37 Days


How do you turn the diplomatic exchanges before the outbreak of the First World War into a TV drama?

This month Angus, Jessica, and Chris discuss the 2014 BBC series 37 Days. Along the way they explore the role of France in the war’s outbreak, how similar the cast appeared to historical figures, a random Star Wars connection, and whether Guy Ritchie should tackle the topic next.


37 Days (1914)
Christopher Clark The Sleep Walkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (Penguin, 2013)
Mark Hayhurst The battle of ’37 days’ (openDemocracy, 2014)
David Elstein The BBC’s Great War (openDemocracy, 2014)
Fritz Fischer Germany’s Aims in the First World War (WW Norton & Company, 1967)James Joll, The Origins of the First World War (1970)The Pursuit of Love (BBC1 2021)William Le Queux, The Invasion of 1910 (1906)
John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)
Parade’s End (BBC2 2012)

Other episodes

War Hospital

What happens when you turn a First World War medical process into a computer game?

The Grizzled

What happens when you turn the French experience of the war into a cooperative game?

Women at War

What happens when you set a telenovela in First World War France?