‘Band of Brothers’ re-launched on streaming platforms in Chinese mainland
Published: Nov 07, 2023 08:00 PM
The epic World War II HBO mini-series Band of Brothers recently made a return to Chinese screens, and is now available for streaming on video platforms such as Bilibili, Tencent Video, and Sohu Video. This re-release brings the critically acclaimed series back to the forefront for both longtime fans and a new generation of viewers in China.

Since its release on Bilibili, one of China's most active streaming websites, on Monday night, Band of Brothers has received more than 17,000 subscriptions from the platform's users and rated at 9.9 out of 10. More than 1,000 viewers simultaneously caught the show at around Tuesday midnight.
Band of Brothers in Bilibili

Band of Brothers on Bilibili

Produced by celebrated duo Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, Band of Brothers is an adaptation of historian Stephen E. Ambrose's novel by the same name. 

The series offers an in-depth portrayal of the experiences of the Easy Company, part of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II, following the journey of officers and soldiers from conducting training in Georgia, to diving headlong into action in Normandy, surviving in Holland and Belgium, and eventually occupying Hitler's Eagle Nest.

At the time a relatively unknown Damian Lewis brilliantly headlined as Major Richard Winters, while Ron Livingston portrayed Winters' close friend Captain Lewis Nixon, whose striking resemblance to the character, coupled with his exquisite acting, continue to be lauded to this day.

Since its original premiere in 2001, the series has been lauded for its authentic battle scenes, deeply moving character developments, and the depiction of the soldiers' "bromance."

In 2003, the series was dubbed with Chinese and broadcast on China Central Television, attracting widespread attention and cementing its status as a classic in the eyes of a generation of Chinese audiences. To this day, it is still praised as one of "the must-watch American TV series," and is rated at a 9.6 out of 10 on Douban, China's version of iMDb.

Band of Brothers Photo: IC

Band of Brothers Photo: IC

"This series explores the complex relationship between war, humanity, and courage from a unique perspective. While lamenting the brutality of war, it also allows one to appreciate the brilliance of human nature," a netizen commented on Bilibili. "I still remember the scene when I watched this series as a child; it was incredibly shocking to me back then," said another.

Both new and returning viewers were pleasantly surprised to find some familiar faces in the series - actors who were then newcomers and have since become big stars, such as Michael Fassbender, Simon Pegg, James McAvoy, Andrew Scott, and others.

In September, Band of Brothers was made available on Netflix, along with another HBO war-themed mini-series The Pacific. The two iconic series' sequel, Masters of the Air, will be released in early 2024, media sources reported.

This re-launch on various streaming platforms enables a new generation of viewers to experience the series' powerful impact and historical significance. It also serves as a bridge to understanding the global efforts, including those of China and the US, in the anti-fascist war. The availability of Band of Brothers enriches cultural exchanges and mutual historical recognition between nations, honoring the shared legacy of those who fought in World War II, analysts said.