Enjoying a BBC Classic

In my search for some new videos to watch, I came across the BBC classic mini-series, To Serve them All My Days. Based on a novel by by R. F. Delderfield, the film deals with the journey of a young WWI veteran from the time he leaves the service through his career as a schoolmaster at an elite British public boarding school. Even though the young man, David Powlett-Jones, does not have a degree when he applies for the position, the likable headmaster, Algy Herries is impressed by him and gives him a chance to prove himself. David goes on to finish his degree and teaches at the school for many years. He weathers many personal trials and enchants the audience with his passion for teaching and for guiding his students through life.

The film itself is simply made. There are no frills here. But the script and the acting give what might sound like dry material for a film come to life with a lot of dramatic flair. I especially liked the actor Alan MacNaughtan who plays an older colleague to Powlett-Jones. MacNaughtan is a dry-witted curmudgeonly bachelor who befriends PJ, and endears himself to the audience with each episode of the series.

We still have one more disc left of the 4-disc set, and I am waiting anxiously for it to be delivered to our local branch of the St Louis County Library so I can see how David’s career ends. I can already tell I’ll be sorry when it is over, and I’ll have to check out the book to read it, too.

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