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View Full Version : first light -Geoffrey Wellum on now BBC2 UK



trumper
09-14-2010, 02:05 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctwo/

BBC 2

WTE_Ibis
09-14-2010, 07:17 PM
"Not available in your area"
Bugger!!
cheers.


.

Feathered_IV
09-15-2010, 05:23 AM
Can't get it here either. Damn their TV licences!


Has anyone here seen it that can give a bit of a review for those in the know? These chaps seem to think it's pretty good: LINKY (http://www.theartsdesk.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=2197:first-light-geoffrey-wellum-battle-of-britain-spitfire&Itemid=27)

After the ponderous and disappointing The Pacific, I was left wondering if anyone can make a war movie anymore. The tone of the above review has got me feeling rather hopeful though...

Edit: A few words from the man himself
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x30MpS5mMQc

Xiolablu3
09-15-2010, 10:32 AM
Watched the first 15mins, seems pretty good. Shame I keep noticing when footage of Spit IX's and XIV's are cut in. Its usually the correct tail and guns however.

When he first makes his flight in a Spit 1, as he is turning you the plane turn into a mkVIII with cannons and then back to a mk1.

Damn it, I should never have learned the different varients then I wouldnt have noticed! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Ignorancer is bliss.

Tooz_69GIAP
09-15-2010, 11:19 AM
I enjoyed it. I too noticed the mixing of variants, but that's inevitable with footage shot with real spits, but it did little to detract from combat shots.

I really liked the scene where Wellum is on his first up as Kingcombe's wing and as the black horde of the Luftwaffe hoves into view he just goes: "Oh my jesus christ!!", or something like that.

It's not a great dramatic showcase by any stretch, it's an inderstated BBC affair with solid acting, but it's tellng a story rather than pushing to the fore performances. And the interludes with Wellum himself recalling what he felt in those days are solemning (<-is that a word?).

deskpilot
09-15-2010, 11:56 AM
I enjoyed the show, too. What came across well I thought, was the sheer joy of flying. the shots of the spitfire just soaring and rolling in the summer sky were superb. It also depicted what was described in Patrick Bishop's excellent book "fighter boys"; the way that a pilot could be in the thick of a battle with planes all around them, and then just seconds later be completely alone in the sky. Always moving to hear a real veteran talk about their experiences.

KRISTORF
09-15-2010, 01:29 PM
The only disapointment was the continuity, if it had been filmed at Coningsby they could have used the MkII with 'QJ'-K' all the way through for the ground shots.

Apart from that very enjoyable.

Wellums closing words were fitting, along the lines of

"We don't want medals or recognition, just to be remembered, not just the living but those who died as well"

ytareh
09-15-2010, 03:03 PM
Great drama!Those action shots were mostly from the 60s/70s BOB film right?Didnt take from it that much ...

GBrutus
09-15-2010, 03:31 PM
The Mk XVI in late war markings looked very out of place but I suppose that's just the nerd in me being picky. I Thought it was ok but an hour and 20 minutes was simply not sufficient to do this man's story any justice. Not so sure about Brian Kingcome's portrayal either, wonder if the actor playing him actually bothered to read his book? Worth a watch though.

Tooz_69GIAP
09-15-2010, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by ytareh:
Great drama!Those action shots were mostly from the 60s/70s BOB film right?Didnt take from it that much ...

I don't thik so, they seemed like new footage to me. But I dunno.

nvrsummer2
09-15-2010, 05:37 PM
Heres a movie that might be worth keeping an eye on:

http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00035066.html

x6BL_Brando
09-16-2010, 06:13 PM
I read First Light, cover to cover, in less than two days. The suspense and the clarity of his recall was astounding, I just couldn't put the book down. As Wellum says early in the film, it's not so much about struggling to remember what happened 70 years ago in the skies over southern England - and all about being unable to forget. I don't think that's line-shooting, but the honest truth for this man and many like him.

I think the film was remarkably well made. I gave up looking for errors of continuity in plane versions very early on, determined instead to see how modern young actors would portray an entirely different generation, and I have to say I was really impressed...

I think it's important to recognise that an autobiography is a record of how it was for the eponymous hero - how he remembered people, how combat affected him, how he coped - rather than a collective effort. It may well be that Brian Kingcome wrote himself differently, but how much of our comrades' inner workings do we really understand, especially under the pressure so obvious throughout both the book and the film, and especially given the 'stiff upper lip' concealment of emotions that went with the era. I think it's necessary to remember that when one is eighteen, a 23-year-old is almost a fogey, and I think Wellum conveys that better than I ever will. I can't imagine the film was made without considerable input from the author and that it has benefited immeasurably from that.

I enjoyed the action scenes, as you would expect, but truly they were only a vehicle (if you'll pardon the pun) for the true context of the work: a portrayal of a pilot who fought through one of the most relentless air battles ever, and somehow survived.

First class - not to be missed.

B

GBrutus
09-17-2010, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by x6BL_Brando:
It may well be that Brian Kingcome wrote himself differently, but how much of our comrades' inner workings do we really understand, especially under the pressure so obvious throughout both the book and the film, and especially given the 'stiff upper lip' concealment of emotions that went with the era. I think it's necessary to remember that when one is eighteen, a 23-year-old is almost a fogey, and I think Wellum conveys that better than I ever will. I can't imagine the film was made without considerable input from the author and that it has benefited immeasurably from that.

That's a very good point, Brando.

Feathered_IV
09-18-2010, 05:02 AM
Thankyou so much for taking the time to write your impressions. I really can't wait to see this. I've been trying to find it online but no luck yet. Hopefully one of the stations over here will pick it up before too long.

MD_Titus
09-18-2010, 09:32 AM
i'd try the bbc shop tbh, they may well realse it as a dvd seeing as it was feature length.

thought it was wonderfully done, and yes the different marks were noticeable, but only to the trained eye, and they did make an effort to remove teh cannons. thought the whole thing was done with a slight hint of "re-coloured archive footage" effect. excellently done all round, and yes kris, that bit was very poignant.

Xiolablu3
09-18-2010, 11:26 AM
A lot of the footage was Battle of Britain 1969 outtakes and a few actual scenes from the film.

Beaufort-RAF
09-19-2010, 01:44 AM
This has an interview with Geofrey Wellum and Hurricane pilot Tom Neil, it's nice to hear them together.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e...ght_Gathering_Storm/ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00tw0n5/Battle_of_Britain_Night_Gathering_Storm/)

Beaufort-RAF
09-19-2010, 01:50 AM
This has a TV interview with Douglas Bader at 26.40 mins.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e...ain_Night_Aftermath/ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ty0f5/Battle_of_Britain_Night_Aftermath/)