A series of stories about the lives and loves of nine men in a Prisoner of War Camp over five years. Location shooting in the British occupied part of Germany adds believability. The main story is of Hasek (Redgrave) a Czech soldier who needs to keep his identity a secret from the Nazis, to do this he poses as a dead English Officer and corresponds with the man’s wife. Upon liberation they meet and decide to continue their lives together. The other inmates’ stories are revealed episodically.
English General Charles George Gordon, a devout Christian, is appointed military governor of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by the Prime Minister. Ordered to evacuate Egyptians from the Sudan, Gordon stays on to protect the people of Khartoum, who are under threat of being conquered by a Muslim army.
P.C. George Dixon (Warner) is a long-serving traditional copper who is due to retire shortly. He takes a new recruit under his aegis and introduces him to the easy-going night beat. Dixon is a classic ordinary hero but also anachronistic, unprepared and unable to answer the violence of the 1950s.
The Assassination Bureau has existed for decades (perhaps centuries) until Diana Rigg begins to investigate it. The high moral standing of the Bureau (only killing those who deserve it) is called into question by her. She puts out a contract for the Bureau to assassinate its leader on the eve of World War I.