First Light (2010 TV) A TV Movie Based on the Memoir of a Spitfire Pilot

Geoffrey Wellum was only 18 when he joined the 92 squadron of the RAF in May 1940. He was one of the youngest pilots. He flew over 50 missions during 18 months, all through the Battle of Britain and beyond. After a forced break of several months he flew again but finally had a nervous breakdown and stopped for good. A while back he published his memoirs First Light on which this TV movie is based.

First Light is a treat for everyone interested in Spitfires, their pilots and the Battle of Britain. In between scenes we see and hear Wellum talk about his experiences. I think that hardly any pilot flew over such a long period and this many missions as he did. The strain and  stress of being a Spitfire pilot is really palpable.

When he arrived at the base no one thought he would make it as far more experienced pilots were shot down. The other pilots were a bit reluctant at first to accept him as he was so young. The RAF was in desperate need of pilots and couldn’t really be too choosy. Soon the other pilots realized that he was a good pilot and a fine man and they accepted him. During the day they flew their missions, sometimes even in the pouring rain, in the evenings they came together to sing, drink and dance with girls.

There are many moments typical for air combat movies. The moment when they fly back to the base and everyone is anxious to see if anyone is missing. The love stories, the drinking, the friendships. The older men who feel protective of the younger ones. The sadness when one of their friends dies.

Maybe First Light wouldn’t be so special as a movie if we didn’t know that it ‘s a true story. But the fact that it is a true story and the presence of Wellum himself make this worth watching.

Instead of a trailer I attached a mini-documentary. Hope you will like it.

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8 thoughts on “First Light (2010 TV) A TV Movie Based on the Memoir of a Spitfire Pilot

  1. warmoviebuff says:

    Interesting, but I am guessing I will not be able to get it. I love the Battle of Britain so I’m sure I would enjoy it. I am really enjoying Piece of Cake which I started watching recently.

    BTW I still can not comment on my own blog.

    • It’s out on DVD in the UK now, so it might be possible you could get it. Wellum is a likable person. I saw that about your comments. odd. We (wordpress) have no more incoming links which is also a nuisance.

  2. Thanks for reviewing it, I had not heard of First Light, but I will make an effort to see it. Much as I love the movie The Battle of Britain, I think that it was trying to do too much, so I would really like to see a more personal view of the battle.

  3. […] First Light (2010) British TVmovie based on the memoir of a Spitfire pilot. (Here is my review) […]

  4. […] First Light (2010) British TVmovie based on the memoir of a Spitfire pilot. (Here is my review) […]

  5. Florerias says:

    This is a nice tv movie, i see it last night and love it!

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