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The Plane Makers - Volume 3 [DVD]

4.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Patrick Wymark, Ann Firbank, Alan Dobie, Peter Jeffrey, Reginald Marsh
  • Directors: Peter Collinson, John Nelson-Burton, Quentin Lawrence, James Ferman, George More O'Ferrall
  • 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: 8 April 2013
  • Run Time: 650 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B1Q82HK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,918 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The prequel to ATV's celebrated boardroom drama The Power Game, The Plane Makers follows the fortunes of a leading airplane development company and its managing director, the ruthlessly ambitious John Wilder (Patrick Wymark). This series features guest appearances by, among others, Garfield Morgan, Geoffrey Chater, Anthony Newlands and Malcolm Tierney.

Scott Furlong Ltd. is primed to launch into the fiercely competitive world of government-backed military contracts, with the prototype development of the Predator - a supersonic, vertical-take-off fighter bomber. But in entering the supersonic rat-race, Wilder is embarking on a path of struggle and heartbreak that stretches to the corridors of Whitehall...

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Format: DVD
The Plane Makers - Volume 3 contains all 13 episodes from the third and final series (all 28 episodes from series 2, together with the sole surviving episode from series 1 are available on Volumes 1 & 2).

The second series concerned itself with John Wilder's struggles to make a success of the Sovereign, Scott Furlong's commercial airliner. This has now been achieved but Wilder (Patrick Wymark) has never been content to rest on his laurels. He now sets his sights on breaking into the military market, with a revolutionary vertical fighter.

Just one problem with that, Wilder doesn't have a design for the fighter. But that's easily solved, as one of his competitors - Ryan Airframes - does. So in typically ruthless Wilder fashion, he takes over the company and inherits the fighter.

But together with the plane comes the brilliant, but awkward, designer David Corbett (Alan Dobie). Right from the start these two lock horns, and in the struggle for supremacy there can only be one winner.

Dominating this run of episodes, as he did in series 2, is Patrick Wymark. He's not in every episode, but even in the ones he doesn't appear in, Wilder looms large as the other characters are constantly wondering what he's up to and what he will think of the latest political maneuvering. And while you could never call Wymark's style of acting subtle, you can't help but enjoy his full-throttle performance. In order for Wilder to shine he needs people to rage against, and Alan Dobie is a good adversary for him, as is Peter Jeffrey as MP James Cameron Grant.

Series 3 is quite different from the previous two, as the focus of these episodes is almost entirely concerned with the struggles in the boardroom and in the corridors of Whitehall.
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At last, Fremantle have finally released the last series of The Planemakers. Apart from the very first series, of which only one episode exists, (did anyone out there record it at the time??), the entire Planemaker series and the superb sequel - The Power Game - is now available to all. The whole gripping drama has never been equalled since, with only The House Of Cards coming close. The typecasting of Patrick Wymark as Sir John Wilder must rate among the top five most successful ever. Little wonder that in real life, he was approached by companies offering him directorships! I never tire of watching it. If you`re a devotee of boardroom and political high drama, then this is essential viewing. I rate it 10 stars!
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Volume 3 may be considered as a conclusion to Volumes 1 and 2 or as a prelude to the much superior 'The Power Game'. The value of this Volume is that it continues to flesh-out the characters such as Sir Gerald Merle and Sir Gordon Revidge whose relationship with John Wilder in the first episode of 'The Power Game' is now made clearer. The episodes in Volume 3 are a mixed bag. A very promising start and (perhaps) one of the best-ever episodes in the whole Wilder saga when Works Manager Arthur Sugden is involved in a security scare. We have (mercifully) lost the trouble at t'mill down on the shop floor and the cloth cap brigade has gone BUT there are at least two episodes that could be wholly ignored without much loss; the Wilder domestic set-up adds nothing to this series and the Laura Challis character acts as grease on a rail - the story loses traction and one is tempted to fast-forward her scenes. Of secondary interest is the fact that everyone seems to smoke all the time; the actors quite often fluff their lines and the picture is black and white and of inferior quality compared with what we expect now (as one would expect of a 1964/5 production). So - is Volume 3 worth buying? Yes, but it is probably over-priced. You want it -you pay the asking price. It's a sellers' market.
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Format: DVD
And finally, bridging the worlds of building things and the expensive decision-making behind them comes volume three of "The Plane Makers". The problematic gestation and delivery progress of the Sovereign were comparably sedately dealt with during series one and two, but Managing Director John Wilder's surprising buy-in to the Euro-fighter Vitol project, mainly as a cash cow eventually paid for by the government, necessarily tests his odyssey at Scott-Furlong to the edge in this complete third and final series. The decision to redirect focus onto the the boardroom was inspired, coming as it did at a time few of us mere mortals were familiar with upper management tussles, as well as the type of integrated wheeling-and-dealing in between the Government, Elbertson's bank and other interested organisations in making the final product.

Mere problems of a bad batch of goods are replaced with fully-manifested issues depending on potentially very expensive decisions. Not least of which for John Wilder is the unavoidable bringing-on-board of the fighter's designer, David Corbett. With this difficult part being excellently played to the limit of matter-of-fact dullness (that's a compliment, by the way) by the dry Alan Dobie, Corbett grows to display growing arrogance, wanting to see his pet project thrive to the bitter end. In so doing, his core value to the project what amounts to Scott-furlong's future sees him develop his first tentative steps in antagonising the business-savvy Wilder, through to a fully fledged war of attrition, in which he learns how to hound his quarry, though whether he learns fast enough to keep ahead is inevitably one of the more intriguing series' threads.
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