Hitler - The Rise Of Evil: Episode 1
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". Edmund Burke.
Robert Carlyle stars in this four-hour, fact-based mini series exploring the early life of Adolf Hitler and his rise through the ranks of the National Socialist German Worker's Party.
Carlyle's mesmerising portrayal grips from the start and his ascent to power is put into context amidst the embittered, politically fragmented and economically fragile German society that existed after World War I.
'Hitler: The Rise of Evil' begins by tracing the young, developing mind of a burgeoning madman, following him through his formative years and how he evolves into the man who exploited a nation, which cried out for a leader they could follow.
Motivated by anger and misdirected by ego, Hitler struggles in a world he believes owes him something, enticing Germany in a macabre dance of surrender and control.
Emerging from WWI after a stint in the German Army, he accepts their offer to infiltrate and spy on the German Workers' Party. Their nationalism and anti-Semitism match Hitler's virulent personal politics so he strikes while the iron is hot, and by draping his agenda in mythical legends of Aryan superiority, he makes the iron even hotter by repeatedly striking it.
Finding his foothold in politics, Hitler begins his ruthless climb to power and brutal seduction of Germany. At first, he draws in the support of Ernst Röhm from the German Army, who forms the militant SA.
Hitler then attracts socialites Ernst and Helene Hanfstaengl, who help polish his image and fund his political efforts. He also manages to attract the attention of journalist Fritz Gerlich, as he manipulates the fears of politicians like President Hindenburg.
On the side, his malignant charisma appeals to women, at first his young niece Geli, and then, Eva Braun. The powerful try to use him, the wealthy prefer to dismiss him, but every one of them underestimate him.
Through the birth of the Nazi Party, the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, the charge of treason which turns him into a national figure, his time in Landsberg Prison and the writing of Mein Kampf, and his reintroduction to politics as the leader of the National Socialists, the story follows Hitler's rise from wayward young man to presidential candidate to Chancellor.
As the Reichstag burns in 1933, German democracy sighs its final breath and everyone who has been pulled into Hitler's vortex realizes the hideous truth of what has been created - only now, it is too late to change it.