What’s it all about?
A mix of reality TV and history show, as a group of twentysomethings train for the jobs their grandfathers’ generation did as RAF bomber crew in World War Two.
What to say if you liked it
Like C4’s earlier Spitfire Pilot, it brings the reality of war home by a well-balanced combination of hands-on involvement, historical footage and personal testimony.
What to say if you didn’t like it
Perhaps the British obsession with WWII is getting a bit unhealthy.
What was good about it?
• It showed just how terrifying the experience of flying a bombing raid was, and how brave the crew were to do it.
• The planes (an American B-17 and the legendary Avro Lancaster) – you could almost smell the aviation spirit.The neat twist – the participants all had grandfathers who’d actually flown in Lancasters, creating a strong personal link with the past.
• The veterans – ordinary blokes talking about extraordinary experiences in a matter-of-fact way.
What was bad about it?
• An occasional reminder that there were people under those bombs, and that war is actually a bad thing, wouldn’t have gone amiss.
• Presenter Brendan O’Brien’s irritating flyer-jacketed playboy image. The Old Smoothie may be OK for Spitfires, but not for the more sober world of Bomber Command.
• Would-be pilot John being permanently over-excited (he didn’t get the job).
• Gunner Luke couldn’t seem to keep his hands off crew-mate Tanya. Concentrate, man!