Shown: 19 October 1998
It is 1917 and Europe is embroiled in a war on a scale never experienced before.
The casualties resulting from the most horrendously destructive conflict ever waged averaged tens of thousands every week. Some men broke down under the relentless bombardment and from living the hell of mechanised trench warfare.
At Craiglockhart War Hospital, in a remote part of Scotland, a friendship develops between psychologist Dr William H R Rivers (Jonathan Price), and three of his patients - poets Siegfried Sassoon (James Wilby), Wilfred Owen (Stuart Bunce), and working class officer Billy Prior (Jonny Lee Miller).
At the centre of the story is the relationship between the two poets and Sassoon's intellectual duels with Rivers as they justify their stances on the war.
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"Regeneration" is based on the first book of the Booker Prize-winning biology by Pat Barker. It covers the period after Siegfried Sassoon's statement, 'Finished With The War - A soldier's Declaration' was read out in the House of Commons. As a result he was admitted to Craiglockhart War Hospital.
This remote Scottish Castle was requisitioned by the Army in 1916 and turned into an institution where officers were treated for shell-shock. It was here that Sassoon came under the care of leading Cambridge neurologist, ethnologist and psychologist, Professor W H R Rivers, who was to become his lifelong friend.
He also befriended fellow poet, Wilfred Owen, whom he inspired to write "Anthem For Doomed Youth" and "Dulce at Decorum Est." After the war Sassoon edited and published his friend's work.
A major difficulty for MacKinnon in his frank portrayal of the World War One trenches was how to recreate the squalor and horror that tipped men over the edge. The crew spent seven weeks on location in a field outside Airdrie exposed to the worst that can be expected of a Scottish winter - wind, rain and snow. The result of which was several feet of authentic mud and sub-zero temperatures.