Stories of the men of the RAF Hornet Squadron during the early days of World War II.
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1  
1988  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 'Moggy' Cattermole (6 episodes, 1988)
George Anton ...
 'Pip' Patterson (6 episodes, 1988)
...
 Chris Hart (6 episodes, 1988)
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 'Fitz' Fitzgerald (6 episodes, 1988)
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 'Flash' Gordon (6 episodes, 1988)
...
 'Uncle' Kellaway (6 episodes, 1988)
...
 'Skull' Skelton (6 episodes, 1988)
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 Air Commodore Bletchley (6 episodes, 1988)
...
 'Fanny' Barton (5 episodes, 1988)
Gerard O'Hare ...
 'Flip' Moran (5 episodes, 1988)
...
 Squadron Leader Rex (4 episodes, 1988)
Patrick Bailey ...
 'Mother' Cox (4 episodes, 1988)
Gordon Lovitt ...
 'Sticky' Stickwell (4 episodes, 1988)
Helena Michell ...
 Mary (4 episodes, 1988)
...
 'Micky' Marriott (3 episodes, 1988)
John Bleasdale ...
 L.A.C. Gullett (3 episodes, 1988)
Corinne Dacla ...
 Nicole (3 episodes, 1988)
Tom Radcliffe ...
 'Dicky' Starr (2 episodes, 1988)
Julian Gartside ...
 'Amanda' Steele-Stebbing (2 episodes, 1988)
...
 'Moke' Miller (2 episodes, 1988)
Tomasz Borkowy ...
 'Zaddy' Zardarnowski (2 episodes, 1988)
Jason Calder ...
 Pilot Officer Trevelyan (2 episodes, 1988)
Ned Vukovic ...
 'Haddy' Haducek (2 episodes, 1988)
Simon Adams ...
 'Bing' MacFarlane (2 episodes, 1988)
Richard Hague ...
 Corporal (2 episodes, 1988)
Daniel André Pageon ...
 Henri (2 episodes, 1988)
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Storyline

The lives and loves of the men of RAF Hornet Squadron who are transferred to France at the outbreak of World Wat II in September 1939. For the most part the men are competent fliers but there is little action in the first several months. The men wile away their time with some engaging in dangerous stunts while others woo some of the local lasses. The phony war comes to an end in April 1940 and the Battle of Britain begins. By September that year, few of them are left and despite their success, few see themselves as heroes. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

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Release Date:

2 October 1988 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Pan comido  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

All of the Spitfires used had propellers that had 4 blades. During the Battle of Britain (when this series takes place), Spitfires used propellers that had only 3 blades. See more »

Quotes

Air Commodore Bletchley: Didn't somebody say that war is a nasty business? Quite good for promotion, though.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: A Call to Arms (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tally ho!
3 July 2002 | by (NZ) – See all my reviews

`Piece of Cake' is one of those exceedingly rare examples of filmed perfection (or as near to it as you're likely to get) that have graced the small screen. Based on the 1983 Derek Robinson novel of the same name, `Piece of Cake' follows the fortunes of the fictitious RAF Hornet Squadron from the outbreak of the Second World War, through the infamous Phoney War and the Battle of France, to climax with the life and death struggle of the Battle of Britain.

Now I must admit that I was slightly suspicious of the filmed version as Robinson's book is, and has been for some time, my favourite novel. However after viewing the mini series I can honestly say it was brilliant. Certainly those who have read the book will no doubt have created pictures in their minds' eyes of what the characters should look like, and question certain events or omissions of events in the light of Robinson's book. However `Piece of Cake' is a stunning series and one which stands brilliantly in its own right.

The characterisation is first rate with Neil Dudgeon's `Moggy' a standout, and the interaction between the squadron members superb. The sometimes hilarious banter between characters which was so prevalent in the novel is, thankfully, here in the mini-series. There are some real gems of dialogue, such as Squadron Leader Rex's address to the squadron prior to their departure to France, good British advice on the French natures of alcoholism and fornication.

Visually `Piece of Cake' is stunning. The flying sequences are breathtakingly good and if, like me, you are an aviation enthusiast, you will be able to ignore the inaccuracies in Spitfire marks used or the fact that no Spitfires where sent to be stationed in France (Hornet Squadron in the novel flew Hawker Hurricanes) due to the simple fact of how good they are. The low flying and dogfights are magically filmed and fleshed out with some outtakes from 1969's `Battle of Britain' produce a visual aerial feast!

The direction and production teams have captured the feel of the era as well, the aerodromes, settings and trappings of the 1930s and 1940s really do seem to take the viewer back to those turbulent times and lend an atmosphere that is totally convincing.

This quite simply is a fantastic mini-series and one which I have no doubt most people would find exciting, engaging, interesting, heart rending and in parts highly amusing.

Without doubt `Piece of Cake' is a `10 out of 10' in my book!


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