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Wings (1977/78) – S02E10 – “The Price” – Tim Woodward, Nicholas Jones, Michael Cochrane, David Troughton


This Episode

As C Flight puzzle over how to protect reconnaissance aircraft from the Germans, Triggers is astonished to be recalled to Britain. He finds he has been seconded as an advisor and test pilot at the factory which is to build a new fighter – the factory owned by Triggers’ own father. The initial signs are good: the new “Viper” has a better rate of climb and will be equipped with a forward-mounted machine gun, but Triggers has concerns. His relationship with his father is fraught, and he is annoyed that Mr Triggers wants to press ahead with manufacturing the plane in bulk before resolving issues such as the purchase of a suitable engine from Spain. Following a test flight, he insists the design be amended before putting the prototype into production to make it safe enough for the average pilot to fly. In an attempt to prove that the “Viper” can be handled by the average pilot, the designer Tony Snow takes it for a further test flight. The plane crashes in flames, and Snow is killed. Triggers’ father still wants him to remain at home to take charge of the factory he will one day inherit. Triggers, who is uninterested in the business, applies to return to France and is posted back to “C” Flight where his pilots are still unsuccessfully trying to shoot down the enemy’s Eindeckers.



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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