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The Pacific starts


(Video: The Pacific trailer)

HBO aired the premiere of its new ten-part series, The Pacific, last night.

It was, as the network says, an "event". The Pacific is a drama about the US Marine Corps operations in the Second World War's Pacific theatre. Many are referring to it as similar to Band of Brothers (a 2001 HBO series), but set in Asia rather than Europe. 

In an interview in Time magazine, Tom Hanks, one of the producers, suggested that the show had resonance for today's "war on terror": "Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as 'yellow, slant-eyed dogs' that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what's going on today?" You don't have to go along with recent anti-terror policy to know that Hanks' reference to "difference" is simplistic and ahistorical.

Hanks should stick to talking about the program itself - which I found absolutely gripping, and with stunning cinematography. Like Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, but even more so, you feel as if you are in the face of fire. And the characters look promising. I can't wait to see how it develops over the next episodes.

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