*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.
*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series World on Fire. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.
There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations. Sometimes, the only way to grow up is to be knocked down a peg or two. As difficult as the experience is, it is the only way to learn that lesson.
On World on Fire, Tom Bennett (Ewan Mitchell) is a young man living in England as World War II looms in the distance. Akin to many at that age, he is a headstrong know it all. Raised by his widower father Douglas Bennett (Sean Bean), he and his sister Lois Bennett (Julia Brown), Tom’s priorities are to be young and have fun. While Douglas lives with the PTSD after serving in World War I and Julia juggles work, household chores, and her growing singing career, Tom does not have a care in the world.
After one too many run ins with the police, he is given a choice: enlist in the army or go to jail. Though he originally intended to avoid enlisting by claiming to be a conscientious objector. Tom knows that he has no choice. He has no idea what he is about to experience and how that will change him.
To sum it up: Though Tom is part of a certain generation, who he is when we meet him is emblematic of that stage of life, regardless of the era that we live in. Youth grows into maturity, but not without going to the school of life. Joining the military and fighting for his country teaches Tom that there is more to life than just having a good time.
Which is why he is a memorable character.