Sunday, 21 March 2021

Return Flight

Dead of Night Return Flight
'Return Flight' was the second broadcast episode and one of only three remaining episodes of the seven made of the 1972 BBC series 'Dead of Night' the rest having been wiped in the infinite wisdom of the corporation's bigwigs.  Written by legendary Doctor Who script writer Robert Holmes ('The Talon's of Weng Chiang', 'The Pyramids of Mars' and many more) and directed by fellow Who alumni Rodney Bennett ('Ark in Space', 'Sontaran Experiment' & 'Masque of Mandragora') what we have here is a more subtle production than the fantastic, exhuberant romps they are perhaps better known for.

Newly widowed pilot Captain Rolph (Peter Barkworth) is under investigation for a near air collision with a WWII era plane that only he saw.  He's cleared of any responsibilty but remains unconvinced that what he saw was real as he slowly seems to slip between his charter flight reality and a wartime fantasy.  

At it's heart is a great performance from Barkworth but Holmes' tight and gently unfolding script that leaves us utterly unsure of the cause of the Captain's experiences is the gem here.

The other surviving episodes are also availabe to view on Wyrd Britain - 'A Woman Sobbing' - and - 'The Exorcism'.

Buy it here - Dead of Night (DVD)


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  1. I did watch that on Youtube a couple of years or so ago. Good for the time.

  2. My favourite of the three remaining stories.

    1. It's an intriguing watch isn't it. I must admit to a real soft spot for 'A Woman Sobbing'. I think Anna Massey is great