Last night part 9 of The Pacific aired and whilst I really didn't think that it was possible for this mini series to visit darker and more brutal territory it once again raised the bar for the hell that was witnessed and suffered in this war for both those fighting it and those civilians caught in the crossfire. I have not written much about this mini series which is no reflection as to how I feel about it, in fact I intended to write about the completed version of the show, however after yet another superb instalment I feel that it is fair that I begin my appreciation of this extensive series now.
Band of Brothers it is isn't which is not a bad thing. With Band of Brothers we were taken on the tour of Europe with the same company of men throughout and this worked with the type of story they were telling for that show, Band of Brothers is one of my favourite all time programmes so I really did not want The Pacific to be a redraft of this in a South Pacific setting as it would not have done service to those who had fought in this war to rehash the same story twice. Instead we have been shown the journeys of three very different men and how this war was for them and this method of storytelling has been successful overall. At times at the start of the series it felt perhaps too fragmented, especially when Sledge was still at home in Alabama, however with this minor gripe aside I thought this narrative device worked. Where the first half of the series belonged primarily to Leckie (James Badge Dale), the latter half has mostly been Sledge's and this has been exemplified by strong performances by Joseph Mazello as Sledge and his partner in battle Remi Malek as Snafu who week by week have delved in to the madness and desperation of war with utter conviction.
The final instalment looks like it will be focusing on what happens to the men who fought and lived when the war is over, was Sledge's father right to think that his 'soul would be ripped out' by everything that he would see?
Photo courtesy of HBO