Review

  • Bought this along with "The Power Game" but have only just got around to watching this. Series may seem a bit patchy because only one episode of the first series survives. While "The Power Game" is all big business with Wilder's Machivellian machinations in taking control of Bligh Constructions this series, initially, has a bosses vs workers theme.

    Reginald Marsh is superb as Sudgeon, the managing supervisor who is suddenly thrust onto the board, as his old union chum says "we need someone like you on the board to fight for us but the workers will hate you"!! So while Wilder (Patrick Wymark) episodes are to do with wheeling and dealing in the board room and he is portrayed as ruthless, Marsh shows a man who is fair and human, although as in "Don't Stick Your Head Out" gets a glimpse into how Wilder operates. Once the series settles in it becomes a slice of life into the many departments of the Scott Furlong Air Company. In "Any More for the Skylark?" Wilder tries to put a stop to the practice of issuing free passages on test flights and a young clerk (Rodney Bewes) finds courage he never knew he had. "A Matter of Self Respect" finds Sudgeon giving a helping hand to a friend who has just been released from prison for manslaughter - this is particularly emotive as the man struggles to cope with his first visit to his young daughter!!

    Unfortunately mid way through series 3 Sudgeon is forced to resign - I noticed that throughout the start of the season Marsh's role was diminished and Alan Dobie who played the icy David Corbett gained prominence. Corbett was as coldly calculating as Wilder but he just didn't have the older man's passion and emotion to say nothing of charisma - I found him impossible to warm to. So without a character who audiences could relate to - the ying to Wilder's yang, the edginess went out of it and I can understand why the show ended when it did!!