Airline (1982 TV series)
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|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Running time||50 minutes approx.|
|Production company(s)||Yorkshire Television|
|Original release||3 January– 28 February 1982|
Airline was created by Wilfred Greatorex and lasted for one series of nine episodes broadcast in January and February 1982, with a repeat in the summer of 1984. Other leading cast members were Polly Hemingway, Richard Heffer, Nicholas Bond-Owen, Sean Scanlan and Terence Rigby, while noted guest-stars included Anthony Valentine and Walter Gotell (better-known for his numerous guest stints as KGB General Gogol in a string of James Bond films during the Cold War era).
The aerial unit was managed by the Aces High Company, who operated two C-47/DC-3 aircraft for the series: "G-AGIV"/'Alice' (former USAAF and Spanish Air Force C-47A G-BHUB, now in the American Air Museum in Britain at the Imperial war Museum Duxford, painted in its original markings as "W7"/43-15509) – which featured a postwar drop-down airliner door – and the famous C-47A G-DAKS, which was rebuilt from a 'Pinocchio'-nose radar testing aircraft to appear as "G-AGHY"/'Vera Lynn'. During production, an Auster and a North American Harvard, rented from private owners, also featured as were shots of DC-3s in normal commercial operation for use in the Berlin Airlift scenes in the final episode.
A second series of Airline was planned to start filming in 1983 and additional aircraft were purchased by Aces High for the production (including the Lockheed Constellation now at the Science Museum at Wroughton) before production was axed by Yorkshire Television. Aces High subsequently moved operations to North Weald airfield in Essex, donating G-BHUB to the IWM and the Constellation to Wroughton, where both remain on display today.
C-47A G-DAKS can now be frequently seen on BBC's Top Gear programme, normally parked next to the Boeing 747 on the hard standing behind the show's race track. The main Top Gear studios are located at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome, which has also been Aces High's base since moving from North Weald in the early 2000s.
The complete series of Airline is available on DVD in the UK.
|#||Title||First transmission (UK)||Director||Writer|
|1||"Look After Number One"||3 January 1982, 9 p.m.||Michael Ferguson||Wilfred Greatorex|
|2||"Brave New World"||10 January 1982, 9.15 p.m.||Michael Ferguson||Wilfred Greatorex|
|3||"Conscience"||17 January 1982, 9 p.m.||Michael Ferguson||Wilfred Greatorex|
|4||"Touch and Go"||24 January 1982, 9 p.m.||Roger Cheveley||Wilfred Greatorex|
|5||"Fools' Errands"||31 January 1982, 9 p.m.||Roger Cheveley||Nick McCarty|
|6||"Captain Clarke Plus One"||7 February 1982, 9 p.m.||Michael Ferguson||Ray Jenkins|
|7||"Not Much of a Life"||14 February 1982, 9 p.m.||Peter Duguid & Roger Cheveley||Jane Franklin|
|8||"Officers and Gentlemen"||21 February 1982, 9 p.m.||Roger Cheveley||Nick McCarty|
|9||"Too Many Promises"||28 February 1982, 9 p.m.||Michael Ferguson||Michael Russell|