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on 17 September 2015
Good character development and historically accurate.
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on 7 April 2013
It was wonderful! It was fun to see four actors, whose later work I know, as very young men. Still, they were no less talented.
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on 6 January 2013
very enjoyable a must for ww1 aviation buffs .aviation effects look habit dated but on the whole well worth watching
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on 14 October 2010
This series has aged brilliantly, great acting and production. Love this series. They should make more!
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on 29 December 2010
I remember it was a big ratings winner in the late 70's when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I took a gamble I bought the series as I only had sketchy memories of a few scenes and characters from thirty years ago. I thought that for the price you couldn't go wrong for 25 episodes.

It was well worth it. It is far superior to anything shown over the Christmas period or all year for that matter. A drama following the fortunes of early British pilots in the first world war at the very dawn of air power.

My parents and I have really enjoyed it. It's a period drama so has not really aged at all. The stories are well told and the characters are distinct and well performed. These days I feel writers are lazy and they hide silly plot holes with a manic pace ( I'm looking at you Spooks writers ). No modern soap-opera sensationalized rows and tedious `relationship' merry-go-round disputes between semi-clown characters. These stories are credible and are really rich in depth and texture. I particularly liked Michael Cochrane who did a superb job of showing a man under extreme strain.

The joy of watching real aircraft over cartoon ones cannot be under-valued either.
I watched a few minutes of the historically dubious Red Baron film at around the same time and found the computer generated aircraft silly in both speed, movement and believability in comparison to the solid forms of the rickety and sluggish planes of Wings.

It's strange Wings has never been repeated on any of the many channels that show old BBC dramas ( Colditz, Secret Army, House of Elliot, Onedin Line etc ). In my opinion Wings is superior to all of them except Secret Army. Wings was a series that filled the peak time BBC1 slot on Sunday evening at around 7pm. This is when there were only three channels to watch!

It's also incredible to me that the three lead actors have vanished into virtual obscurity to only appear in occasional character parts rather than to become house hold names. Tim Woodward probably had the largest scope to appear in more dramas. He has completely vanished from our screens as a leading man. Michael Cochrane and Nicholas Jones have real presence as upper class officers; both in very different and memorable ways. I suspect they may have been type cast in upper class roles ever since. To a modern audience I think Nicholas Jones as Captain Triggers is probably a bit too full throttle. He never seems to relax. He at times reminds me of Lord Flashart from Black Adder Goes Forth - which of course came many years later.

All three leads are however superb and it was with real regret that I watched the last part. It really did feel as if I'd lost old friends when I watched the last part. It was good enough for another series. The series had still plenty of bite in it. There was no dropping off in quality over time. It would be great if the BBC could re-unite the leads for a one-off drama set thirty years later just after the second world war.

I suspect in the post Star Wars mania era of the late 1970's, the BBC changed to dramas like Blakes 7. It's a shame because even though I'm a Blakes 7 fan, Wings is a much better drama and should be appreciated far more than Blakes 7.
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on 9 April 2010
Despite its age this production tells the story well. The real plane scenes on the ground and in the air are remarkably good for their time and a nice change from CG stuff we get now. For me this series shows the frustration, the fears, the comradeship, the squabbles and losses and also the mundane day to day life with great attention to the characters who continually have to put on a brave face to save their sanity. In reality there is no 'gung ho' mega exciting action in war with loads of succesful 'kills' and for most of the time there are many disappointments and frustrations which are all portrayed well here. It was extremely difficult to shoot down a plane unless it was hit in the right place on the first pass and the problems of equipment are rarely shown in productions elsewhere, however good. Altogether a realistic and refreshing series. Recommended for its great stab at authenticity. Minor imperfections in the story can be overlooked and strangely I liked the slightly inferior quality of the 'film' due to its age - it somehow makes it more realistic.
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on 7 August 2010
Remember the days before they invented CGI when the actor was the key element of the drama and not the overblown action sequences? This is BBC drama from an era which sadly we are unlikely to see again - especially as everything has to be dumbed down for audiences who have the attention span of a text message. If you saw this series back in the 1970s and wonder if it is worth watching again all I can add to the glowing reviews already submitted is the answer, unequivocally - Yes!

About the only disappointment in this series is the knowledge that there were only 25 episodes ever made. Why the Beeb decided not to commission a third series is anybody's guess. Maybe someone will discover a lost third series in the Beeb's vault (probably not).

Another surprise is that both Michael Cochrane and especially Tim Woodward have never risen to the same ranks of stardom in the UK as other 1970s contempories like John Thaw or Martin Shaw. Both Cochrane and Woodward give compelling performances - Cochrane's public schoolboy persona never slips as is the same with Woodward's soft Sussex burr. The one member of the cast who has become a staple on our screens is David Troughton who like Nicholas Jones also give examples of the very best in TV drama acting.

I cannot recommend this series highly enough.
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on 25 January 2011
I home-educate my children and was skeptical when my British husband suggested we buy this 1970s TV series to supplement our study of WW1.

After the first episode, I was so glad that he did.

Basically, this series charts the early days of the RAF in WW1, called the RFC -- or Royal Flying Corps -- back then. It was the flying branch of the army, and so was primarily used for reconnaissance when it was clear that the cavalry was no longer appropriate for such a mission. The tension between those in the planes and their comrades on the ground is explored fully throughout the series, though points the finger of blame more at the Top Brass who never seemed to understand how to exploit air power.

The way of charting these pioneering days is what's so endearing about this series: through individual people. A young blacksmith from a backwater in Sussex, named Alan Farmer, manages to break through the class barriers and get taken on as a trainee pilot, making friends with a toff named Gaylion and coming under the tutelage of the demanding-but-fair Captain Triggers. There's also a girlfriend with whom the path of love is rather rocky, and during the first series, a lot of scenes of the Home Front where Alan's mum, family business, and uncle are.

The second series contains a lot more battle footage as the slow and stable British BE2s become little more than target practice for the Germans' Eindecker monoplane. Almost every pilot is shot down behind enemy lines at least once, and their various exploits in making it back safely are sometimes charted in detail, and sometimes, summarized in a speech they make when -- to our great relief -- they turn up to the mess in time for tea.

A true mix of action, drama, tension, characterization, and plain good writing, we were really sad when we heard the strains of the nostalgic music for the last time. I guess in all honesty it was for the best, since chances were high that few of our favourite characters would have lasted much longer given the nature of the business they were in.

One final point: the series is rated 12, but I don't think it's especially disturbing to children younger than that. A bit of blood on rare occasion, a few deaths which are mostly just flashes of a scene, hardly any sexual innuendo, and bad language confined to "bloody". Much more tame than Dr Who, and that's shown before the watershed on a Sunday.
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on 30 March 2011
This wonderfully evocative series about the earliest days of British military aviation in World War I (before the RFC became the RAF) features fine acting and strong characterisations, highlighting the incredible bravery (and tragically short lives) of the young pilots in their flimsy machines of the day.

The flying sequences feature accurate replicas of the aircraft, such as the British BE2 biplane, up against the far superior German Fokker Eindecker monoplane, with its forward-firing machine gun (synchronised with the propeller, to avoid shooting it off!).

In addition to the flying action, there is a strong story line following the family of pilot Sgt. Alan Farmer (played by Edward Woodward's son, Tim) back in rural England, contrasting with the upper class background of Lt.Charles Gaylion (Michael Cochrane).

All in all, an absorbing series which I highly recommend to anyone interested in early military aviation history. You can almost smell the castor oil, fabric dope, and mown grass!

A bargain price for all 25 episodes of the two series (over 20 hours) made during what I consider to be the Golden Age of Television in the 1970s.
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on 14 February 2010
I have to say that my husband and I were rivited by this series. I remembered enjoying it in the late 70s as a teenager, myself and my brother sat with mom and dad to enjoy family viewing.
We recently sat with our teenage son to watch the DVDs, initially, he groaned when he saw the obviously dated screen play, but soon settled down and agreed that the story is the important aspect, and what a good story it is.
When we had finished the series I felt like I had lost a friend or finished a fantastic book, I know we will watch it again in the future.
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