Soldier | Preview (BBC One)
A platoon of fresh-faced infantry recruits take on a gruelling six-month training course to see if they have what it takes to fight on the frontline in the British Army.
This five-part series charts the transformation of the recruits as they leave friends and family behind for the British Army’s Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.
Amongst them is an ex-aspiring footballer from Middlesbrough, a former fast-food restaurant worker, a 20-year-old whose mother is a pacifist, and an 18-year-old woman who hails from a military family and is eager to follow in the footsteps of her father.
The 45 recruits tackle punishing obstacle courses, handle and fire weapons, undergo rigorous inspections, and crucially, learn how to kill at close quarters using only a bayonet.
Under the watchful eyes of Lieutenant Wahab, Sergeant McIntosh and Corporal White, recruits face the reality of what it means to be a frontline soldier at a time when war is raging in Europe for the first time in a generation.
In episode one, forty five new recruits arrive at the British Army’s Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire to see if they have what it takes to fight on the frontline in the British Army.
Recruits are taught how to kill at close quarters with the bayonet, the symbol of the infantry. It’s all a shock to the system as the young men and women adapt to army life where every minute is accounted for – from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep.
Private Olivia Hall-Beakhouse has taken the opportunity to join the infantry after front-line roles became available to women in 2018. Olivia hails from a military family and is eager to follow in the footsteps of her father.
At just 17, Private Callum Stretton is one of the youngest in the platoon but the reality of what he has signed up for starts to hit home. He questions if he could use his rifle for what it’s intended for - killing the enemy.
Private Curtis Dryden, 21, was spotted as a young footballer for a number of clubs from Middlesbrough to Aston Villa. But sadly, his dream didn’t come true. Missing out on life as a footballer, he’s turned to the army for a new career and some self-confidence.
However, Curtis is struggling to master the basics and is firmly on the radar of the training team who question whether he’s going to last the course.
Under the watchful eyes of Sandhurst graduate Lieutenant Wahab, Sergeant McIntosh and Corporal White, who have decades of frontline experience between them, recruits must prove they have the skills and attitude required to make it in the Army.
Solider begins Thursday 5th October on BBC One.