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4.6 out of 5 stars56
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 15 July 2012
I'd almost forgotten about this early 1980s series from Yorkshire Television, but I am very pleased that I re-discovered it. Set just after World War II, it focuses on Jack Ruskin, a recently de-mobilised pilot from the RAF, who wants to keep flying. Opportunities for pilots were apparently not that numerous after the war, and the national airlines were sometimes reluctant to recruit many of the former RAF staff. As a result, Jack embarks on his idealistic dream of establishing his own airline company, buying one Dakota airplane and recruiting two friends to help him. What follows is a series of professional and personal adventures, all shaped by the underpinning theme of `Jack (I am always right) Ruskin against the world'.

Created by television stalwart Wilfred Greatorex, these are well rounded characters and most of it's fairly believable. Roy Marsden plays chippy Jack very well; Marsden has said publically that Ruskin was one of the roles with which he identified the most, and this certainly comes across in his empathic portrayal. The theme, by music legend Tony Hatch, is absolutely brilliant, and it's a crime that you can't get hold of a separate recording of this anywhere.

Picture and sound quality are both good considering the age of the source material. Great Sunday evening entertainment that puts most contemporary stuff to shame. Definitely worth the asking price.

Ant Harrison
July 2012
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on 15 April 2012
How could could you not like a Series with Roy Marsden,with Hair it's a bonus;)
Fairly enjoyable Series,some great aerial scenes with the DC3.
It was just getting good when the series ended.
I assume it was very expensive to make and maybe that's why there was only one season done.
Video and sound quality good for it's age.
The usual good service from Amazon UK via Royal Mail and Canada Post.
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on 17 March 2012
Excellent idea and historically correct with some very good actors and stories, it is a shame that the series was not longer and spread over some more series, the last episode seems to be in a rush to finish things off. Still worth the money, good family entertainment.
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on 13 March 2012
Excellent believable drama series from Yorkshire Television from the 1970s. Superb acting from Roy Marsden and the crew. I've been waiting patiently for this series to come to DVD for ages. So pleased it finally has. Great theme music from Tony Hatch too, to add to The Champions, Downtown and Don't Sleep in the Subway.
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on 27 January 2013
Finally,my life is complete!!!!!!!!!! After being obssessed by this series when shown on TV in the 80's as a kid,finally it is available to buy on DVD!!! This series was the subject of many,many failed attempts at building airfix kits of dakotas after being glued to the screen on a sunday evening!!! It tells the tale of a demobbed flight sargent with a dream of running his own airline,his way.... !!! Along the way,it also explores,amomgst other things,the class system,the black market,attitudes to danger & death,moral values,authoritarism & polictical & economic tensions at home & abroad in immeadiate post-war britain.All this together with the simply stunning ariel sequences of the two dakotas & a healthy dose of boys own adventures & tight scrapes as our heroes fly around the world to make ends meet........... Today,illegal gun running to palestine at the height of the suez crisis,tomorrow a cargo of fine young ladies from a very prim & proper finishing school on a trip to swizterland,you get the idea!! They dodge the rules,regulations,spivs,loan sharks & the men from the ministry until eventually tragedy strikes...... brilliant stuff!!! You can almost smell the aviation fuel & feel the ground shake as "vera lynn" & "alice" roar off down the runway & into the storm-heavy skies with another dodgy load for another far-flung,hot,dusty & deserted airstrip........ yes,i love this series..... !!!!
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on 17 November 2013
I remember the series vividly when it first came out and was happy to buy this. This is one of the series that does still hold its appeal. With a wonderful blend of swagger, hunger, ambition and total contempt for everyone Roy Marsden and his team drive through this series. It has everything heroic start up airline, difficult money grubbing jobs, awkward business relationship, air crashes..and thats the first episode.

Totally brilliant and very believable
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on 21 July 2014
Always interested in aviation, I remember this series when I was a kid, hanging onto every flying sequence as though my life depended on it.

Watching it years later I filled in the rest of the story that life experience tells us is also important, and could also appreciate the characterisation and the less obvious conflicts that are well portrayed. For its era I thought I'd find aspects of it (perhaps acting styles or editing) to feel a bit dated, but there was pretty much nothing getting between me and the story which, for a TV serial, I found quite a surprise. Instead I was dropped into those post-war years when grafters could make their mark provided they were quick *off* the mark, in a country struggling to find its soul after a long and bloody war, and this milieu was caught very nicely, not laid on thick with a historical trowel - burying the story in history - but brought in by far less obtrusive means that let the actors and the story breathe. The fact that it only ran to a single series is a travesty I attribute to the specialised nature of the setting; the more popular ordinary "everyday" dramas set in suburbia seem to be speaking to people who just want to see more of their world rather than someone else's, I expect a series about a rock band would probably also die a death unless it was a comedy, and Airline is a bit thin on the slapstick.

Condemned to be a niche series, I have to say that Airline deserved to be so much more than it came to be, and it was with genuine frustration that I realised now, but not as a child, all those frustrated storylines that were waiting to be worked out. This series had so much further it needed to have gone, and could have gone, if it's backers had had just a little more courage and faith in it. It showed lots of promise, and the hasty wrapping up in the final episode is at once sad to see and also well executed, in that it gives the characters a life after the series for you to ponder.

Don't let the fact that it is a "cancelled series" put you off. It's dry and at times frustrating but it never lost the sense of being real.
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on 8 May 2015
What a great surprise this show was. I'd never heard of it before and took a chance, but was not disappointed. Good acting and an interesting story of a start-up airline in the aftermath of WWII, being run on credit and held together with bailing wire, chewing gum and the obsessive determination of the main character. He is not an overly likable character, but completely believable - something like that could not have been done by a "nice guy". It ends somewhat abruptly, with a feeling like the story was half finished, but there aren't any particular loose ends. I had the feeling that more series were planned but it was either too expensive to make or didn't attract a large enough audience, so it was wound up quickly in the last episode, with just enough uncertainty so that a second series could have been made later. I wish they had. Sound and video quality is very good.
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on 22 October 2013
A series that didn't last long and is difficult to find on DVD, but I found very good. A well produced DVD with the advertising skilfully removed. Very pleased
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on 22 September 2013
Roy Marston portrays the problem of what to do when your job (RAF) doesn't need you anymore .Shame there is nothing like it on TV these days
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