I’ve been thinking about this programme for a few days. I watched it with my wife and it left us literally speechless. I wasn’t at all sure I should put it up here, though, mostly because I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with anything to say about it. But really I think I actually feel an obligation to do so. It’s brilliant TV—formally beautiful and quite heart-breaking.
And it’s really a kind of war memorial, the kind of war memorial we make now in the television age. The programme’s got quite a lot in common with those older war memorials too. It’s a granite slab of a programme—over three hours long—and it records every single British death (so far) in Iraq and Afghanistan in a kind of mesmerising ribbon of grief and memory.
War memorials, of course, don’t expire after seven days so I find myself wondering if The Fallen will disappear along with all the other iPlayer shows in a few days, which would seem wrong.