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The Plane Makers - Volume 1 [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Patrick Wymark, Reginald Marsh, Barbara Murray, Robert Urquhart, Jack Watling
  • Directors: Quentin Lawrence, James Ferman, John Cooper, John Nelson Burton, Geoffrey Nethercott
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Aug. 2012
  • Run Time: 700 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003TEHBXS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,261 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

The prequel to ATV's famous boardroom drama The Power Game, The Plane Makers follows the fortunes of the Scott Furlong airplane development company and its managing director, the ruthless John Wilder (Patrick Wymark).
Never previously available in any format, this release contains the first 13 episodes of series two - only one episode still exists from series one and that is included on disc one as a special feature.

After months of work, a new passenger airliner, the Sovereign, is almost ready for its first flight.

When John Wilder discovers that the Sovereign's French rival is due for its maiden flight he gives orders to get the plane off the ground in two days, a decision he may come to regret...

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
'The Plane Makers' was a forerunner of the probably more memorable 'The Power Game', both series featuring the formidable Patrick Wymark as John Wilder, a highly ambitious and overbearing businessman who uses people to further his own ends. In this series he is the managing director of an airplane development company called Scott Furlong, and he is hell-bent on getting a new passenger airliner into the air before a rival French company does the same.
This is classic British television at its best with a good cast including Robert Urquart, Barbara Murray, Jack Watling and the ever dependable Reginald Marsh ( remember him as Terry's irascible boss in 'Terry And June'? ). It looks somewhat dated now, I suppose, but it is well-written and well-acted. If you like 'Hadleigh', you should like this, although the characters are on a slightly lower plain ( if you'll forgive the pun ).
There is only one drawback. The picture quality is generally very good, but the sound is quite muffled on the first few episodes. I have pretty good hearing, but I found that I was missing some words at times. Still worth buying. Watch out for Rodney Bewes in the episode 'Any More For The Skylark?'.
Volume 1 includes the first 13 episodes from series 2 and the one remaining episode from series 1.
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Other reviews have already dealt with the main facts concerning this DVD so I am confining myself to making one main point. The DVD's strength is also its weakness - the John Wilder character. If he is in an episode then it's well worth watching. If he isn't in it then the episode is very humdrum and revolves around the workforce..........not very bright workers in cloth caps and trades union officials who (in those days)had the power to cause a great deal of trouble. At least two episodes could be ignored without any loss to the overall running story. Still well worth buying the DVD just to see Patrick Wymark in action and (with Volume 2)it puts the character of his secretary Kay Lingard into context before she appears in 'The Power Game'.
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Format: DVD
Channel 4 showing "The Power Game" many years ago out of the blue (and bloody good it was too) opened my eyes to the fact there must be more good stuff like this in British television archives. That there was is great to hear, and now that releasing the more obscure items on DVD is more economically viable, releases such as this through specialist re-issuers like Network is to be warmly welcomed. Does this mean I don't like modern-day product? Not necessarily; I think some of today's storytelling can lack substance and quality, and then series like "New Tricks" or "Hustle" remind me that some people DO care about what is being put out.

Sir John Wilder has been described as a 'prototype JR', but then on the other hand he was the original - an irascible and unlikable man the audience loved to hate and so stayed glued to their sets as the weeks rolled by waiting for that downfall that, thanks to his wheeling and dealing never quite came. You needed to know what was going to happen to him, his company, his marriage, his secretary, everything, and it holds true today. Wilder's battles with management, his bank, the shop floor (from whom he has a zero-tolerance attitude) all go into a compulsive melting pot of intrigue and double-dealing.

Wilder and his mild-mannered sales director-come-lackey Don Henderson are not seen in all 26 episodes; indeed, this series 2 was bridge from the more workshop-floor approach of series 1 towards the shorter 13-part series 3, more the prototype for the Power Game that followed. Wait - what? 26 episodes in one year? That's one punishing schedule but when you are onto a winning formula give the public what they want with the bonus that recording-almost-as-live not long before broadcast allowed programmes to be more topical.
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Nice to see Network have recognized this great boardroom series as worthy of issue on DVD.I loved this series when it was first shown and thought it was unlikely I'd ever see it again. The main characters are acted superbly by Patrick Wymark and the beautiful Barbara Murray, etc. The scripts were of the highest standard. My only criticism is the quality of both the picture and audio. It is acceptable but not the best. Is this because the prints are taken from video and not film? Nice to see Network have not had to licence this from that awful STUDIO-CANAL company as these ATV productions belong to Granada Ventures who only have a single unobtrusive logo at the start of the DVD unlike STUDIO-CANAL who have an utterly repulsive and overlong logo at the start of every program on a DVD. I wish Granada Ventures would purchase all the great British ABC programs, etc From STUDIO-CANAL and bring them back into the British domain. I live in hope.
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Format: DVD
I remember watching enthralled when it was first shown on TV so many years ago. I was not disappointed when I played the DVD's. The individual episodes are well written and reflect life and atitudes then current. The Boardroom struggles, shopfloor versus management all so true to life. The series is very watchable indeed and well worth the money in spite of the less than perfect picture/sound quality that is to be expected from something recorded nearly half a century ago and does not detract.The Plane Makers - Volume 1 [DVD]
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