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!