In last week’s episode, the inhabitants of the village were just about managing to keep the war at arm’s length. Tonight, though, is an object lesson in how conflict pulls communities apart – and not just because of the ‘pals’ battalions’ rearing their heads tonight. In addition to the obvious physical costs, there’s mental trauma, the evisceration of the local economy, suspicion about shirking and the hypocrisy of the landed and privileged.
‘The Village’ continues to be bracingly bleak, partly because it carries the ring of truth. A minor quibble might be that the poshos in the Big House feel slightly under-developed at this point – but then the English nobility don’t particularly want for a platform on Sunday night TV, so it’s an entirely forgiveable flaw. This feels like a genuine stab at a people’s history and it’s all the better for it.