The Crimson Field: A Review

Recently (or should I say finally?) making it to New Zealand screens this week was the BBC’s The Crimson Field. Following the experiences of patients and medics alike at a field hospital in France during the opening of World War I, there was no question that with military history a bit of a passion of mine, I was going to enjoy this series.

Crimson Field managed to tell a beautiful story of love in wartime, paint an accurate picture of British social life, for women in particular, while in no way shying away from the reality of trench warfare and its psychological effects on the men or the injuries suffered. All of the characters held depth, even nineteen-year-old Flora Marshall, played by Alice St. Clair, and the acting was phenomenal.

Kiwi Kerry Fox as Sister Margaret Quayle had me muttering at the TV even when she was playing nice, and Oona Chaplin’s Kitty Trevelyan was my favourite character (and not just because she was in Game of Thrones or had eyes for Richard Rankin’s Captain Thomas Gillan, oh that accent). Kevin Doyle’s Lieutenant Colonel Roland Brett provided some of the most heartfelt moments of the series, due to his unbending commitment to helping a particularly shell-shocked soldier.

The only bone I have to pick with the series was the rather pathetic and open ending following the rather emotional separation of Sister Joan Livesey (Suranne Jones) and her German fiancee. However, with writer Sarah Phelps having sketched out storylines for four more series, it’s no surprise.

So, as a fantastic series with an amazing cast, I was mortified to find out that the BBC has cancelled the series. The nail in the coffin, low audiences and critical praise. As someone who is passionate about the media industry, I’m getting sick and tired of ratings being behind the axing of great shows. It shouldn’t be a numbers game. NBC’s Dracula, The CW’s Star-Crossed, Legend of the Seeker..and now The Crimson Field.

However, all in all, a beautiful series and well worth the watch.

You can catch up on The Crimson Field at



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