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LowNslow

FIGHTING THE RED BARON. Ch.4, 9pm. Friday 4th June.

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PhilB

Well, now that members have expressed contrition for their earlier remarks, maybe Ms Churchill (aka Freddy1918) might care to comment?

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Andrew Hesketh

Or she may not Phil.

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MartH

Having looked at Freddy1918 posts and the amount of help she gave to other forum members it would be a great shame if so no longer posted on this forum.

This forum bangs on about historical accuracy in TV Documentaries, she seems to be an expert on 56 squadron, did she say anything wrong on her specialist subject? It does read that way from this thread.

I too have been interviewed for TV, and spoken on behalf of work to journalists for interviews, it is not an easy task, once I did not get even quoted, the MD was delighted, he had requested I made it super boring.

She is to be applauded.

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jon_armstrong

For what it's worth I enjoyed the programme and Alexandra's contribution. She talked to the camera rather than lecturing to or barking at it, and for me her casual manner didn't in any way detract for what she was saying. Some of her comments like Ball being immature for his age were interesting, and it would have been fascinating to hear more. I found her manner a refreshing change from the two staples of these kind of programmes - a stern-faced talking head filmed in front of their bookcase to look scholarly or a Dan Snow type hopping around like he's had too much lemonade on a school trip.

Those that complain about the level on which the programme was pitched, what can you honestly expect at 21:00 on Channel 4 on a Friday night? If all TV was a niche as some members seem to want it would be unwatchable! 90 minutes of the advances in techniques employed by the 51st Division Divisional Laundry, 1916-1918.

Personally, I could live without all the "modern pilots learning to fly the aircraft" stuff -- the better parts of the programme were the bits that came inbetween. The dressing up and re-enactment doesn't offend me, as it is TV after all and we have to have something to look at, and it makes no difference to me whatsoever that some of the machines were replicas. Would the audience have learned more or been more entertained if they were all original? Hardly.

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SiegeGunner
Having looked at Freddy1918 posts and the amount of help she gave to other forum members it would be a great shame if so no longer posted on this forum.

This forum bangs on about historical accuracy in TV Documentaries, she seems to be an expert on 56 squadron, did she say anything wrong on her specialist subject? It does read that way from this thread.

<.....>

She is to be applauded.

Well said, Mart, and I entirely agree with you and with Jon. Alex's research shows these pilots as the young men not long out of school that they really were, rather than the mythical heroes that some would wish them to be, and I thought her contribution to the programme was a refreshing antidote to the usual fare.

Mick

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Heid the Ba
Those that complain about the level on which the programme was pitched, what can you honestly expect at 21:00 on Channel 4 on a Friday night?

I expect nudity, violence and profanity . . . :)

Unfortuantely I didn't get past the first 5 minutes, the patronising voice over did for me. I can't comment on the content as I fast forwarded through most of it and don't really know much about the air war. Saying it has to be that way as it is US money is no different from saying it has to be in Finnish because Nokia paid for it. If that renders it unwatchable for some of us, it is unwatchable, regardless of how good it may be.

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alex revell

Andrew,

I attempted to send a reply to your recent PM to me but it was not sent because your inbox was full. I clicked on the 'send later' button and also for the PM to be put into my sent box on my emails when it finally went. I noticed this morning that it was not in my Mail sent box so sent you a PM asking if you'd got it. Of course, the answer to that was that your inbox is full. Hence this message on the site. -:)

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SiegeGunner
I expect nudity, violence and profanity . . . :)

You can have the Red Baron or the Blue Max, but not both ... :whistle:

I have simple criteria for WW1 documentaries - if Taff worked on it, I know it will be as good as it could be got within the constraints, and if Taff says he enjoyed working on it, I know that I will enjoy watching it.

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Andrew Hesketh
Andrew,

I attempted to send a reply to your recent PM to me but it was not sent because your inbox was full....

Many apologies. There's a bit of room there now. :thumbsup:

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Chief_Chum

"I have simple criteria for WW1 documentaries - if Taff worked on it, I know it will be as good as it could be got within the constraints, and if Taff says he enjoyed working on it, I know that I will enjoy watching it."

Thanks SG. Much appreciated.

As always, we do the best we can but it is always the commissioning editors at television companies who call the shots.

Often the production companies find themselves having to make a completely different programme to the one they originally pitched to the commissioning editor, this programme included.

As for the real and replica planes, it was pretty simple:

Shuttleworth's priceless and irreplaceable aircraft were used for the static shots on the ground in the reconstructions (not re-enactments - if re-enactors didn't exist stuff like this would still be done but with actors and jobbing extras with no clue about the kit or the aircraft) with the ground crew and also for the 'action' reconstructions when a handful of us were fortunate enough to spend an hour or so sitting in original Great War aircraft.

Only Shuttleworth pilots fly their precious aeroplanes so only the two seater AVRO and Brisfit were used in the scenes with the modern former RAF pilots so that the Shuttleworth pilots could fly them (in the case of the Brisfit) and control the mixture in the AVRO. I don't think the real SE5A was used for flying sequences at all.

The replicas were used for the rest of the flying sequences which needed the 'planes to be given a harder time (dog fighting, looping, etc). The artillery spotting was done over Ipswich as we had trenches to 'shell' and the replica SE5A was the only aircraft which could be used for the job. Of course it would have been carried out at a much greater height but then it would not have been possible to see the target on the ground from the helicopter-mounted camera above the plane. The demonstration was about explaining the method; it was never intended to be a technical training film.

I hope this puts the real/replica stuff into perspective.

Cheers,

Taff

PS: "...but being led to believe that the pilots were red arrows team members, when it emerged that they were ex RAF was a a bit of a con job"

Not sure where you got that impression Alan - both guys served with the Red Arrows and Andy commanded them. Hardly a con job...

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Chief_Chum

Andy in Beds - just spotted your PS:

"PS You won't remember it but we met once in France."

I never forget a face but the Forum is rarely face friendly! Where and when?

Cheers,

Taff

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Ghost

Yes served not serving. They are ex red arrows. The adverts for the program and the voice over led you to believe that they were members of the Red arrows. No matter how skilled they are, they were not what I was led to expect.

Alan

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Pighills

I watched this programme and not once did I get the impression they were currently serving with the Red Arrows. I'm almost positive the word/term used in the programme itself was 'served with' and 'led' which are all past tense. Now whilst I could be wrong in the actual words used, I'm definitely not wrong in the impression I got of their status.

Perhaps the confusion comes from an 'advert' for the programme and what the actual programme itself said?

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Chief_Chum

The programme makes it very clear that they were both former Red Arrows. I can't comment about the trailers as I don't have a TV and didn't see any.

However, it is true to say that television company press offices are often the villains of the piece. When we worked on 'All The King's Men' in the 1990s, everyone working on it knew it was a piece of Sunday night drama. Based on fact but not a factual programme. Right at the last minute the BBC press office sent out press releases and trailers referring to the programme as "the true story of the members of the King's Sandringham Company...".

This rightly caused a great deal of fuss as it was clearly untrue. When we worked on the BBC2 series, 'The Trench' a few years later I was able to help write the press releases for the programme and was allowed to check them before they were sent out, making sure that they did not claim the programme was anything it did not set out to be.

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Ghost

Yes, something like this. Current?

post-32503-1276294520.jpg

Alan

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Chief_Chum

Hi Alan,

That is exactly what I mean, although it is just as likely that Channel 4 sent out a Press Release which the newspaper has then paraphrased.

Cheers,

Taff

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Andy in Beds
Andy in Beds - just spotted your PS:

"PS You won't remember it but we met once in France."

I never forget a face but the Forum is rarely face friendly! Where and when?

Cheers,

Taff

Avril's place.

about 1995 I think.

As far the programme goes.

My old mate Andy Sephton, the recently departed chief pilot of The Shuttleworth Collection was behind putting the reds' guys in the cockpits at OW.

The Sywell shots included another selection of mates, Matt Boddington and Paul Ford's Fokker triplane replica.

A.

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pappy

Any idea when or where it will be shown in America?

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Chief_Chum

"Avril's place.

about 1995 I think."

I'm sure I would remember!

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WW1ACE
Perhaps it would be in order to remind pals that the historians on the program, either the "bloke" or the "female" may well be members of this forum. Informed criticism is fine, but done with respect please

Alan

I'm asking here why you don't also close this link down for being "Off Topic" as all this post was about a TV show, with further comments about Atlantis, Bettany Hughes and The Beatles ! .......At least with my recent posted questions about my Bristol Fighter F.4606 and Lt Kientz query I was attempting to track an important ROYAL FLYING CORPS OFFICER CASUALTY who ENLISTED DURING WW1 .......FLEW DURING WW1 and DIED as a result of an AIR Incident which was (through my research) 100% linked to WW1 ........ WW1 didn't end on 11th November 1918. For some of us, who lost dear friends and loved ones in France it's still going on every day in 2010 and I feel strongly that any directly connected question that concerns serious aviation research into RFC members should not be terminated by admin people.

Thank You ...Alan .......A Serious OMRS member and RFC researcher ......(WW1ACE)

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jon_armstrong
At least with my recent posted questions about my Bristol Fighter F.4606 and Lt Kientz query I was attempting to track an important ROYAL FLYING CORPS OFFICER CASUALTY who ENLISTED DURING WW1 .......FLEW DURING WW1 and DIED as a result of an AIR Incident which was (through my research) 100% linked to WW1 ........ WW1 didn't end on 11th November 1918.

Perhaps if some of these details were in your thread the moderators might not have considered it off topic? There was no mention of a link to or service in the Great War...

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Tom A McCluskey

Hi All,

Maybe I’m easily pleased because I really enjoyed it. More Alexandra Churchill on a Friday night, I’d say.

Aye

Tom McC

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AlanCurragh
At least with my recent posted questions about my Bristol Fighter F.4606 and Lt Kientz query I was attempting to track an important ROYAL FLYING CORPS OFFICER CASUALTY who ENLISTED DURING WW1 .......FLEW DURING WW1 and DIED as a result of an AIR Incident which was (through my research) 100% linked to WW1......

As Jon says, if you had mentioned this information in the original thread, it wouldn't have been closed. Anyway, I've reopened it.

Back to the Red Baron....

Alan

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