Band of Brothers is an American World War II television miniseries based on the book of the same title by Stephen Ambrose and executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks which centres on the experiences of E Company ("Easy Company") of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army.
The series covers Easy's basic training at Toccoa, Georgia, the American airborne landings in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of Bastogne and on to the end of the war.
The series aired in the USA on HBO from 9 September to 4 November, 2001. There are 10 hour-long episodes in the mini-series.
The series originally aired in South Africa on M-Net, from 27 December, 2002 to 28 February, 2003. It later aired on DStv's M-Net Action channel and on TopTV's Fox FX channel. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Band of Brothers premiered on Fox FX on Monday 11 April 2011, at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly.
Fox FX Repeats
Tuesdays: 03h30, 22h00
Wednesdays: 05h15, 19h45
This highly acclaimed Emmy nominated series is based on the book called Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne From Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose. Its executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
This 10 part mini-series dramatically recreates the path of an elite paratrooper unit (East Company) from their basic training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia in 1942, to D-Day, to their critical involvement in the Battle of the Bulge, through their triumph at the close of the war.
The series is an ensemble piece, involving a large variery of characters. One could say, however, that there is a central character, Dick Winters -who went to Toccoa as a lieutenant and was promoted, over the course of the war, to battalion commander.
He is depicted as a brave, resourceful, and humane leader. It's clear that the men revered him, and that he genuinely respected and cared about them.
The series dramatizes the courage and fortitude of many others, but it's clear that Winters sets the tone for his men, and plays a pivotal role in the unit's success.
While the story of Easy Company has been condensed and altered in some minor ways for dramatic purposes, and much of the dialogue was, by necessity, invented, the producers placed a strong emphasis on accurately depicting the conditions under which these men lived, fought, and died.
Several survivors from the company consulted on the project, and an enormous amount of money was spent on sets, costumes, and special effects in order to re-create their experience.
Each episode includes brief excerpts from present-day interviews with some of the surviving members of the company.
The series was nominated for 19 Emmy Awards, and won six, including prizes for "Outstanding Mini-Series", "Outstanding Casting for a Mini-Series, Movie or a Special", and "Outstanding Directing for a Mini-Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special".
It also won a Golden Globe for "Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television".
Due to the miniseries only casting a limited portion of the Easy Company roster, certain roles had to be changed from their historical counterparts.
For example, in the last patrol at Hagenau, the book cites Sergeant Mercier as the leading NCO with 2LT Jones as ranking officer. As Mercier was not cast in the mini-series, the position was filled by Sergeant Martin.
During the Brecourt Manor Assault on D-day in episode two, Colonel Strayer of 2nd Battalion, 506th tells Richard Winters to eliminate a battery of 88mm cannon. The movie portrays the cannon as 88mm guns.
In reality and in the book, the battery were 105mm guns, not 88mm.
The title for the series and the book it's based on comes from a speech delivered by Henry V of England before the Battle of Agincourt in William Shakespeare's Henry V; Act IV, Scene 3:
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
There are 10 episodes in one season
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 27 Dec 2002 | Finale: 28 Feb 2003 | Fridays, 22h00
Channel: M-Net Action | Premiere: 2 Mar 2010 | Finale: 27 Apr 2010 | Tuesdays, 20h00
Channel: Fox FX | Premiere: 11 Apr 2011 | Finale: 13 Jun 2011 | Mondays, 20h30