Skip to content

Wings (1977/78) – S01 E03 – Welcome to France – Tim Woodward, Nicholas Jones, Michael Cochrane


This Episode

May 1915: Alan arrives at “C” Flight in St Marie, France and faces resentment from some officers because of to his background (“A blacksmith? We are getting desperate for chaps”), but quickly wins over his CO, Captain Dornish, and is delighted to be reunited with his friend Charles. Following the death of another NCO on the day he arrives, Alan, initially sent out as a “spare” pilot, is sent on a mission to range for the artillery, in the company of Lt Richard Bravington, an experienced Observer officer. When they are attacked by a German plane, equipped with a machine gun, Bravington is wounded. Alan fails to follow Bravington’s instructions correctly, and lands the plane behind enemy lines. However, he uses Bravington’s rifle to fight off an attack by approaching German soldiers, thus winning Bravington’s regard. At home, Alan’s mother is invited to the cinema by the local grocer, Mr Rudkin, and Harry appears jealous, until she reveals that she has turned down a second invitation because she is not romantically interested in Mr Rudkin.


Wings is a drama series about the Royal Flying Corps that ran on BBC television from 1977 to 1978. It stars Tim Woodward as Alan Farmer, a young blacksmith turned fighter pilot in World War I.

Nicholas Jones played his teacher and mentor, Captain Triggers, and Michael Cochrane played his upper-class friend, Charles Gaylion, who began a relationship with Farmer’s girlfriend while Farmer was believed dead, shot down over France.

The series reveals that the British pilots are struggling with aeroplanes which are both unreliable and inferior to the German machines, and with an Establishment that classes voicing an opinion to that effect as being tantamount to cowardice. The airmen must also face the resentment of British soldiers who see them having an “easy” life. The rigidity of the British class structure is highlighted when Farmer becomes an officer in the second series – he faces resentment both from some officers because of his class and NCOs because of his new rank. The series takes great care with historical accuracy, covering the early days of the parachute, the fitting of weaponry to British biplanes (lacking the Germans’ interruptor gear, they had to be fired at an angle rather than through the propellers) and the horrors of trench warfare. Wings depicts a Britain that is, in some areas, struggling to adapt in the face of change, at a period that was a turning point for many people’s way of life MORE AT LINK

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: