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Thursday, August 26, 2010

TV Tie-ins: Wings

Wings by Barry Thomas. Pan/BBC 0-330-25043 / 0-563-17169-3, 1977, 174pp, 50p. Cover: still [Tim Woodward].
"Once again, the Albatross dived after the BE2, its machine guns stuttering."
__1915, The Western Front. For young Alan Farmer a dream had come true—his first mission over enemy lines...
__His apprenticeship as a blacksmith; the horrifying death of his father; re-building The Flyer during the long Sussex evenings; Charles Gaylion's friendship; Captain Triggers and the training squadron; even Lorna's love—all had led up to this moment.
__Suddenly, bullets smashed the windscreen of Alan's cockpit...
Wings: Over Enemy Lines by Barry Thomas. BBC 0-563-17427-7, 1978, 223pp, 75p, Cover: still [Nicholas Jones]
Pilots and observers of the Royal Flying Corps did not survive for long in their stick-and-string biplanes on the Western Front in 1915. Alan Farmer, sergeant pilot and former blacksmith, had been with his squadron in France, where he met up with his old friend Charles Gaylion, only a few days when his CO was killed. The new CO was Captain Triggers, their old flying instructor. But then the squadron came up against the Germans' new monoplane, which actually had a machine gun firing forward through the propeller. Alan is wounded and sent home on leave. After his return he is accused by his observer of cowardice and faces a court martial.
BBC Television (1977-78). Series created by: Barry Thomas; Producer: Peter Cregeen;  Writers: Barry Thomas, Arden Winch, Julian Bond; Directors: Donald McWhinnie, Jim Goddard, Gareth Davies, Desmond Davies; Starring: Tim Woodward (Alan Farmer), Anne Kristen (Molly Farmer), John Hallam (Harry Farmer), Sarah Porter (Lorna Collins), Reg Lye (Tom Chater), Michael Cochrane (Charles Gaylion), Nicholas Jones (Captain Triggers). IMDB.

About the author [1977]
Barry Thomas has been writing for television for twenty years and was Script Editor for the very successful series, The Onedin Line. He once adapted Gogol's The Government Inspector for comedian Tony Hancock, collaborated with Francis Durbridge on the marathon eighteen-part thriller, The World of Tim Frazer, adapted How Green Was My Valley for live transmission from the Cardiff studio, and has been Script Editor and writer for Dr Finlay's Casebook and Z Cars. In spite of a fair bit of experience he is still naive enough to marvel at the work of directors and actors who do the real job of getting the shows on the screen.
__He is the creator of the television series, Wings. He was a navigator in the RAF, and for a short time—not short enough!—he was a parachute jumping instructor. This gave him a taste for insecurity and so he became a writer. Born in Barry, Glamorganshire, he now lives in Walton-on-Thames with his wife, Connie, and their five children, and has no time for hobbies.
Thomas was later script editor on The District Nurse and Story Editor on EastEnders. As far as I'm aware, these are the only two novels he is credited with.

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