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Actress Kristin Scott Thomas on The Mole in Dunkirk, France. Her grandfather,...

Credit: Courtesy of Wild Pictures

Above: Actress Kristin Scott Thomas on The Mole in Dunkirk, France. Her grandfather, a Royal Navy officer, saved thousands at Dunkirk and survived some of World War II's most devastating battles.

Four-part World War II history-genealogy series

Combining key moments in history with compelling personal stories, MY GRANDPARENTS' WAR is a new four-part series that takes a fascinating journey into the past to understand the extraordinary impact of World War II on the families of four British actors.

Helena Bonham Carter (THE CROWN, “Harry Potter” series), Mark Rylance (“Dunkirk,” “Bridge of Spies,” WOLF HALL On MASTERPIECE), Kristin Scott Thomas (“Darkest Hour,” “The English Patient”) and Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman,” “The Great Gatsby”) each host a one-hour journey into their respective family histories as they travel to historic locations, from the beaches of Dunkirk to the former site of a prisoner-of-war camp in Hong Kong, to retrace their grandparents’ footsteps during the conflict that changed their lives forever.


Follow leading Hollywood actors as they re-trace the footsteps of their grandparents and learn how World War II changed the lives of their families - and the world.

All four Hollywood stars have unanswered questions about the scars the war left on their grandparents. In each episode, they’ll discover remarkable stories of bravery amid the most harrowing circumstances, uncovering the life-and-death decisions their grandparents were forced to make.

The series examines universal themes of love, courage and self-sacrifice through the dramatic human stories of ordinary people caught up in one of the most horrific wars of all time.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Wild Pictures

Actor Mark Rylance travels to Hong Kong. His grandfather Osmond Skinner was held as a POW in Hong Kong for nearly 4 years during World War II.


Episode 1: “Helena Bonham Carter” premieres Sunday, April 4 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV - Follow actress Helena Bonham Carter as she explores the heroism of both sets of her grandparents during WWII -- her grandmother, an air warden and outspoken politician, and her grandfather, a diplomat who save hundreds from the Holocaust.

Helena Bonham Carter Reads A Letter From The Past

Actress Helena Bonham Carter learns about her late family member's life as he describes his days trapped in enemy territory in a letter.

Episode 2: “Mark Rylance” premieres Sunday, April 11 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV - Follow actor Mark Rylance as he explores the extraordinary story of his grandfather, who spent nearly four years as a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II, and examines his own beliefs about war and peace in the process.

Mark Rylance: Preview

Actor and peace activist Mark Rylance learns how his grandfather survived in Hong Kong during WWII.

Episode 3: “Kristin Scott Thomas” premieres Sunday, April 18 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV - Follow actress Kristin Scott Thomas as she pieces together a lost chapter of her family history, learning how her grandfather, a Royal Navy officer, saved thousands at Dunkirk and survived some of World War II's most devastating battles.

Kristin Scott Thomas: Preview

Actress Kristin Scott Thomas discovers how her grandfather, a Royal Navy officer, saved thousands of lives at Dunkirk and meets veterans who served alongside him in WWII.

Episode 4: “Carey Mulligan” premieres Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV - Follow actress Carey Mulligan as she travels to Japan to learn about her grandfather's experience as a British naval officer during World War II, including the Kamikaze attack he survived, and the extent of the devastation he witnessed.

Carey Mulligan Learns About Her Grandfather's 21st Birthday

After finding an invitation for her grandfather’s 21st birthday celebration, Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan learns more about her grandfather’s time at the British Centre in Australia, and receives a letter from the adoptive family that threw him the birthday party before he departed for Japan.

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