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Wings (1977/78) – S02E03 – “Another Country” – Tim Woodward, Nicholas Jones, Michael Cochrane, David Troughton


This Episode

The replacement pilot arrives in the form of Lieutenant Michael Starling, an Oxford academic keen to show off his expertise in flying theory. Meanwhile Triggers is ordered to drop a British spy behind enemy lines and is shocked when the spy turns out to be an attractive young widow, Madame Boissier. When their plane suffers engine failure, they are forced to land and take refuge with a French priest. Back at base, Gaylion, now acting flight commander, refuses to order a rescue mission. While Triggers awaits the arrival of a local mechanic, Starling locates the grounded plane and destroys it, cutting off their escape route. Triggers, now out of uniform in the hope of escaping detection, and Madame Boissier are betrayed to the Germans by the mechanic. Despite the efforts of a sympathetic German defending officer, they are both found guilty of spying and sentenced to death by firing squad at dawn the following day. Madame Boissier attempts to save Triggers by revealing to the court that he is a British officer, but both are imprisoned overnight. Triggers confides in Madame Boissier about his troubled family life, and begins to feel affection for her. The Germans, having found his uniform and papers at the priest’s house, make him a prisoner of war but no reprieve is forthcoming for Madame Boissier, who is shot while Triggers watches from a window. Incensed by her treatment, he escapes from the prisoner transport and returns to base, picks up a plane and strafes the car carrying the German commanding officer away from the place of execution. Only to Starling does he reveal something of his true feelings.


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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