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Danger UXB: The Special Edition (4 Discs)

Released on 19 June 2006

Featuring: Anthony Andrews, Maurice Roeves & Judy Geeson

Format: DVD | Rating: 12 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (5 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Anthony Andrews plays a young Lt. in the early days of World War II who is assigned to a UXB unit. UXB is the signal that an aerial bomb has not exploded.

Andrews' job is to deactivate bombs made by German technicians some of which have fuses specifically designed to kill him. The series takes us through his maturation as an officer, a love story with Judy Geeson, and the stresses and strains of wartime on the civilians and military in England.

Episodes Comprise:

1. Dead Man's Shoes
2. Unsing Heroes
3. Just Like A Woman
4. Cast Iron Killer
5. The Silver Lining
6. The Quiet Weekend
7. Digging Out
8. Bad Company
9. Seventeen Seconds To Glory
10. Butterfly Winter
11. Dead Letter
12. The Pier
13. With Love From Adolf
  • 'Cast Iron Killers': exclusive documentary featuring the cast and crew
  • Commentaries on 4 episodes
  • PDF files of 3 Jeremy Paul scripts

customer Reviews

 Average rating (5 reviews)

 Brilliant Drama - A real white knuckle ride for the viewer

| | See all Motorhead's reviews (25)

Made by the same production company as The Sweeney, Minder and Upstairs Downstairs, this cracking TV series is proof that ITV could turn out some fabulous TV.

The 13 part series was originally broadcast in 1979 and follows the exploits of Brian Ash (a then unknown Anthony Andrews) as he is drafted into the army Unexploded Bomb (UXB) disposal unit, dealing with UXB's that fall in London. The series then follows him throughout the war and shows just what an incredibly dangerous job these men did, men who had to stare death in the face every time they were called out.

The stories are unpredictable, full of shocks and show just what a war of minds was going on between the German bomb designers and the men defusing them in Britain. What is also unexpected are the great characterisations (Maurice Roeves as the Sergeant is superb) and the plethora of now familiar faces who crop up in small roles. The stories are solid and very believable (most of the technical details are true) and the direction is universally first class, creating real tension and unexpected results.

This is a fantastic history lesson that gives us an idea of what life in wartime Britain (and London) was like, warts and all (with some unexpected choice language). This series has largely been forgotten now, probably due to the lack of repeat showings in those 28 years, which is very unfair because it is an extremely good show that captures the era well and tells some quite fascinating stories.

Defiantely well worth a watch for lovers of well made, high class drama with bite.

 Excellent stuff

| | See all renamus's reviews (3)

Danger UXB is the kind of programme which ITV is now incapable of making - the story takes its time to establish characters, and the plot takes twists which are creative and seem realistic. The wide cast of main characters (largely) avoid a reliance on stereotypes, in that although we have seen these 'types' before, character motivations are driven by the plot.

The actual bomb disposal is occasionally a bit repetitive, but I liked the low-tech and clearly hazardous portrayal - the opening scene of a death hits home the dangers!

Finally, the story tends to take unexpectedly hard-hitting detours, which do well to convey how mundane everyday life continued alongside the reality of war.

An excellent series.

 clockstopper on!

| | See all HumanLeaguefan's reviews (218)

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Glancing over the thirteen episodes of 'Danger UXB' the highlights for me are "Cast Iron Killer" (the first appearance of Doctor Gillespie) and "Digging Out" (the 'Sapper' soldiers helping to rescue a trapped woman from a collapsed warehouse close to an adjacent UXB whilst the Lieutenant Ash and Sergeant James are otherwise occupied) however for the most part I felt it a rather lacklustre viewing experience. Now don't get me wrong there's nothing inherently wrong with this series, the original premise is suitably intriguing matched with a highly effective memorable opening (archive footage running alongside highly emotive theme music) and closing (slightly jaunty, self-satisfied instrumental composition) sequence it's just a shame that there wasn't more use of incidental music during the actual stories to further enthuse my attention. Despite this Network have certainly done us proud with highly appealing artwork spread over the cover sleeve, on the disc covers and through the looped music menu which effectively convey the dramatic nature of the work that the series principal cast members are involved in. For this 'Special Edition' we have a 4/3/3/3 episode split over the four discs with the first also offering up PDF's of scripts for "Butterfly Winter", "Just Like A Woman" and "Quiet Weekend". All four of the commentaries (featuring on the 1st, 5th, 6th and 10th episodes), are worth listening to however the most relaxed and enjoyable for me would be on fifth episode "The Silver Lining" with George Innes providing great light-hearted value despite his late arrival to the microphone. The main extra is of course "Cast Iron Killers - The Story of Danger UXB" which I was delighted to find runs to an impressive 48 mins and is a pleasingly informative and entertaining item interspersed with occasional technical information on UXB's from bomb expert Steve Venus. Amongst the worthy tit-bits conveyed series lead Anthony Andrews mentioned that he was writing a series similar to this before show creator John Hawkesworth phoned him up and offered him the part of Lieutenant Brian Ash. I was indeed delighted to see (former Doctor Who 'Troughton era' companion) Deborah Watling contributing to this documentary and amongst her welcome comments she mentioned about how actors were segregated as per their acting roles when it came to the location catering facilities, something that apparently was hardly worthy of praise! This specially recorded item is indeed well positioned on the fourth disc and, if like me, you have not seen this series before, I earnestly recommend that you watch this after seeing the complete series as the contributors do make reference to the climactic events of "The Pier" and "With Love From Adolf" which if you've not seen these stories could dent the dramatic impact of what happens. Although feeling a little let down by the overall fairly lacklustre dramatic punch compared with other WWII series (e.g. "Secret Army" and "Wish Me Luck") the 'Special Edition' extras adequately compensate making a fairly worthy title release.

 Brian Ash? It's a wonder he survived!

| | See all MisterMerlin's reviews (8)

I can't believe it is 30 years odd since this series hit our screens. It is as good today, as any drama on TV now a days and echo sentiments that "They don't make them like this any more!".
Brian Ash, an officer fresh out of army training, is put in charge of a unit of a bomb disposal squad in the early days of the blitz in London, much to his horror as he has not done any bomb diffusal previously. It was rather a pioneering art to dispose these bombs. You basically wrote the book as you went along. Constantly changing fuse and detonators were obsitcales you had to deal with. One false move... and that would be that.
There are many hair-raising moments in this excellent series. Some have happy outcomes, some do not.
Brian Ash is brilliantly portrayed by Anthony Andrews. He falls in love with the daughter of an inventor played by Judy Geeson. Other noteable cast members are Kenneth Cranham (Shine on Harvey Moon fame) and Jeremy Sinden (Son of Donald Sinden) who unfortunately died in 1996. Each episode, Ash is thrown in at the deep end and personal stories affect the members of his team, as well as his own, complicated love life.
This is one series you will want to watch again and again. I have owned mine for several years, and usually watch most of them in one go. Gripping stuff, well written and convincingly acted. 5/5 from me. Such a pity they only made the 1 series though. I think this could have run for much longer. Best episodes for me were the one with the rather ruthless Superior... who you wanted Ash to belt, but he never did... and the Butterfly Bomb episode. All the episodes were good though. Really excellent in fact. Buy this, Keep this and enjoy!

 Danger UXB

| | See all Dazza31's reviews (9)

what an excellent series!!! 1978... Hurt locker got nothing on this! Only problem i have is i have 2 discs 2,s in my box set so gotta get on to play .but this really is worth buying and at 650 minutes well worth the money.

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ActorsAnthony Andrews, Maurice Roeves, Judy Geeson, Nick Brimble, Peter Cartwright, Kenneth Cranham, Moyra Fraser, Alfie Bass, Tim Pigott-Smith, Jeremy Sinden & Iain Cuthbertson
Certificate12 years and over
ScreenFullscreen 4:3
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (1.0) Mono
Duration10 hours and 50 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.