Docs

ITV commissions elite Parachute Regiment docuseries

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has picked up a new 3 x 60-minute docuseries on the UK’s elite Parachute Regiment (known as the Paras), which has opened its doors to broadcast ...
December 7, 2018

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has picked up a new 3 x 60-minute docuseries on the UK’s elite Parachute Regiment (known as the Paras), which has opened its doors to broadcast network cameras for the first time since the 1980s.

The Paras: Men of War (wt), filmed over 12 months, offers unique access to the group and the training process that takes new recruits and turns them into elite soldiers, with only a few making the cut after extreme tests of endurance.

The series features a behind-the-scenes look at the young men recruited and those tasked with training them.

It is produced by Avanti Media and was commissioned by Tom Giles, controller of current affairs, for ITV. At Avanti, Neil Grant serves as executive producer and Nick Betts as series producer and director.

“At a moment when the armed forces are under more scrutiny than ever, this new series presents a unique opportunity to see inside the world of the Parachute Regiment, which is usually firmly closed to outsiders, and get a powerful understanding of the people and culture within an elite, sometimes controversial, regiment that we all know of, but about which we have little real inside knowledge,” said Giles, in a statement.

Said Betts: “The Paras are trained killers who’ve courted secrecy, controversy and admiration in equal measure, and who largely view all ‘media’ with extreme caution. The dialogue with the Regiment involved a long period of just listening, without filming — but then slowly the real men behind their identities as soldiers emerged. The ambition of the series was to show the raw, often brutal truth of why young men from all backgrounds desire to become Paratroopers. And in order to do this they must strip away the person they are, to become capable of killing.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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