World on Fire


Episode 7

Harry has a second chance at saving Kasia from Warsaw. In Manchester, could Lois be set for happiness at last?

AIRED: May 17, 2020 | 0:52:11

LAURA LINNEY: This is "Masterpiece."

TAYLOR: We could use a man of your talent.

Going back to France and Poland, how do you feel about that?

That would suit me.

LINNEY: Previously, on "World on Fire"...

Once you're declared dead, it makes it easier for you

to escape. This will work, will it?

WEBSTER: You'll know before I do.

I would look after youand the baby.


ROSSLER: She will stay here, where she is safe.


Think of your son-- you have no choice.

I don't think this is a good idea after all, do you?

Come on.

I get out of here, it'll be somewhere worse.

So don't stir things up.

You shouldn't be here!

TAYLOR:First contact,local resistance.

And if I fail to make contact?


LINNEY: "World on Fire," the season finale,

right now on "Masterpiece."

(camera shutter clicks)

NANCY (on radio): With the Germans firmly in control of much

of mainland Europe,

there is no doubt Hitler's attention now

is focused toward Great Britain.

As yet, Churchill's forces have held at bay the Nazi threat

which has so ruthlessly advanced across the continent,

nation after nation falling

to the sheer force of the Blitzkrieg campaign.

For how much longer Britain can defy its momentum

seems soon to be proven.

Their army much depleted,

they look to their Navy and the Royal Air Force

to defend their island. (Harry grunts)

NANCY: These are the darkest of times for Britain, for Europe,

and, indeed, the rest of the world.

(people speaking Polish and German in background)

TAYLOR: How are you finding the training?

HARRY: I'm improving.

I'm only theoretically deadthree times a day now.

Maybe some of the...

Three times a day is better than most.

(men shouting drills in distance)

I've called you in because you leave tomorrow night.

The drop is radio equipment and light explosives.

The return journey will be on land, getting a group

of key resistance fighters out.

This kind of operation carries the highest risk.

So, I'd think about getting your affairs in order

before you leave.

(people talking in background)

Five minutes.

I'm going away.

There's a good chanceI won't make it back.

I want you to knowI've made a will.

You will bethe sole beneficiary.

How many times, I don't want your money!

It isn't for you.

If something does happen,

then you won't get my war pension.

Because you're not my wife.

(children shouting nearby)

(inhales): Well, good.

I'm glad we sorted that out.

Thanks for telling me.

(soldiers speaking German in next room)



(soldiers talking, laughing)

(playing Debussy's "Beau Soir")

(other instruments join in)

("Beau Soir" continues)

PRIEST (speaking German):

(door opens)

(door closes)

I'm sorry.

Your father didn't want you to know.

He wanted you to think it was an accident.

Why should I believe you?

I have proof

of their whole euthanasia program, if you want it.

No. (sniffles)

No, I don't need proof.

There were rumors,whispers at the front,

and there were always rumors.

(voice breaking):I know what they're capable of,

and I'm part of it.


I'm fighting for them.

I'm on their side.

Whether I like it or not,I'm fighting for their cause.

You have no choice.

Yes, I do have a choice,Frau Campbell.


I'm just too weak to make it.

(crying) No.

You really haven't.

(Klaus continues crying)

("The Lord Is My Shepherd" playing on organ)



(organ playing faintly)

Thank you, Nancy.

I do not know what you've said to him,

but thank you. (door closes)

If I lose Klaus, I've lost everything,

and if a parent can't look after their child,

then what use are they on God's earth?

Children never stopneeding you.

Their pain is like our pain,

isn't it, always?

You have children, too, Miss Campbell?

You didn't say.

I have a child.

A son.

He's grown up now.

My son.

(wind howling)

ALBERT: I'm forming an orchestra.

There's a lot of musiciansin here, Webster.

Jazz guys, mainly, buta fair few classical musicians.

Wait till those German bastardshear us play Beethoven.

How's that for inferior race,you Nazi pigs?

The main thing is that we get you out.

I will find a way.

I've got an orchestra waiting for me, Webster.

Wait, um, please.

I... I don't understand why you're being like this.

I... I know it's hard.

No, you don't.

That's just it, you don't know, you can't know.

The queers in here with me, they know.

The blacks in here, they know.

The Jews, the scum, that's me, that's us.

I'm the one in the cage here.

You can walk out whenever you like.

And I'm telling you,

don't ever come back, Webster.


(softly): Albert.

(dog barking in distance)

Let's go this way--I know somewhere.

It's quieter down here.

No, I know a house, come with me.

(words catching)


Easy, soldier, you're hurting me.

(gun bolt racking)


Tomasz. Haände hoch!

(band playing "In a Sentimental Mood")


(band continues)



Come on, Lois. (groaning)

Come on, love,you can do it.

I can't, I can't, I can't.

I hate to tell you, love,but you got no choice.

(groaning, stifling laugh)

Don't make me laugh.

The baby will come too soon

and grow up to be a ventriloquist.

(laughing):Now you're making me laugh.


(Lois groaning)

CONNIE: Come on, that's it, come on, push-- brilliant.

Come on, love, push.

(panting) That's it.

Nearly there.

(Lois screaming nearby)

You don't want to go in there, Douglas.

Believe me. No, I don't want to go in there.

I just want to know how she is.

CONNIE: Push, Lois. (baby crying)

Ooh, ooh.

(baby crying)


(knock at door)


(door opens)

You've got a granddaughter, Douglas.


And she's beautiful.

(exhales): Right.

You all right, love?(sniffles)


Just your regular Saturday night, you know.

(breathes deeply)

Hello, you.

(chuckles softly)

(exhales softly)

ANCHOR (on radio): Despite suffering heavy losses in France,

Britain's stand againstthe Nazis continues in earnest.

Mr. Churchill has made very clear

that Britain still counts France

amongst our closest allies,

and that our great country will do all it can

to fight on against their common enemy.

(Kasia gasps)


(Kasia crying)

(brakes squeak)

(engine stops)

(door closes)

(fire crackling)


Is everything all right?

Is it Jan?

The baby's been born.

Your baby's been born.

A girl.

A girl.

(sharply): Yes!

(fire crackling, clock ticking)

(quietly): I see.

Douglas came round to tell me

flushed with excitement.

I think he was hoping I would reciprocate

and dash to the little bastard's manger bearing gifts.

Don't use that word.

Why not? Does it insult your sense of decency?Yes.

It does. In what way?

The fact that what I said is true

or the fact that you believe it, too?

I do not believe it.

It's a disgusting word.

And it's what the child is.

What your child will always be called.

Perhaps in your world.

And not in Lois's?

Where the warmhearted poor

will take an under-the-stairs child

and hold it to their collective bosom

in their socialist utopia?

I've seen the warmhearted poor

at that wretched school that Jan attends.

I've seen the way they treat outsiders.

Why are you even telling me this?

Lois wants nothing to do with me,

and she wants me to have nothing to do with the baby.

You have a choice.

I am respecting her wishes!

Which conveniently coincide with your own.

I am committed to providing for that child!

For my child!

Have you promised money?

Are you goingto see the baby?

No, of course not.Well, why not?

Now you're displaying this sudden concern.

Because it would break my heart, you foolish boy!

When did you grow a heart?

(footsteps retreating, door opens, closes)

(baby fussing)

(house door opens)

(baby crying in distance)

(breathes deeply, house door closes)

(murmurs)I'm sorry.

I just wanted to, um...

I gave you the benefit of the doubt

when our Lois started first knocking about with you.

Let's just say you wouldn't have been my first pick.

You made that very clear at the time.

But a lad from your background

getting stuck in on the politics,

the stand you took,

can't have been easy.

I've met your mother, remember.

(chuckles bitterly) But this.

(chortles): This.

You got this so wrong.

You will miss out on her loving you,

and on you loving her.

So, in the end,

I feel sorry for you.

(voice breaking): What do I do?

You carry your pain.

You live with it.

That's what you bloody well do.

(talking in background)

Is that you, pretending

to be a grown-up?

Auntie Nancy?

What are you doing in Paris?

(chuckles) Mmm.

So good to see you. Mmm.

Who have you spoken to in the authorities?


Just the dumbass guards at Saint-Denis.

Do you have any friends in the officer class?

A guy called Sieber.

But he doesn't have very much say-- have you?

I have plenty.

And this friend of yours, is he a political activist?

A trade unionist?

No, he's French-African.


All right. I suspect that was enough.

I can't make any promises, but my censor is with us,

in Paris with the press corps-- I will talk to him

and see if he can do something useful for a change.

That would be great.

And, uh, I'll keepmaking a noise here. No.

If you want them to leave the hospital alone,

leave the noisemaking to me.


And this Albert,

he clearly means a great deal to you.


I thought so.

(birds chirping)

(door opens)

I'm leaving the country tomorrow.

Of course you are.

And I don't want us to part like this.

I'm sorry for what I said.

About my heart?

Well, it was witty, at least.

I, I don't know what to do about gestures like that.

A lot of people did thatwhen your father died.

I mean, does one...

Take the handand squeeze it back?

And what does that mean?

That you are now comforting the comforter?

That you're reassuring the comforter that you're fine?

That you... got over the embarrassment of your grief?

Is that how you see grief?

As an embarrassment?

No, no, not, not generally, but...

For our particular circumstances...

Father was sick.

He came back from the war

a sick man.

And I know how that can happen now.

What he did was unforgivable.

Would you feel the same way

if he had been killed in action?

No, of course not.

His death wouldn't have beenhis responsibility

and bad luck,

but not by his own hand and planned.

He was destroyed every bit as completely

as if he'd been blown to smithereens.

No, other men suffered, other men saw bad things,

but they came back and they got on with it.

Perhaps he just wasn't strong enough.

Well, that's a polite way of saying he was weak.

And you can't forgive him for that?

(voice breaking): No, I'm afraid I cannot.

And it's an...

indescribably sad feeling, but I can't.

We're going to have to do something about this.



You and her should have my room, and I'll stay in here.

What about Tom?

When he comes back?

He's not coming back.

You don't believe he's dead.

I've got more than meself to think about now, haven't I?

Well, I'm glad I gave you something

to take your mind off things.

That was the plan all along.


Harry knows.

Come round last night.

I, uh...

I sent him away.

Hope I did right.

You did.

(knock at door)

Oh, no, no, no-- oh, no.

No, no, no.


(knocking continues, Douglas panting)

LOIS: Dad?

Aren't you going to answer it?

If we don't open the door, they can't tell us.

And if they can't tell us, then it won't be true.

Dad, we have to open the door.


VERNON (knocking):Hello?

Hello, I'm, I'm lookingfor Lois Bennett.

I was told she lives here.

I don't understand, Vernon.

Why would you do this?

Look at me.

A girl who got into trouble with another man's child.

No money, no prospects.

I have no prospects, either.

Well, death, I suppose, is a prospect of sorts.

But I can provide for you and your child,

and I can't think of anything I'd rather do.

(children shrieking playfully outside)

What if you were to just marry me on impulse

and think about it later?

We've only been in the same room

for about two hours in total.

And how have you liked it so far?


Stop-- you have to stop this.

I have no expectations, I have no assumptions,

about this marriage.

The world is wrong right now.

It's... it's so wrong.

And if I'm risking my life every day to go and kill someone,

then why not take a risk to love someone?

And by "someone," I mean, me, by the way.

Not just anyone.

That would have a comic tragedy

in keeping with my love life so far,

and, and I'm probably not

selling myself very well right now.

(quietly): Vernon...

I am tired

and I am lonely and I am weak just now.

And it would be... so easy to say yes to you.

So easy.

But I can't.

(inhales deeply)

You are a dear,sweet man,

but I can't just say yes.

All I ask of you is that you consider it.

You don't have to love me.

You just have to let me love you.


I could come with you.

I've been to Stanford Grove Elementary School.

I'm not afraid of anything.

I don't believe you.

But it's nice

that you say it. (inhales)

You sound just likeyour sister

when you say thingslike that.


GERMAN OFFICER (speaking Polish):

(soldier yelling order)

(Polish man speaking)


(explosion echoes, people screaming)

(shouting in Polish)

(guns firing, people shouting)

(speaking Polish)

(water sloshing)

(airplane rumbling)

(catching breath, sniffles)

(baby crying)

(airplane rumbling)

(parachute rustling)

(soldier speaking German)

(in Polish):

(in Polish):



(soldiers grunt)

(silenced gun fires)

(birds twittering)

ROBINA (voiceover): Thank you for coming, Douglas.

(breathlessly):Yes, I came as soonas I could.

So I see.

Recent experience has inured me to the power of surprise,

so no need to apologize, Douglas. Aye.

Jan is registered here as a refugee,

so they knew where to find him.

It's fortunate I got to the post early.

They'd addressed it to Jan.

You haven't told him? He doesn't know?

What, that his brother's in the local lunatic asylum?

Why would I tell him that?

It says here he's being treatedfor shell shock.

But the main thing is, Jan's brother's alive.

And Jan needs to know.

Well, what if he wants to go and see him?

What then?

I can't possibly go to a place like that.

No one's asking you to.

What is this place?

It's a kind of hospital.

(breathes shakily)

How do you know where to go?

Because this is where I came.

When I was ill.

(panting, weeping)

Like this man.


(softly): Hey.

It's all right, mate.

(gasps)It's all right, I know.

I know.

I know how this feels.

I know what you'regoing through, mate.

(footsteps approaching)

DR. CRAIG:Can I help you?


Well, you didn't help me last time, so I doubt it.

Do I know you?

Have we met?

Yeah, we've met all right.

I was treated here.

After 1916.

And your name is...



Least that's, that's what you used to call me.


Coward, it means, doesn't it?

Do you still want to call me a "scrimshanker" now?

Now I'm well?

JAN (running): Mr. Bennett! Mr. Bennett!

Mr. Bennett!It's my brother!

It's Grzegorz!

It's Grzegorz!




(Grzegorz softly shushing)

(Grzegorz speaking softly)

(birds twittering, animals calling)

If you want to eat,

you are going to have to put this gun down.

How many Germans did you kill?

I don't know.

When you go back and fight,

you must take me.

I will kill more.

You know I may not go back and fight.

I may stay here.

But you'll get better.

And then you can fight.

GRZEGORZ (in Polish):


(mimics shooting, men startle)

(places ashtray down)

I have my arms and my legs.

And... I get through the day.


When I close my eyes,

all I see, it's...

bad and...

black and...

I can't shake it, it's...

It's like a...

stranger in my head.

It will get better.

It will.

JAN (voiceover): Harry promised me it would be happy.

When he came back.

We would be happy.

Well, I don't know what gives Harry the right

to promise that.

It's not something you can promise.

It's just something that you hope for.

Harry was wrong?

To promise, or to break his promise?


Harry's, uh, got a habit of being wrong.


Nothing, son, nothing.

Just forget it.

When we get in, we could play chess.

Yeah, we could, son.

If that's what you'd like.

We could.


ROBINA: I'm never sure what one is supposed to say.

It's not as though there's much that's remarkable

at this stage, is it?

Is that what you thought after you had Harry?

I thought he was remarkable to have survived my mothering

from day one-- I still feel it now.

Do you want to hold her?

What for?

It doesn't matter.

Jan would miss you.

He'd miss Douglas, too, if you stopped visiting.

Why would I stop visiting?

Because you'd have to provide an explanation

for the baby.


You're worried I'll tell him she's Harry's?


Not for Harry's sake, but for Jan's.

Harry's marriedto his sister, and...

The boy worships Harry.

(quietly): I'll keep Harry's secret.


I wanted you to have this.

Towards the upkeep of the child.

In exchange for my not telling Jan.


No, that, that was an appeal to your conscience.

This is an appeal to your common sense.

Please take it.


Harry's... not cut out for fatherhood.

You've done the right thing.

(door opens)

(engine rumbling)



I just felt I should...

How was the hospital?

Oh, not nice.

But, uh, Jan met his brother,

so I think that helped them both.

Well, that is good.

And I know it must have been hard for you.

(chuckling): Oof, and this, for you.

It had to be done.

And I am a great believer in doing

what has to be done.



Rob...(car door closes)

(breath catches)


(engine starts)

(people talking in background)


What is amusing?

I don't know that "amusing" is the right word.

But I see you all here and it is as though

you always knew you would end up here.

That this is what the war is really about.

You needed Parisfor a boys' holiday destination.

I think we are fulfilling our destiny.

Is that why you went easy on the French?

Compared to the Poles, I mean?

Because you didn't want to damage all the good hotels

and restaurants?

I think you have a bit of an inferiority complex

when it comes to Paris.

Are we flirting?


Then why did you ask meto dinner?

I didn't.

I asked you about an interned French musician

and you invited me here.

Well, if he has been interned,

there must have been a reason.

We have to protectour people.

His flat was requisitioned by some of your guys.

He objected, and now he's been arrested

and interned as a subversive.

He's French North African.

Then he isn't French.

So, you're not going to help me?

Is this musician your lover?

I've never met him.

He's a friend of my nephew's.

But do you have a lover in Paris?

If you're not going to help me,I'm not playing games with you.


It's a simple enough question: Do you have a lover?

No, I do not have a lover.

(chair scrapes)


(clears throat)

Perhaps there's a pathopening up

which would give mea reason to help.

As flattered as I am by your offer of prostitution,

I'm going to decline.

You might want to let go of my hand now.

(chuckles softly)

I have protected you more than I have needed to.

And what? You'd like me to show my gratitude

by going to bed with you?


Schmidt, you're such a disappointment to me.


I had you down for intellectually confused,

morally conflicted, and a political coward.

But somehow, I thought,

I imagined, you were above this kind of thing.

I'm a patient man.


But I don't think you're in a position to negotiate.


But I'm in a position...(inhales sharply) stick a steak knife in your balls

and make you squeal like a girl in front of your comrades.

(loudly): That's not me flirting.(inhales sharply)

(breathes shakily)

(more softly): Just so you're not confused.

(knife clatters)

(inhales, exhales deeply)

I thought you had some influence with these people!

I'll do a report, a broadcast...

(snorts)On the internment policy--I can do it

in the studio here in Paris andmaybe make it round the censors.

Yeah, how about we organize a bake sale and I, and I pray?

For God's sakes!

I tried!

The guy just wantedto rape me!

(voice breaking): So, don't talk to me like I didn't try!

Don't talk to me like I did nothing!


(quietly): Auntie Nancy?

(sniffles, sobbing)

Auntie Nancy?

You're never like that.


You just don't... React.

To bad things, I know.

It's how you are.

How you've always been.

There's a reason for that.


(stammering):Are you...I mean, are you...

I was attacked.

My first time in Europe.

I was raped.

Some civil servant in Portugal.

I was covering the uprising.

And it happened.

And women get raped in conflicts all the time.

And it happened to me.

And that's all you need to know.


I love you, and all that,

and you are a kind and gentle man,

but that's not how I deal with this kind of thing.

I never have, and I'm not going to start now.

I should go.

Will you go back to Berlin? For now.

I don't know how long I'll be able to work there.

And you?

Are you going to stay in Paris?

I'll stay as long as I'm needed.

I can help. Be careful.

These people don't need an excuse to hurt you.


NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER: Britain battles all alone while the Luftwaffe

wages its now daily assault on the Royal Air Force.

Here we see our boys returning safely home

only to prepare for battle once more and return to the skies.

Their time back on solid ground is often very short-lived,

and just as often fraught with anxiety

about those comrades yet to return.

WOMAN:They're due back any minute now.

You can wait over there.

LOIS: I hope Vernon's all right.

CONNIE:Maybe we should just go.

Maybe you shouldwrite him a letter.

No, he came to me and asked me to marry him.

I owe him an answer in person.

Even if it is a no.

He won't be listeningto an explanation.

He'll just hear no.

Lois, have you ever met a manthat wanted to hear you

explain just why you're turning him down?

But I'd like to know why...

I know what it's like to love somebody

and not have him love you in return.

I know what it's like to torture yourself

trying to guess what's in somebody's heart.

Vernon deserves an explanation.

And he deserves it in person.

(airplane engines running, men talking in background)

Randy, isn't it?


I see you had the baby.

That's usually how it works, yes.

Is Vernon back?

I mean, the squadron leader...

Um, no, we, um...

It got sticky and...

He got shot down?

RANDY:We don't know--his radio went down,

but radios go down all the time.

He's not back.

That's all we know.

(men calling in Polish)

(men talking in background)

(quietly): This can't be happening.

This can't really be happening.


(talking quietly)

Hey, there he is! Ah, top man.

VERNON (laughs):It was touch-and-gofor a moment,

but you knew I'd come back.

I didn't doubt it... (men laughing, talking)

MAN 1:We thought you were a goner.MAN 2: It's good to see you.

MAN 3: Good job. MAN 4: Well done.

VERNON: Got into a spin over Hull,

dropped 6,000 feet,

and had to limp home with a battered fuselage.

Managed to glide into a fieldabout 20 miles away.

It was all a damned sight easier than riding a ladies' bicycle.

You're alive!

You're alive!Of course I am.

I'm indestructible.

(clears throat)

Do you... have an answer?

Yes, I do, yes, I want to marry you.


(both laughing)



Don't, don't look at me, please.

I can't think of anything I'd rather do.

I thought I'd never see you again.

Now you have.

Now I have.

There's you.

There's Kasia.


That Kasia is gone, Harry.

I know you must have been through so much...

Things I have done,

bad things I've done...

That's what war is.

No, Harry-- we choose.

We choose.

And I chose to kill.

You had to survive.

I still had a choice.

And for my country, for the people, for my family,

that was the right thing to do, but...

There was a price.

The price was the old Kasia.

The girl you fell in love with, she isn't there anymore.

I try to find her and she isn't there.

You still love me.

And I love you.

And that counts for so little.

Really, it does.

It is all that matters.No.

I think the world just proved you wrong, Harry.

And it is dangerous to think like this.

You are such a romantic, you think...

You think we can

get back to Englandand be like we were...

I'm here to get you out.

I'm here because you're in danger.


What happens after that,

I have no idea.

But I'm here to get you out.


We have survived.

And neither of us are the same.

But you must come.

Even if it's only to honor who we used to be.

And if not that...

Then Jan.

(truck approaching)

It's him.

(truck engine stops)

(men talking in Polish)

Raise a glass to us once you get to Yugoslavia.

Good luck.


(hinges creak)

(speaking Polish)

(birds twittering)

(cocks gun)

(speaking Polish)

(firing rapidly)

(grunting, shouting)

(shells clatter)

(birds twittering)


(soldiers shouting in German)

(guns firing, men shouting)

(yelps) Harry!

(soldier shouting in German)

(gun fires)

(guns firing)

I'll find you at the top of the hill, go.

(soldiers shouting)

(men shouting in distance, guns firing)



(guns firing in distance, shouting continues)

(panting, guns firing nearby)

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