‘World on Fire’ preview: First look at BBC’s epic new World War II drama

The first official promotional photos have been released for World on Fire.

Set during the first year of the Second World War, the new period drama series comes from the makers of Parade’s End and the writer of The A Word, Peter Bowker.

The seven one-hour episodes will open with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and end with the Battle of Britain in 1940.

World on Fire began filming in Prague in the Czech Republic last year, later shooting in Manchester, England and Paris, France.

The all-star cast is led by Oscar-winner Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets), Sharpe star Sean Bean and English actress Lesley Manville (MumRiver).

Also appearing are Blake Harrison (A Very English Scandal), poet and actor Yrsa Daley-Ward (Today Will Burn), Ansu Kabia (The Long Song) and Ewan Mitchell (The Last Kingdom), Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women), Julia Brown (The Last Kingdom) and Tomasz Kot (Cold War).

World on Fire is expected to premiere in the UK on BBC One this September, marking 80 years since the outbreak of World War II.

It has also just been announced that the series will be airing in the USA on Masterpiece on PBS.

Executive producer Rebecca Eaton commented: “World on Fire tells the deeply moving stories behind some of World War II’s major historical events.”

The former Downton Abbey exec added: “We’re honoured to be teaming with Mammoth Screen on this remarkable new series, which offers a perspective of the war that has not been seen before.”

Ruth Berry, Managing Director of ITV Studios Global Entertainment, has described World on Fire as “one of the most important pieces of television ever to be made.”

She said: “It is our privilege to share this multi-faceted story of World War Two globally and take a step to ensure that the stories around such a pivotal moment in history are not lost for younger generations.”