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Aircraft and Airmen: Radio Plays


2002 Amy Johnson, by Helen Cross
2002 The Aerodrome, by Rex Warner
1998 Flight to Arras
1995 Bomber: Len Deighton - see "War and Conflict" page
1991 Rat Race: Dick Francis, serial
1991 Action of the Tiger: Peter Roberts
1991 In-flight entertainment: John Wilsher
1989 One of our aircraft is missing: J. Myerson
1981 The Kamikaze Groundstaff reunion dinner
1980(?) Talkdown - Brian Lecomber
1977(?) The Crashed Plane
1976 Death Kiss Kate - Max Marquis
1976 Jumbo: James Follett
1976 Point of no return: Stephen Barlay
1974 The Doppelganger Machine: James Follett
1970(?) The temple tree, by David Beatty. 90m.

see also the WAR & CONFLICT page.

NOTES

AMY JOHNSON....2002
Interesting biographical play about Amy Johnson. It went out under the title "The chiropodist who flew to Timbuktu" or somesuch, which wasn't helpful. 45m, afternoon play, well worth hearing. Directed by Peter Leslie Wilde. 30 Oct 02.

The Aerodrome....2002
- (R4, 2102, 23 Aug 02) by Rex Warner, dramatized by Graham White, was an outstanding parody of the conflict between the military and the ordinary citizen. 1930s England, and the village is slowly taken over by the RAF. Roy and Bess's romance is shattered, and the rector is shot dead during machine gun practice. The Air Vice-Marshall gives the address at his funeral: "We are here today to bury a man. Death is often a matter of accident, and there are, it must be said, few reasons to be particularly dismayed by it. The rector's family is, I believe, well provided for. Now we shall bury the body".

FLIGHT TO ARRAS....1998
WW2 bomber pilot play. 60m.

BOMBER....1995
By Len Deighton. Amazing docu-drama of the blanket bombing of German cities during World War 2. More information on "War and Conflict" page.

Rat Race....1991
By Dick Francis. BBC WS 13th to 17th May 1991, then Radio 4 29 August 1991 to 19 September 1991. A four part serialisation of the book. Hywell Bennet plays an air-taxi pilot who becomes entangled in a dangerous plot involving a bent jockey.

ACTION OF THE TIGER....1991
Britains no. 1 fighter pilot in WW1. 90m. 14 Jan 91.

IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT....1991
A nervous passenger on an aeroplane ... listening to the radio. Things start to go wrong, but there's a strange link between the sounds coming from the radio and the mounting crisis in the air...

ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING....1989
R4, 22 Jul 89, 90min. By Jonathan Myerson. A WW2 bomber is discovered in a marsh. The military want to lose the evidence of how it got there.

THE KAMIKAZE GROUNDSTAFF REUNION DINNER....1981
1 May 1981; see Stewart Parker page. A classic.

TALKDOWN....c1980
I think Brian Lecomber is, or was, a pilot.........anyway, this play is hair-raising because we have the scenario of a person with no experience of flying having to land a plane. I'm told by a friend who's into flying that this has happened more than once, and on the occasions he's heard about, the plane came in safely....it stars Christopher Timothy as the pilot who takes charge, and there's an excellent performance by the poor woman who has to fly the plane...can't recall her name, unfortunately, without listening to the tape again. The production went out in 5 x 12min episodes on successive days. As a spliced-together continuous play, 60m, it's rather exhausting.....

THE CRASHED PLANE....c1977
By Max Hastings. 90m.


DEATH KISS KATE....1976
SNT 24.04.1976. By Maz Marquis. ' Look, skip. this flying business is dicey enough as it is without going to look for extra problems. Right now we're all as jumpy as mice, with scrub-outs and stand-downs night after night. If we're going to have to start worrying about jinxes and bad luck ... we might as well send in for our little wooden crosses right now. ' Produced and directed by Cherry Cookson. (From the BBC genome website) - (....thanks Alistair)

POINT OF NO RETURN....1976
Pilot error, or not.....? 90m. Producer Graham Gauld.

THE DOPPELGANGER MACHINE....1974
14 aUG 1974; R4, 55m. An Imperial Airways plane leaves France in 1933, goes into a thick cloud, and when it emerges it lands in London - a city which has subtly changed. Produced by Roger Pine. Stars Peter Pratt, Hector Ross, Nigel Lambert, Hugh Ross, Eva Haddon, William Eedle, John Samson, Manning Wilson, Denis McCarthy, John Bull, Julian Fox, John Folley.

THE TEMPLE TREE....C1970
An air crash during WW2 in the Middle East. 90m.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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