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Wings (1977/78) – S01 E12 – “Welcome Home” – Tim Woodward, Nicholas Jones, Michael Cochrane, David Troughton


This Episode

Shortly before Molly’s birthday, she receives the good news about Alan’s acquittal. Following the court martial, Conrad demands a different pilot but Alan insists he wants to carry on flying with the same observer, admiring Conrad’s bravery. Conrad is unrepentant and, despite being ordered not to look for trouble, orders Alan to fly slightly off-course in the hope of engaging the German monoplane. When Alan is tempted to disobey, Conrad threatens him with his revolver. Conrad manages to shoot down the Eindecker but is fatally wounded himself. Triggers is angry when Alan writes up the full detail of the incident, and insists on his rewriting his report, hinting that a commission may be in the offing. Mr Rudkin proposes to Molly. When she refuses him, he decides to join the infantry, anticipating the introduction of conscription. While teaching Molly to ride a bicycle, Harry betrays his own feelings towards her. Charles comes to tell Alan he had been granted a week’s leave and finds him writing to Kate; he warns Alan that she will treat him badly. On his return to Becket’s Hill, he intends to stay for only a few days then go to London to see Kate, but, when he telephones her to make arrangements, she makes it clear she is not interested. Gossip and bad feeling against the Farmer family surface among some of the local people, and Harry and Alan get into a fight when local youths mock the RFC. On meeting Lorna again, Alan finds she has matured, and they begin to rekindle their relationship.


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

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