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Wish Me Luck Series 1


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Product Details

  • Actors: Julian Glover
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Acorn
  • Release Date: March 16 2010
  • Run Time: 388 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002V3AM4S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,371 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

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The women who helped the Allies in World War II weren't all just WACs, WAVES, or Rosie the Riveters. As the delightful 1987 British series Wish Me Luck shows, ordinary English women were drafted into dangerous espionage missions in occupied France. Wish Me Luck is based on real-life stories of civilian women recruited to go undercover by England's Special Operations Executive, and it shines a light on a little-known, and highly suspenseful, aspect of the Allied resistance. The eight episodes in Series 1 follow two young women, Liz (the talented Kate Buffery) and the half-Jewish Matty (the riveting Suzanna Hamilton), as they undergo intensive training under the tutelage of the resourceful Colonel Cadogan (Julian Glover), who is assisted by the brisk, capable Miss Ashley (Jane Asher, who originally gained fame in the '60s as Paul McCartney's longtime girlfriend). The two young stars are believable as they waver under the strains of their duplicitous, dangerous lives--both in training in the bucolic English countryside where, Liz remarks, "When you look round at all this, it's hard to believe there's a war going on," and in France as the women take on new personas to try to ingratiate themselves into the occupied French villages, and to live to relay what they learn. Wish Me Luck is a rollicking good series, well acted and well written, revealing a little-known aspect of World War II history that will appeal to history and war fans, as well as fans of British dramas and well-told tales. --A.T. Hurley

Customer Reviews

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "vanhubris" on April 18 2004
Format: DVD
This is a decent series--but don't expect "Enemy at the Door"-a similar type melodrama-with superior stories and acting. However, if you like WW2 stories-this is a nice set to watch and rent/own. There's nothing particularly bad about these stories-but events sometimes strain credulity-example--Matty doesn't know how to ride a bicycle-but manages to keep up with Liz without problem on a lengthy bicycle journey after arriving in France--a few of the escapes from capture are a little unbelievable as well-at one point Liz detours her bicycle through the woods--eventually losing it and making her way on foot--but somehow managing to evade and escape the Germans and the dogs that are chasing her--but these are minor flaws. All in all-the series is worth watching-though I would recomend rental rather than purchase--if you can find a video store that rents it!
Honestly, I would recomend either "Enemy at the Door" or "Piece of Cake" over "Wish Me Luck"--but if you've seen those two series and enjoyed them-chances are you would enjoy this one as well
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James on Dec 31 2011
Format: DVD
This ambitious project -- to show the activities of the French Resistance in WWII through the eyes of British spies and their French comrades -- is a good study. However, it is painfully clear that this was a low-budget production; great intentions, but lacking in depth. Some of the characters seem more two-dimensional than real.
It's not a series that I'll cherish and watch again and again, but I'm glad that I did see it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Globerman on Jan. 3 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This series has a very interesting premise and I had high hopes of enjoying it over the xmas break when there is nothing but reruns on tv. It is okay. But the acting is clunky and the whole thing feels unpolished. The music or lack there of makes you feel like you are watching a high school drama production or an unpolished amature play.Try Foyle's War if want something really wonderful from this time period.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 99 reviews
98 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant! July 31 2005
By Ian K. Cartwright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
To anyone who has taken an interest in the work of SOE during the War Years this series is absolutely brilliant.A lot of research has gone into the making of this series and the detail and background is second to none.If you are looking for a lot of action,you may be dissappointed,as the series does tend to concentrate on the people involved and the effect it has on their lives and the people involved in their lives.but this all makes for very real and believable drama.The characters portayed are very much based on real people involved,and the series does show how the different "social" barriers were overcome during these times.It doesn't tend to overglamourise the situation,and portrays the dangers the agents faced on a day to day basis.

As someone who has a keen interest in the work of SOE I would thoughly recommend this series.

My only concern is when are they going to release the 2nd and 3rd series ?
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Undercover in occupied France Feb. 3 2005
By drama lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have this series on VHS and, after having watched it at least three times, still really enjoy it. I find it well-written, well-acted, well-paced, and an interesting take on the usual male spy story. As a woman, I admittedly enjoy stories about women who succeed at difficult tasks. The two women who star in this series face an extremely difficult task--to pass as Frenchwomen in occupied France, despite having spent the majority of their lives in England, while passing secrets under the noses of the ever-watchful Germans. Unlike another reviewer, I won't try to say whether members of the other sex will like it or not. I don't see it as a chick flick at all--simply as a story about spies in WWII which features the women who were spies, as well as the men. Jill Hyem is a fine writer and this is fine WWII drama. If you're looking for lots of battle scenes, however, this isn't it. This is about people, not weapons, and life among the enemy. I recommend it.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Rich view of another side of the war June 3 2006
By L. F. Ribeiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Finally, an exploration of WW II that demonstrates that women can be brave, loyal, daring and patriotic. For all the compelling war movies out there, its very rare that women are allowed those noble qualities as they are usually subjugated to the role of lover, femme fatal, wife, mother or child. "Wish Me Luck" features women, in all their various personal roles, but also engaged in the war to save their nation. Refreshing! For the insecure among you who need bang-bangs to reassure you there's a war going on, yes, look elsewhere for your pyrotechnics. "Wish Me Luck" tells the story of three "Baker Street Irregulars" -- or members of the British Special Operations Executive - spies sent to France to assist the resistance movement. Although the British series ran for 23 episodes, only the first 8 have made it to DVD (we can all hope for more) and follow two women and a man from training through their perilous missions in France. Subtle, thoughtful and filled with great period detail, this is great entertainment with a slightly different view of the war. If the topic interests you, do try the films "Carve Her Name With Pride" and "Odette," both based on the real experiences of well known women in the SOE.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The Reality of Special Operations Comes Through July 24 2002
By Kass McGann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
I couldn't believe it when I saw these videos in a mail order catalog. I had no idea anyone had done a program on SOE apart from documentaries. I had no idea anyone in the country knew what SOE was but us! My husband and I are WWII re-enactors and at living history events, we portray agents for the Special Operations Executive in occupied Belgium. We explain to the public that this branch of the British military recruited civilians to train, supply, and communicate with local Résistance forces (with varying degrees of success). This is a great series to show our fellow re-enactors when they are just beginning to learn the impression. The videos are a bit melodramatic and it's entirely a fictional account (none of the characters portrayed are real, although they have copied some stories straight from the SOE files). But Bob and I agree that they get alot of things right (Résistance's distrust of SOE and vice versa, the unavailability of good equipment and timely drops, the quarrelling between SOE and normal forces...). It's the fictional story of two women who go through training together and are eventually posted as a courier and wireless operator on the same team. Still it's not overly romanticized. The constant fear of discovery comes through very well. I highly recommend it.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
REALITY MEETS FICTION IN THIS 40s SPY-WAR SERIES Jan. 28 2010
By Harold Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Civilian women were recruited and sent to Nazi-Occupied France for espionage and intelligence gathering. They get the job done but it takes a toll. The "WISH ME LUCK series ONE" is based on the actual activity of women in Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE). At the peak of WWII fighting, women did their part. This DVD set dramatically tells that story, complete with fantastic period sets, costumes, scenery, and hair. Almost as expertly done as the hugely successful (6-stars) war/home-front set "Foyle's War: Series 1-5 - From Dunkirk to VE-Day" (SEE MY REVIEW).

Men & women train together for spy work and survival while in London and 3 from the group are sent together into occupied France for an operation. Liz "Celeste" (you'll need to connect them with their code names) played by Kate Buffery is married, wealthy, with a husband in the African front, and a daughter age 5. Matty "Aimee" (Suzanna Hamilton)is low class, 1/2 Brit, 1/2 French, & 1/2 Jewish. Both well know the area being sent and speak fluent "Frog". The 3rd is Colin "Cyrano" (Jeremy Northam-"Emma") and they all meet French Resistance leader Kit "Gregoire" (Michael J. Jackson-not the former singer but from "Mobile", see my review). London SOE head is Col. "Cad" Cadogan (Julian Glover) and you also see lots of Faith (Jane Asher) a SOE exec in London.

Setting up operations followed by receiving and sending data is crucial to the Allied war effort. It's tough, touch-&-go work. Many risks are taken creating plenty of suspense, intrigue, mystery, and a very realistic look into this special group of people from WWII. Who is helpful, who is the enemy, who can be trusted, where is safety, when and what is all addressed, but never the WHY? Each of the members in the operation have their own reasons for being prepared to give their all for the success of the mission.
.....The 8 episodes in the Series 1 combine for one continuing story, one operation with some set-backs, some losses, some successes, and even some romance. A very good presentation of historical fiction done so well that it's hard to forget you are not watching a dramatized documentary. Plenty of sub-plots.

THIS SHOULD BE SHOWN TO EVERY MILITARY PERSON, MEN AND WOMEN. Also, historians, and period film lovers will want to watch.

You will not be able to stop between episodes, so find a time to watch the entire 388 minutes in one day. At least in 2 evenings. But, alas, there was a Series 2 & 3 on TV, and you will have to wait for those. They've not been released...yet?

Bonus is a bit of authentic historical background on the real SOE and a photo gallery. Sorry, no subtitles this time, nor CC.


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