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Wings (1977/78) – S02E06 – “Dawn Attack” – Tim Woodward, Nicholas Jones, Michael Cochrane, David Troughton


This Episode

Alan is being cared for by a French family close to a German airfield. Gradually recovering from his accident, with the help of the daughter of the house, Françoise, he conceives a plan of escape. Just as “C” Flight are being congratulated by the general on the success of their “forward action”, a German attack on Sainte Marie takes them by surprise. All but one of the planes are destroyed, and several men are killed. Bravington, frustrated at no longer being able to take an active part in missions, quarrels with Triggers over how to retaliate; Triggers forces the remaining men to work all night to repair the one surviving BE2. Disguised as a peasant bringing the early morning milk delivery, Alan gains entry to the German airfield and manages to make his escape in an Eindecker. However, lying in wait for him is Captain Triggers in the last BE2, intent on taking his revenge for the attack on Sainte Marie. Having forced down the German plane, he is about to shoot Alan when they recognise one another. Back in England, Molly has become resentful of the amount of time Lorna is spending with Charles, and she quarrels with both of them over their apparent betrayal of Alan; Lorna herself is convinced that Alan is dead. Charles takes Lorna to meet his family, but only his sister Kate is at home. When they are left alone, Kate forces Charles to admit that he is in love with Lorna. Triggers sends Alan home on leave, in the expectation that his wedding to Lorna will take place. However, the news of Alan’s safe return causes Charles and Lorna to acknowledge their feelings for one another, and Lorna tells Charles she cannot marry Alan.



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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