Andrew Scott in Band of Brothers: An Appreciation Sherlockabilia Shop Now Open

Andrew Scott in Band of Brothers: An Appreciation * 06 June 2014


First aired in 2001, the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers is considered to be one of the most definitive portrayals of the Second World War to have been produced. Following the paratroopers of Easy Company, part of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army, the ten part series details their journey from training in the United States to the final race to capture Hitler's Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany, while also within the entirety of the second episode featuring the events of June 6 1944 - D-Day.

Re-watching the mini-series now is a very different experience from watching on its first airing nearly thirteen years ago, chiefly thanks to the recognition of so many now familiar faces amongst the cast, appearing in small roles who simply did not register at the time - by way of example, Simon Pegg, Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are four now very famous faces in the drama who at the time were complete unknowns. And another, and the one we're chiefly concerned with here, is Andrew Scott.

Even though Andrew has since called the atmosphere on the Band of Brothers set 'awful', his role in the second episode of the series 'Day of Days' is critical to the thematic weight of the drama. As Private John 'Cowboy' Hall(s), he is the first to fall (quite literally) under the direct command of Lieutenant Richard Winters, as played by Damian Lewis, our ostensible protagonist throughout the series. And as the events of the day progress, he becomes the first man to die under Winters' command, weighing on the latter's mind while becoming the first of similar casualties to come in the remaining episodes.

At that initial viewing at broadcast all those years ago, this young unknown actor could be seen as an expression of the anonymity of those who fought on the day decades ago, but re-watching the episode now, with a body of further work that has brought him to far greater attention, gives a completely different experience and affords the drama a far greater impact when viewed through the prism of reality, on this day 70 years since the operation took place.

On first glance all these years later, those men who fought and died have become somewhat anonymous to all of us who have come afterwards, a name on a wall or simply a statistic - but when you later recognise someone shown recreating these events in incredibly visceral clarity, someone who was once anonymous to you but are now familiar with, you can more fully appreciate the enormous sacrifice that incredible generation gave.  No one who gave their life in such circumstances deserves to be unknown.