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The Plane Makers

(1963-65)

Winner:

  • UK Writers' Guild Awards - Best British Dramatic Series/Serial Scripts 1964
    Wilfred Greatorex, Raymond Bowers & Edmund Ward, The Planemakers.
  • UK Writers' Guild Awards - Best British Dramatic Series/Serial Scripts 1966
    Wilfred Greatorex, Raymond Bowers & Edmund Ward, The Planemakers

Set on the "factory floor" of fictitious aircraft manufacturers Scott Furlong, The Plane Makers focused on the day-to-day running of a multi-million pound company, and in particular the ambitions of ruthless company managing director John Wilder. The series focused on the power struggles between the trades union and the management on the shop floor of an (fictional) aircraft factory, Scott Furlong Ltd, as well as the political in-fighting between the management themselves. Patrick Wymark proved particularly popular as the anti-heroic managing director John Wilder, who was almost a proto-J.R. Ewing in that he became a central character that the other characters and viewers "loved to hate". Wilder's nemesis in the boardroom was David Corbett (Alan Dobie), though he was supported by his long-suffering wife Pamela (Barbara Murray, with Ann Firbank standing in for a few episodes when Murray was unavailable), his personal assistant Don Henderson (Jack Watling) and ever-reliable secretary Miss Lingard (Norma Ronald). Their task was to manufacture and sell a world-class aircraft, the Sovereign.

It was quite a popular show at the time of its first screening, with one New Zealand documentary on the first 25 years of television in the country recording a business meeting adjourning so those in attendance could all watch the show.

It's on DVD

The precursor to ATV's famous boardroom drama The Power Game, The Plane Makers followed the fortunes of the Scott Furlong airplane development company and its managing director, the ruthless John Wilder (Patrick Wymark). This release contains the first 13 episodes of series two - only one episode still exists from series one and that is included on disc one as a special feature.

The plot: After months of work, a new passenger airliner, The Sovereign, is almost ready for its first flight. When John Wilder discovers that the Sovereign's French competitor is due for its maiden flight he gives orders to get the plane off the ground in two days, a decision he may come to regret...

Special Features

  • Don't Worry About Me - the only surviving episode from series one
  • Image Galleries

Catalogue Number: 7953275
Time: 700 mins approx
Region: 2 / PAL
Subtitles: None
Sound: Mono / English
Picture: 1.33:1 / Black and White
Number of Discs: 4
Classification: TBC
Barcode: 5027626327545