SAS Rogue Heroes writer admits to changing events

Your first look at SAS Rogue Heroes – BBC Trailer

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BBC’s latest historical hit drama SAS Rogue Heroes has had viewers hooked over the last few weeks as they are given an insight into the brave fighters who created their own regiment. The series explores the challenges the soldiers went through when creating the Special Air Force (SAS) and how they created chaos on the way. Writer Steven Knight revealed some of their actions were so far-fetched he had to tone them down in the script.

David Stirling (played by Connor Swindells), Jock Lewes (Alfie Allen) and Jack O’Connell (Paddy Mayne) banded together with a mission to infiltrate enemy lines and bring the war to an end.

However, getting to the end of their mission came with a lot of hardship and drama throughout the years.

In the BBC series, one of the first scenes that viewers saw was David walk across the road with his eyes closed and almost get hit by a car.

Later in the same episode, David and Jock needed to use a pool table to lay out their blueprints for the first test jump out of a plane.

The table was occupied, and they were told it was going to be used all night and to leave.

However, not standing down for anyone and taking matters into his own hands, David threw a grenade onto the table which made everyone in the room flee.

When it came to the bomb exploding though, it was non-existent, with David explaining to Jock it was a fake bomb.

This is one of the scenes Steven admitted having to change, as the real events were so ludicrous he thought no one would believe it.

He told “The more true they were, the hand grenade thing that you just saw on the snooker table.

“It actually has never been written down, that came as a consequence of, I met Mike Sadler, who is the last surviving member of the original SAS, he is now 102.

“When I met him and he told me the story that he and Stirling, in a bar in Paris, and somebody said ‘You can’t use this table, we’re using it all night.’

“And the hand grenade was a real hand grenade, but to make it seem realistic, I turned it into a dummy one.

“The actual hand grenade was real, they had to literally leave and run because they were beyond reason.”

A quote from the real David Stirling reads: “War is mainly chaos with random explosions. Bits of heroism and lots of self-preservation. Most of the time soldiers have no f***ing idea what’s going on.”

When asked whether that was a fair statement to make, Steven admitted: “Yeah, I mean, this is from talking to people, to the soldiers, about it.

“My dad was in the Army, he was in South Africa in 1941, and he gave me absolutely nothing. Because I said ‘What was it like, what do you do?’ and he said, ‘We used to play cowboys and Indians.'”

Viewers of the series were outraged over a disclaimer at the start of each episode, which reads: “Based on a true story. The events depicted which seem most unbelievable… are mostly true.”

Twitter user @ShamWez fumed: “I’m sure the true escapades of the #SASRogueHeroes are fascinating but do I find this drama worth watching? Sadly it’s a no from me… I just find it hard work and it doesn’t captivate me.”

@raving_adman agreed: “#SASRogueHeroes starts with a disclaimer that basically says this series and its tales are mostly…true.”

@Outspok03350812 added: “It’s only just started 2/6 & already proving to be utter garbage. Backed up by its beginning disclaimer. #SASRogueHeroes..”

SAS Rogue Heroes airs on BBC One on Sundays at 9pm.

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