALITY ON DISCS

This 2014 TV mini series was written and produced by Sarah Phelps (also did 2011 Great Expectations with Gillan Anderson). It was inspired by (but not based on) a Lyn McDonald book [[ASIN:014017866X Roses Of No Mans Land]] about volunteer nurses who served on the Western Front during WWI. Though the characters in this show are fictional, a great deal of effort and research was expended to insure a very historical setting. They are set across a spectrum of social classes and backgrounds to, in Phelp's words, illustrate the mindset of the entire country. As such, there is a heavy emphasis on social issues and personal dramas more than the war itself or combat. As these brave women help piece soldiers back together, body and soul, their own lives are somewhat dissected. There are just six episodes and the first half spends time introducing the characters while really going for the heart strings - depicting the terrible effects of war on individual soldiers. Shell shock, gaping wounds, a few medical advances, personal fear, and patriotism are all explored as story lines. Though I loved the whole series, I realize some viewers might get bogged down in the melodrama before the story arcs have a chance to set in. The second half is where the payoffs begin as many characters battle their past and secrets come to light.

THE STORY (no spoilers): It begins with three volunteer nurses in the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VADs) arriving at the port of Boulogne France 1915 as they head for a field hospital near the front. One volunteer is shown in particular as the scene opens with her. Kitty Trevelyan is on the ship rail and tosses a golden wedding ring into the water before disembarking. It seems clear she is running away from something we don't yet understand. She quickly meets up with two other volunteers, the prim Rosalie Berwick and youthful, wide eyed Flora Marshall. The three travel to camp and are introduced to the spartan and militaristic lifestyle they will live. Everyone is just coming to the realization this will not be a short war as previously thought. At the heart of the camp is the Matron of nurses Grace Carter and her adjutant Sister Quayle who was passed over for matron by the hospital commander LT COL Roland Brett. This camp politics will play a significant role as Matron Carter was once the protégé and subordinate of the curmudgeonly but decorated military nurse Sister Quayle. This dynamic is further strained by the arrival of highly skilled and rather modern Sister Joan Livesey who is Matron Carter's friend. She rides into camp on her own motor bike sporting a bob hair-do, male officer's coat, and her own complicated past. Volunteer Trevelyan is hiding her own secrets and has difficulty with a sour attitude as she learns to adjust to her new life. The focus resides more on the three volunteers though quite a number of characters hide some sort of past they may be running from. Though the first half focuses heavily on social issues, the latter half builds on that foundation and digs heavier into the individual lives as their past catches up with them and comes to a head.

OTHER THOUGHTS: I enjoyed this program right from the start, but also waited to see if they would take it somewhere beyond the melodrama. As a former soldier, I was affected by the stories of individual wounded and their plight. I admit I had to choke down a little emotion at times. I mentioned the first few episodes try to go straight for the heart strings and the drama can be heavy. I realize there are some that will feel it's a bit too much, particularly if emotion is not your thing. This was a particularly gruesome war to fight and the social changes it affected on Britain were profound. Direction is realized more specifically in the second half as mentioned. The performances were all outstanding. From the opening scene, it's clear the cinematography will be stunning.

DVD & BLU RAY QUALITY: Of course Amazon streaming doesn't match the discs. So should you decide to buy the discs - The excellent filming of this production allows for stunning presentations. The DVD is top quality for that medium. But the clarity and stunning colors really have a chance to shine on the Blu Ray presentation. The colors in the costumes, the hues of sky and countryside all really pop. It's all just gorgeous! The U.S. release does not include the special features but they are on the U.K. release. If you are thinking of buying the U.K. release, it is region locked for region 2 only.

NOTE ABOUT CONTENT: There is some language and brief male nudity as they deal with realistic hospital and military environments. This was partially edited in the broadcast version on PBS but is unedited on Amazon Streaming.

SOME INTERESTING HISTORICAL CONTEXT: The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) was established in 1909 with the help of the Red Cross. Full fledged military nurses dressed as nuns and were not allowed to marry. The VADs however, were civilian volunteers from middle and upper class families. At the start of WWI, the Red Cross was reluctant to allow civilians to serve overseas and military officials in particular would not allow them near front lines. They were not necessarily used to hard work given their background and were not used to military discipline. However, this changed after Katherine Furse took the first two VADs to France in 1914 to serve as canteen workers and cooks. They were unexpectedly caught in a battle and pressed into emergency service. Having performed well, the VAD role was increased. Over time, the volunteer worker's skill increased and fully trained nurses became more accepting. During WWI alone, 38,000 volunteers participated and served throughout many theaters of war. Some famous names of VADs you may recognize: Enid Bagnold (author National Velvet), Mary Borden, Agatha Christie, and Amelia Earhart.
107 people found this helpful
LindaReviewed in the United States on August 15, 2015
5.0 out of 5 starsReally enjoyed this series
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Really enjoyed this series, so sad that BBC decided not to run a second one. Please BBC reconsider! It feels like we were left with a lot of unfinished stories.
Crimson Field gives a good look at what it was like working on the medical side of things during WWI, especially the part that women played. The characters are interesting and have real life struggles, each with their own story to tell. If you enjoy historical dramas this is a great movie to watch. You won't find a lot of unnecessary sex/violent scenes even though this is a series about war and love. Yes, you do see the horrors of war and the damage it does to bodies and souls, but as I have come to expect from BBC, this series is a balance of real life told tastefully and in a interesting way.
45 people found this helpful
Lanna E.Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Engaging Show
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All I can say right off the bat is please make a season two! I started watching this beautifully crafted engaging show that follows the lives of nurses, doctors, and soldiers, but when I got to the end and found out that there wasn't a second season; I was none too happy. The majority of the season takes place in France during World War I where the sick or injured soldiers come to get doctored up. While there, the soldiers are either treated and can continue on with fighting or they are sent home due to illnesses/injuries that can't continue on with the fighting. While we may not see any combat, there are some moments where we can hear bombs going off or orange hues at night from the bombs going off. The show reveals that some escape home in order to get away from home drama, while there are some who try with all their might to get back home due to not being able to handle the effects of war. Every episode has some episodic conclusions, but all throughout there are plots that build up throughout. The characters are relatable and you feel for them either in a positive way or a negative way due to actions of the characters. In conclusion, this show is an amazing show that should come back. I do hope it comes back, but if not I guess I'll have to speculate what will happen with the characters. Even though it is one season and doesn't have a follow up season, please watch it anyway to see how the creators, actors, and crew came up with this great show.
15 people found this helpful
Catie CastlemanReviewed in the United States on February 21, 2016
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the best shows I've seen - SOMEONE BRING IT BACK TO LIFE!
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This show needs to get picked up by SOME network because it's truly amazing on all fronts -- acting, writing, character development, EVERYTHING! I'm so disheartened that BBC canceled this show. It's such a beautiful series. Definitely worth the watch although be warned, when episode 6 ends, don't excitedly google "The Crimson Field season 2 episode 1" because it currently doesn't exist.
68 people found this helpful
TruthgirlReviewed in the United States on July 19, 2015
5.0 out of 5 starsMy new favorite show!
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I do not know the history of the era, but I am enjoying this series very much! I cannot wait for more to be released. There is
historical information and the plot lines are very fun. I have watched 4 episodes as I deal with my house getting flooded two
times in one week. It is the perfect way to deal with stress. As I look up the stars of the show, some of them do not have very
much information on IMDB etc. Their press people need to put out more pictures and more information for people like me who
are in love with this show and want to learn about the actors. I recognize one actor from Downton Abbey and the main nurse
from The Hour, but there are many new faces to me as well. This show is worth the money!!
15 people found this helpful
Charles G. RobertsReviewed in the United States on July 14, 2015
5.0 out of 5 starsCrimson Field: A Much Watch Series
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Absolutely great series. Authentic settings, wardrobe etc. It has an excellent story line. I like everything about it. Only disappointed that there are only 6 episodes scheduled. I hope there will be additional episodes or seasons.
31 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on June 16, 2017
4.0 out of 5 starsThis show is amazing! I really can't recommend it highly enough
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After hearing about the cancellation of Home Fires, I started frantically searching for a new period drama. This show is amazing! I really can't recommend it highly enough. I love the lack of violence and the focus on day-to-day activities of non-soldiers. It has wonderful character development that happens incrementally but not so slow that you lose interest. Along with the character development, there is also a wonderful depth in each of the characters, especially the female characters that allows the show to analyze the expanding rights of women and societies recognition of their contributions and value.

The only reason this show received a 4 stars is because it does use the F word occasionally (only 2 or 3 episodes I think) and there is some brief male nudity (usually bums) that isn't mentioned in the ratings. The PG rating surprised me as other television shows that include such things are rated TV-Mature. This isn't a good show for kids under 16 in my opinion.

Lovers of Home Fires (or Mercy Street!) will also fall in love with this drama but be warned! You'll also suffer the heartbreak of finding out this show was not renewed for a second season. Maybe Amazon will pick it up as a new series? (fingers crossed!)
4 people found this helpful
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