The Aerodrome (1983)

UK, 13 December 1983
16mm film, colour, 4:3
mono, English
Reviewed at The EOFFTV Review

A British science fiction television film directed by Giles Foster and based on the novel by Rex Warner.

Plot Summary

In a sleepy hamlet in the Cotswolds, Roy learns on his 21st birthday that he is not, as he always thought, the son of the village rector, but that his background is rather more sinister and distressing. And what connection does he have with that strange aerodrome built on the hill overlooking his home town and which is slowly threatening to devour the entire village? Discovering the secret of his illegitimacy, Roy throws in his lot with the brutal Air Force and begins his rise through the ranks of the corrupt and dehumanising organisation. But he soon finds himself stripped of the simple charm he possessed before and only finds redemption in the love of the village girl he turned his back on earlier.


Directed by: Giles Foster
Produced by: Kenith Trodd
Production Managers: Bill Craske, Jerry Desmonds, Sarah Busby
Screenplay by: Colin Chapman
[Novel] By: Rex Warner
Lighting Cameraman: Kenneth MacMillan
Camera: Patti Musicaro
Film Editor: Clare Douglas
Music Composed and Conducted by: Carl Davis
Sound Recordist: Peter Edwards
Dubbing Mixer: Ken Hains
Costume Designer: Anushia Nieradzik
Make-up Designer: Jenny Shircore
Designers: Geoff Powell, Tim Harvey
Props: Celia Bobak
Assistant Floor Managers: Stacey Adair, Anthony Smith
Production Assistant: Irene East

Peter Firth (Roy)
Richard Johnson (Air Commander)
Richard Briers (the rector)
Jill Bennett (Eustasia)
Dominic Jephcott (Flt Lieut Mark)
Natalie Ogle (Bess)
Mary Macleod (Mary)
Mary Peach (Florence)
Geoffrey Chater (Dr Faulkner)
John Sharp (the squire)
Sheila Reid (Bess’s mother)
Michael Percival (Fred)
Phil Rose (Mac)
Derek Martin (Provo. Sgt Peters)
Vass Anderson (R.W.)
Stephen Riddle (Flt Lieut Preston)
Norman Scace (visiting vicar)
Phillip Manikum (village constable)
Anthony Langdon (man in church)
Peter Carlisle (Uncle Ralph)
Joe Ritchie (the carter)
Mike Woodley
Aces High (stunt flyers)



  • Radio Times 10-16 December 1983 p.4 – illustrated interview with Rex Warner (Laughing at the fascists by D.A.N. Jones)
  • Screen International no.361 (18 September 1982) p.34 – credits
  • Sounds 10 December 1983 p.50 – review
  • Television Today 3 December 1981 p.22 – note
  • Television Today 19 August 1982 p.19 – note
  • Variety 30 November 1983 – review


  • Daily Express 10 December 1983 p.15 – note
  • Daily Express 14 December 1983 p.23 – review (Arch case of overkill by fascist flyers by Maureen Paton)
  • Daily Mail 14 December 1983 p.19 – review (author not known)
  • Daily Telegraph 14 December 1983 p.15 – review (by Richard Last)
  • Financial Times 21 December 1983 p.11 – illustrated review (An upbeat end to a weak year by Chris Dunkley)
  • The Guardian 14 December 1983 – review (All in a spin – author not known)
  • The Observer 18 December 1983 p.44 – review (by Julian Barnes)
  • The Scotsman 17 December 1983 p.3 – review (by Stanley Eveling)
  • Southampton Evening Echo 10 December 1983 p.20 – note
  • Sunday Telegraph 18 December 1983 p.14 – review (A clouded vision by Philip Purser)
  • The Times Literary Supplement 23 December 1983 – review (New styles of architecture, a change of heart by Peter Kemp)
  • Western Mail 13 December 1983 p.2 – preview (High-flying tale – author not known)
  • Western Mail 17 December 1983 p.8 – review (by Gethyn Stoodley Thomas)


  • BBC Television Drama Research Guide p.30 – credits
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.5 – credits, synopsis
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.4 – credits
  • Looking for a New England: Action, Time, Vision: Music, Film and TV 1975-1986 by Simon Matthews p.192