1 9 8 0 (UK)
13 x 50 minute episodes
Debuting on 27 April 1980, this short-lived BBC drama aimed to do for the air cargo business what The Brothers had done for road haulage.
The series started with a bang as hero-pilot Tony Blair (Bryan Marshall) lifted his crate off the runway in a spectacular escape from an African coup, but thereafter the direction and writing glided back to earth dragging the acting with it.
Buccaneer‘s kingpin, though, was not the pilot with the same name as the future British prime minister, but the JR Ewing substitute, Charles Burton (Clifford Rose) – a financial wheeler-dealer about to take over the tinpot air freight firm: ruthless, grey-haired and adored by a gorgeous young journalist wife, Burton took advantage of the fact that Ray Mason (Mark Jones) – the owner of Red-Air (as the one-plane venture was called) – was almost broke.
The series was cancelled after one series because shortly after filming, the aircraft used in the show – a Bristol Britannia operated by the real-life Redcoat Air Cargo company based in Horley, Sussex – crashed near Boston in the US due to ice and snow on the aircraft, killing seven of the eight people on board.
Captain Tony Blair
Shirley Anne Field