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Thread: Piece of Cake - 30 years ago....

  1. #1
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    Piece of Cake - 30 years ago....

    Nice wee article on the filming of the classic TV series, which took place 30 years ago this month.....

    https://warbirdtails.net/2018/03/17/...n-30-years-on/
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  2. #2
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    Blooming marvellous, thanks for sharing Daz! Been meaning to give it another watch, it's been a while. I used to have it on repeat as a lad, wearing out my Dad's VHS recording from the original showing on ITV.
    Also, I've lived down the road from Headcorn all my life and never realised it was used as a base for filming; you learn something new every day.
    Plane Crazy

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    When i watch Midsomer Murders i still think of him as Moggy Cattermole

  4. #4
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    Picked up the series on DVD about 12 months ago, and have only just watched it. Some glorious air to air shots over the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs around Friston/Beachy Head.

    Thirty years ago - it was filmed just after I moved down to that part of the world (East Sussex), and I remember desperately hoping to catch sight (or sound) of the filming that was rumoured to be going on not too far 'down the road'... (no Internet forums, and few mobile phones, to spread the word in those days...)...

    The series feels a little dated in places, even allowing of the fact that it is a 'period piece', but its still well worth tracking down a set of DVDs.

  5. #5
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    Still remember when the series was first released, seems like it was only yesterday and when you think, Danger UXB (ahhhh Judy Gleason) will be 40 next year????





    Hmmmm Judy and Sally Gleason.....��
    Tony

    ...and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in Space cos there's bugg*r all down here on Earth!

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    It was quite controversial at the time for the historical inaccuracies. The main problem being that it was set during the Phoney War and there was quite a severe shortage of Hurricanes at the time of filming, hence the later marks of Spit. Charlton Park was used for the chateau. One of the family is a co-owner in a Nanchang...

  7. #7
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    About time for a remake then?
    "If the C.O. ask's you to be Tail End Charlie...just shoot him!!!....A Piece of Cake.
    http://spitfirea58-27.blogspot.com.au/

  8. #8
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    I bought a previously unknown (to me) book on ‘the making of’ the other day. Interesting reading. I remember reading in Flypast about the use of a high tech film format. Did this medium have the same fate as Laserdisc, anyone?

    Equally of interest was Derek Robinson’s intention to portray a more realistic portrayal of the pilots as an antidote to established heroic accounts. I felt this approach had some value, but it was perhaps applied somewhat coarsely.

  9. #9
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    It is not widely known that Mk I Spitfire AR213 made an appearance in PoC.

    Here a shot by Herbie Knott with AR213 fourth in line. Note the slightly different radii on the fuselage roundel.

    I missed catching an image at DX by about 15 minutes...they were taking off as I approached from Royston.

    Yet here we are 30 years on and not one ground shot to my knowledge has surfaced of AR213 in PoC livery.

    Anybody out there?

    Mark

    Last edited by Mark12; 15th May 2018 at 08:16.
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

  10. #10
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    Yet here we are 30 years on and not one ground shot to my knowledge has surfaced of AR213 in PoC livery.

    Anybody out there?
    Is this not AR213 in the set from the material Daz posted?

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/127965...7664760665087/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/127965...7664760665087/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/127965...7664760665087/
    Plane Crazy

  11. #11
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    Yep, that should do it.

    Steve
    75-Stay alive, 76-Radio tricks, 77-Going to Heaven.

  12. #12
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    30 years, 30 YEARS!!!!! where has that gone? half my life away but feels like a few years not decades
    SMOKE SMOKE GO!
    TA out

  13. #13
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    I was about 16 at the time and already adored the book; I was aware enough that it was a fiction, and took it for what it was. I remember the anticipation of seeing my favourite characters brought to life, particularly of course Moggy- and yes, even today, whenever I see Neil Dudgeon in something, I think of Cattermole. Interesting that he and a few others of the young cast went on to have solid careers- Jeremy Northam and Nathanial Parker, particularly- so they were a well chosen bunch.

    Happy days

  14. #14
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    I'll re-phrase that:-

    Yet here we are 30 years on and not one ground shot to my knowledge has surfaced of AR213 in PoC livery...until Daz posted the link yesterday

    There are five images there that include a partial AR213 of which this one, cleaned up, is the best.

    I am delighted.

    Mark

    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

  15. #15
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    Aha, understood Mark. How different she looks now!
    I'm surprised there are none in the 'making of' book? I don't have it to hand at the moment, a great little eBay purchase that was.
    Plane Crazy

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    I have that "making of" book - it's a fantastic read. Just goes to show how difficult it was "back in the day", without CGI etc.

    And there are STILL people on Farcebook who think that the infamous shot of Ray Hanna going under the bridge was faked.....!
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  17. #17
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    Another shot of AR213 from the link....

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/127965...posted-public/
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  18. #18
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    I haven't seen it since it was first shown on television.
    Aircraft aside...how does the series "hold up" today as entertainment?

    Also, at the time it was considered somewhat controversial. Is that still the case?
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  19. #19
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    The controversy surrounding PoC was red hot at the time, the veterans really didn't like it one bit. I'm not sure about the chronology of events, but certainly at one point the novel was subject of a legal case brought by Paul Richey (ex 1sqn Battle of France) who felt that the novel was heavily based on his autobiography Fighter Pilot and that the characters portrayed were an insult to the memory of real people. Did this come after the novel was made into the series?? Sadly Richey died while proceedings were underway, and the case petered out.

    When the series was aired it got an equally cold reception from veterans as a whole, the main gripe being that it portrayed nothing like the real spirit of the time and that the war would have been lost if things had really been like PoC (Bee Beamont for one was very vocal on the subject). I've heard that ITV ended up promising never to show a repeat of the series as a result.

    On a more personal note, PoC forms a strong part of my childhood memories and was probably one of the catalysts of my interest - the plot and characters may have drawn criticism, but the set and the flying scenes were great. I've since watched it on DVD, and it's poignant to see the likes of Ray and Mark Hanna, Reg Hallam and Hoof Proudfoot doing their stuff, including the famous bridge scene flown by Ray.
    Last edited by Ant.H; 17th May 2018 at 07:14.
    "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease." Sergei Sikorsky

  20. #20
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    Fornicating spheroids!

    I was at school almost within sight of Headcorn (used to watch the Islander dropping parachutists from the front stairwell) at the time - and this is the first I've heard of it!

    I guess it's a bit late to go and take a butchers...

    Adrian
    "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrian_gray View Post
    Fornicating spheroids!

    I was at school almost within sight of Headcorn (used to watch the Islander dropping parachutists from the front stairwell) at the time - and this is the first I've heard of it!

    I guess it's a bit late to go and take a butchers...

    Adrian
    Still plenty to see down here on a good day at Headcorn. Aero Legends put on a veritable treat at the weekend with their two Spitfires and the Bygone aviation Hurricane, along with their Dove and T6 of course.
    Plane Crazy

  22. #22
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    I haven't seen it since it was first shown on television.
    Aircraft aside...how does the series "hold up" today as entertainment?
    I binge-watched it the other day, and still found it to be top-notch.

    Strangely, if you compare it to A Perfect Hero, it seems to be a much more grittier and realistic take on RAF fighter pilots - A Perfect Hero always grates on me because of the Hugh Fleming character (regardless of how closely based on Richard Hillary he is!), among others.
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

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    Was the four bladed prop and six-exhaust-per-side engine on AR213 a postwar modification in the warbirds era? Or was it one of the rear Mk. I's that got a mid-life upgrade during the war?

  24. #24
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    Dave,

    Yes fitted in the run up to the BoB film at Henlow in 1967/8 to get it flying for the film. All that was available.

    Originally built at Westlands with a three blade DH prop and three ports per side exhausts.

    Mark
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

  25. #25
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    ...and someone had the cojones to book the LancasterS in 2014! A very, very special day.

    Adrian
    "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.

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  27. #27
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    Some comments from the writer and actors...https://jeremynortham.co.uk/2010/10/...piece-of-cake/
    and the writer has an interesting website with info on his other novels including several air adventures http://www.derekrobinson.info/

  28. #28
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    As it happens, I'm about to get into a model group-build involving aircraft (and others) from TV programmes.

    Naturally, I've opted for a Spitfire and Buchon from the series, but which one??
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  29. #29
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    Good Evening All,

    Glad to see you all enjoyed these pictures, always been a family treasure looking back at these pictures from before my time, so it is nice to share them. I've put together a follow up post with a few recent pictures of some of the starring aircraft. Hopefully I've picked the right Spitfires out of the line up!

    https://warbirdtails.net/2018/05/28/...-then-and-now/
    Historic Aviation and Airshow Blog: www.warbirdtails.net Twitter: @WarbirdTails

  30. #30
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    WarbirdTails,

    Here is scan of a slide in my collection. Thought to be Biggin Hill in 1989 post PoC.

    Apart from the reinstatement of a full size RAF serial I believe this is the scheme that it took in to storage, never to be seen again by all but a few.

    Mark

    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

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