ITV has ordered The Paras: Men Of War, a documentary series about the Parachute Regiment. The three-part series is set to premiere in 2019.
The Paras: Men Of War will explore what it takes to turn raw recruits into elite soldiers trained to kill. It will provide an intimate insight into the characters of the young men and the officers charged with transforming them into battle ready paratroopers, who are the first in to any conflict.
Throughout the series they talk openly about their experiences both in training and in combat – and reflect on the challenges they face, providing an insight into the mindset of the soldiers and the reality of the unique culture of the Paras. It will also follow the recruits who make it into the regiment, filming them up close and personal on their first major assignments as they prepare for new military threats.
The Paras: Men Of War was commissioned for ITV by Controller of Current Affairs Tom Giles and is being produced by Avanti Media. The indie secured unprecedented access to the elite regiment; marking the first time that the regiment have opened their doors to a production since the 1980s. Nick Betts is the series producer and director, while Neil Grant is the executive producer. Sky Vision will handle global sales.
“This is no ordinary and predictable army access documentary. This is raw, honest and revealing – sugar coated it isn’t. Uniquely this series goes inside the Para mindset of what it takes to succeed and the personal consequences of failing to make the grade”, Neil Grant said in a statement. “It’s an intimate portrait of loyalty and honour, of the kill or be killed mindset and being a member of the Regiment entitled to wear the coveted maroon beret.”
While Nick Betts added: “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.”