1 9 6 5 (UK)
6 x 25 minute episodes
A service sitcom written by the British-based American John Briley, drawn from his own experiences as a serviceman stationed in England.
The series followed the would-be high-flying Squadron-Leader Heatherton who, although the commanding officer at RAF Wittlethorpe, more often than not found his time taken up acting as the liaison between his US charges and the local community.
The station was an American Air Force base populated by such Bilko-like characters as Staff Sergeant Miller (David Healy) and Airman Randy ‘Little Wonder’ Ricks (Eddie Matthews) under the command of Colonel Hoggart (Alan Gifford).
Squadron Leader Heatherton had to deal with problems ranging from demonstrations by peace campaigners to capers dreamt up by the American airmen.
David Kelsey was the ”typically British” actor chosen to play Heatherton: he and Briley had previously worked together in a stage revue, Seven Bob A Buck, which was televised as See America First, Or How To Survive As An American Tourist In London (BBC2, 28 November 1964).
This explored similar cross-cultural themes to those in The Airbase and also featured Healy and Matthews in the cast.
Sqdn Ldr Terence Elgin Heatherton
Staff Sgt George Tillman Miller
Airman Randy ‘Little Wonder’ Ricks