It wasn't long ago I reviewed volume 1 of this pre "Power Game" series and in my hands I have the eagerly-awaited volume 2. Without doubt this will be of limited interest and certainly not to those totally ingrained in colour, HD, stereo+ and 3D and the current penchant to too-fast cutting action. But then they will miss well-crafted drama of the type mostly missing in today's bitterly-fought schedules. "The Plane Makers" is of its time but the plots are surprisingly no less significant in today's commercial world and any perceived simplicity in their telling is down to how the storytellers had to explain some of the more board-level shenanigans to the less-enlightened masses of the early 1960's who nevertheless lapped this series up every week.
And so am I. The storylines just get better and better and the slow transgression towards an increased focus of the more mysterious boardroom level is evident, which will be seen to greater effect in the 13-part series 3, which is hopefully to be released before too long as Volume 3. Sir John Wilder's antics as Managing Director of Scott Furlong brings him into conflict with just about everyone and you almost wish he would fail on occasion, just to prove he is human. In this set (I have not seen them all at the time of writing) the most enjoyable was "Geraldine", where a nearby rich spinster plagued by aircraft noise will not move away for any reason - or any price - when Scott furlong require land for expansion and it is left to Sir John to try and reason with her. As a businessman even he is surprised at how that saga ends. Another deals with the risk of industrial espionage, something we are all aware of now but many proud viewers fifty years ago might not have been.
Another good episode "In The Book" explores old wounds being re-opened by a writer's telling of SF's history to be published in a book, over which plain-speaking General Works Manager Percy Sugden finds a voice when objecting to a chapter's content for reasons the viewer can easily sympathise with, but as the episode goes on ends up being completely clouded as more seemingly contradictory evidence emerges. The twist is that someone powerfull who is preparing to buy some Sovereign aircraft is at the centre of the long-forgotten events involved in the now-disputed writings. Delicately balanced investigations leave inconclusive results which could jeapoardise the company's sales - and fortunes - if the suggested re-draft went into print, as it would appear far less in favour of the potential buyer. A heart-to-heart meeting designed to get to the bottom of it uncovers the real reason for Percy's objections.... Watch it - it is as human drama should be.
Volume 2 contains the second half of series 2 which ran for an incredible 29 editions. Some going, especially taking into accout that series 2 premiered barely two months after the 16-part series 1 ended. So if when watching you think the production might looks a little scruffy here and there (look out for the microphone boom!) well, you are watching exactly what viewers in 1963 saw going out as a live production there and then, warts and all, and the telerecordings that survive today were probably made at the time of broadcast. Hence all imperfections like rolling pictures at camera cuts and occasional off-locks are locked-in as part of the charm. We don't know how lucky we are with our modern technology, when it works (lol). Saying that, if you have something like LG's 'Tru-Motion' effect on a modern LCD/LED screen, switch it on for it enhances the picture slightly to make the filmed pictures appear more like they would have done when origianlly broadcast from the studio. If you want a modern equivalent, imagine "EastEnders" on film which would look 'there and then', as opposed to its normal smooth video which brings the viewer into the 'here and now' of that programme's storyline.
Anyway, you can ignore the geek in me. Let me simply say that this is quality writing around characters we get to care about - and there is a lot riding on everyone in Scott Furlong pulling together to build and sell a string of Sovereigns. Can't wait for volume 3....