Concorde was host to many celebrities on its flights and you can hear some of their stories in The Concorde Experience at the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune Airfield in East Lothian. But did you know that Concorde herself was also a film and TV star?
Concorde was the main character in Airport 80: The Concorde, which ended with the aircraft crash landing on a snow-covered hillside in Austria, after being fired at by air-to-air missiles. Tragically, the Concorde used in the film was F-BTSC, the Air France Concorde which crashed in 2000 soon after take-off from Paris, with the loss of 113 lives.
The supersonic airliner also featured in an episode of Doctor Who broadcast in 1982. The fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davidson, flew on Concorde with the TARDIS aboard and entered a time tunnel, arriving at Heathrow 140 million years in the past. This production used British Airways Concorde G-BOAC, now on display at Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park.
Most recently, Concorde G-BOAA, on display here at the National Museum of Flight, was used in the filming of The Wife. This film, starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, is based on a novel by Meg Wolitzer. It tells the story of a woman who has sacrificed herself to support her husband’s writing career. Travelling to Stockholm where her husband will receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, the title character reviews her life choices.
It includes two scenes on board Concorde filmed over the course of a whole day on 28 November 2016 on Concorde G-BOAA. Much of the film was shot in Scotland: in Edinburgh, Glasgow and an estate in Dumfriesshire, as well as at the National Museum of Flight.
The film was released in UK cinemas on 28 September 2018. It was a long wait of almost two years for museum staff to see the scenes on the big screen that we’d watched being filmed back in 2016. It was odd having an aircraft that we see every day being turned into a film set. Particularly fascinating was the clever use of moving lighting which, from inside the passenger cabin, made the aircraft look as though it was in flight.
As well as a fascinating insight into the work of Hollywood, and the opportunity to see our star attraction on the big screen, it was also a wonderful opportunity for celebrity spotting, with some of the best actors on film gathered in one place.
For some, there was also the shameless opportunity for a selfie with their favourite actors, as I did with one of the co-stars, Christian Slater.
So don’t miss the opportunity to watch The Wife, and to see one of the co-stars, Concorde G-BOAA, at the National Museum of Flight.