World on Fire Character Review: Kasia Tomaszeski

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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. War changes our fate like nothing else can. Forced to make decisions that would never even be considered in peacetime, we know that the chance of not surviving is high. In World on Fire, Kasia Tomaszeski (Zofia Wichłacz) is a young woman without a care in the world. Working as a waitress and living in Warsaw with her family, she is also in love with Harry Chase (Jonah Hauer-King), an English translator who is working in the city.

Then the Germans invade and her world is forever changed. When her father and brother, Grzegorz (Mateusz Wieclawek) join the Polish army, Kasia has two excruciating choices. Now married to Harry, she can go with him to England, not knowing his complicated love life. Or, she can stay and fight for her country.

Choosing to join the Polish Underground, Kasia sends her little brother to England in her stead. Driven by her mother’s murder, she knows that she could be betrayed, captured, tortured, and killed at any moment. But it is a risk that must be taken to free Poland. When we last see Kasia, she is reunited with Harry, but they are surrounded by German soldiers, their fate unknown.

To sum it up: The decisions Kasia makes are far from easy. The consequences, whatever they maybe, are at best, dangerous, and at worst, deadly. But for her it is the only choice. For her family, for her country, and most of all, for herself.

Which is why she is a memorable character.


Flashback Friday: Arabian Nights (2000)

Over the generations, some stories stay with us and others fade into history. Those that stay with us have a certain something that appeals to readers time and again.

The two-part miniseries, Arabian Nights (2000) is based on One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of narratives from the Islamic Golden Age.

Sultan Shahryar (Dougray Scott) is a King in an ancient land. Shocked to learn that both his wife and his sister-in-law have been unfaithful, he decides that all women are unable to be loyal to their husbands. He marries a series of virginal brides, only to execute them the next day, fearing that once more, he will be cheated on.

Scheherazade (Mili Avital) is the daughter of one of the Sultan’s ministers. Going against the wishes of her father, she volunteers to be the next bride. On her wedding night, she starts to tell her new husband a story. Enthralled by what he is hearing, he asks for more. Knowing that her life is on the line, Scheherazade knows that she must continue with her storytelling.

I remember liking this program. Combining the main narrative with the individual tales that comprise One Thousand and One Nights, the questions of Scheherazade’s fate pulls the audience in, regardless of the ending we all know.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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