Falling in Love Again…. with the Clipper Majestic

He’s handsome. Sophisticated. Powerful. Good looking. A real hunk who will take you places you’ve never been before. He is the completely irresistible Clipper Majestic, the flagship Boeing 707 of ABC’s new drama, Pan Am.

Come Fly with Me

The BBC have been showing double episodes of Pan Am every Saturday night, and I have found myself counting down the days until the next drama unfolds. We have six major characters (four stewardesses and two pilots) and a whole host of sub-narratives struggling to take the main stage and claim the series as either a Cold War spy drama, a discussion on proto-feminism, Mad Men at 30 thousand feet, an exploration of the post-War era, or a picture of 60s America/London/Paris. But in the sea of lesser narratives and recurring minor characters, we never get distracted from who the real star of this show is: the Clipper Majestic himself.

The crew dress to match their seventh cast member

While each installment focuses on the development and exposition of a character, it was episode 8, Unscheduled Departure, that really set itself apart in a daring act of scriptwriting that cast the Boeing 707 as the main character to be explored for an hour. After the team made an emergency stop at Haiti, we were faced with the real possibility that the Clipper Majestic could be grounded on a runway that was too short. Unable to take off, what were the options? As the pilots got the engineer’s manual out and the stewardesses endeavored to lighten the load, the cast struggled to jettison the weight required. As the tension mounted, it became clear that the Boeing was the clear star of the episode. In fact, he is definitely the show-stopper of the entire series.

Perfection

The Clipper Majestic is the hulk of the late-War bomber converted into the epitome of luxury peacetime air travel with new, svelte contours and stylishly swept back wings for improved performance at high-speed. Pods suspended from the wings house the new jet engines, carefully positioned away from the main fuselage to increase passenger comfort. He really is the dawn of the new jet age, and he’ll show you the world.

… and they lived happily ever after.

Catch up with Pan Am on BBC iPlayer.

P.S. For the latest showings of Pan Am, please check my more recent post.

123 thoughts on “Falling in Love Again…. with the Clipper Majestic

  1. This programme seems to have disappeared from the BBC schedules. I knew it was too good to last. Why has the regular spot been taken up by something else?

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    1. I’m so disappointed this has happened – I heard a rumour a while back that the show might be abandoned (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2067949/Pan-Am-star-Karine-Vanasse-says-cancelled–tweeting-u-turn.html) but it seems to have been just gossip. The Radio Times has an article on the rescheduling of Pan Am, so it might just be a temporary blip until they sort out a regular slot (http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2011-11-20/tv-ratings-pan-am-is-grounded).
      ABC are certainly carrying on with the series, which the BBC have bought the rights to broadcast, so it should still all be happening. Besides, the TV company have made a full-scale model of a Boeing 707 that they keep at the Naval Dockyards in NY… it would be a shame for that to go to waste…

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    2. i am so disappointed too! this was really the only programme i have bothered to watch consitently for ages.

      would very much like to see the remaining epsidodes.

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  2. We loved Pan Am and watched it as a family….. Where has it gone? Ep8 was fantastic snd now nothing…Burmuda Triangle???
    Come on bring it back!!!!

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  3. I thought my first comment might bring forth a reply from the BBC (as it had to be moderated anyway) But clearly the mods don’t know any more than us or can’t be bothered to find out. Which of course they could do as they have access to more resources than us, the licence payers.

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  4. I can’t believe the BBC have just stopped showing this series of Pan Am. I was absolutely loving it! Was really looking forward to the next two episodes and yet can see no information detailing when they are to be shown. I understand it coincides with the Killing II, on BB4, which I am also watching, but surely that’s no reason to pull it?? People are probably recording one and watching the other?!!

    Bring it back, PLEASE!

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  5. Was just siting down to prepare my viewing for tonight. Was horrified to find ‘ in the valley of Elah’ to be taking centre stage where my beloved Pan Am should be. Where has it gone?? What have the BBC done with it? I have been so looking forward to my Saturday night with the crew of Pan Am. Please bring it back asap, I want to know what happens next. So disappointed.

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    1. Does “In the Valley of Elah” have planes in it? If not, then it’s certainly not a suitable replacement for our beloved Pan Am! I’m really disappointed it’s not on. I’ve spent all week looking forward to seeing the Clipper Majestic again!

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  6. It should be back, we had almost caught up to America where for some reason they like their shows to take a break midseason. However do not be surprised if it disappears totally, rumour has it it is struggling and due to be cancelled like far too many of the best American shows (especially the ones from ABC &Fox).

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    1. That’s a really good point about the midseason break in American TV – perhaps our scheduling is also getting a bit erratic because Christmas is approaching (I think Walking Dead is also missing from tonight’s TV)?

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  7. The programme has crash landed..! Please please don’t pull the plug on Pan Am ! Don’t leave us high and dry. Twas a great series with romance, drama, intrigue – a touch of politics, good casting and script.. a great era. Bring it back !! (thank you)

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    1. It is just a fantastic era for air travel, isn’t it? Back when it was peacetime luxury, and before the fear of hijacking. I really hope they bring it back. It’s the best thing I’ve seen on terrestrial TV for ages.

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  8. I totally agree about counting down the days to the next episodes, which is why it’s so disappointing to find that 8 episodes in to a 22 episode run it’s disappeared from the schedules.
    The campaign to restore Pan Am to its rightful place on Saturday nights starts here!

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  9. I was enjoying Pan Am so much as were all my family. Please reschedule it for the near future and publicise when it will be on. i think it would have done well in a prime time slot on BBC1.

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    1. I think that the programme may have done better on BBC 1 – I was a bit surprised that they put it on channel 2. If I hear any news about when it’s coming back on air I’ll put something up on my blog, of course 🙂

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    1. Furious that Pan Am is not on!!! Where did it go? I look forward to it all week. Why are there no announcements on the website or on BBC2? Very poor… Are we going to end up with typically American scheduling in the UK (where there is no logic or regularity to programming so it’s so difficult to follow a series that you just give up)?

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  10. I was so upset when I sat down, cup of tea in hand for my weekly Pan Am fix……
    WHERE HAS IT GONE!!!????!!!! I found this link through the BBC website so I really hope they read our replies….BRING IT BACK – QUICKLY I need my Pan Am!

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    1. I hate it when that happens – I often sit down ready for Corrie and it’s not on that night (mostly my own fault, since I tend to do this on a Wednesday and hasn’t been on on Wednesdays for years now).

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  11. I concurr with all the above. Pan Am has been fabulous and now the BBC seem to have waved a carrot in front of eyes and then cruelly snatched it away. I hope the powers that be are taking note of everyone here. Bring it back now!! Really furious. Bad planning

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    1. I took the news badly too. It wouldn’t make any sense to start a series and then abandon it halfway through, especially if you’ve paid for a full-scale model of a Boeing 707 to be built for filming… so hopefully they should bring it back!

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  12. I am so disappointed too! I’ve frantically watched the last two episodes on catch up and now discover that episodes 9 and 10 are nowhere to be seen. I can’t see anything on the BBC website either – the Beeb, this just isn’t good enough!

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  13. Agree with all the above – love pan am and was waiting with baited breath for it tonight! Please bring it back soon and advertise it!!!
    Best show in ages! Love it!

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  14. I don’t think it is BBC’s fault, ABC in America has only shown 9 episodes so far and the 10th episode will be broadcast at start of January, so no Pan Am for a little while…booo

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  15. I am so fed up with just getting into a series and then to have it taken off before it has a chance to get going. America do this all the time with excellent programmes! Some of us dont want to watch stupid reality tv on a saturday night…u can keep X factor and im a celebrity..Bring back Pan Am. Its the best thing thats been on tv in ages and it would be nice to have the chance to view the entire 22 episodes….so beeb please listen to the people who pay your wages and bring it back, if not on a saturday then another evening please!

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  16. Having looked on wikipedia it would appear the Americans have only aired 9 episodes so we’ve court up with them, and knowing how the Americans love to have a break from all their series for december and into january I fear we’ll have to wait until the new year until the BBC airs any more, I hope that is the case rather than it having gone completely. And all this about it being up against The Killing not hurting the ratings well it is, I watch pan am on iplayer because subtitles are easier to read on my tv then my computer so The Killings wins out on a sat night

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      1. With everyone so bothered about ratings to keep a programme on the air it seems important programmes get viewers at the episodes first airing and I doubt iplayer contributes to those ratings so althought people love pan am and watch it after it’s aired for the first time including myself it’s distorting veiwing figures, I hate the way everything is judged by these mythical calculations of viewing figures

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  17. I love Pan AM too

    l think the BBC which is funded by us the tax payer should respond, they have had plenty of time to formulate a reason, if it is down to it reaching episode 8 and having to hold on until the new year then fine but a response is required

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    1. It would be nice to hear something from them – I’m afraid that I’m not hired by the BBC (I moderate the comments and own this website), but I think someone has e-mailed them. They linked to my site, so they *should* be aware of its contents…

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  18. We too have been avidly following the series and were surprised and disappointed at its sudden disappearance with no warning.Please let’s see it back soon!!!

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  19. I am so gutted that Pan Am seems to have done a runner, I look forward to watching it every week. Please, please, please bring it back BBC or at least can someone please let us know what is happening rather than leaving us to speculate its future or not …………..

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  20. I was about to watch on BBC iplayer and its not there!!!!! After reading the abovce comments I hope it is just being delayed for whatever reason. The last episode Unscheduled Departure was the best on yet. why cant the BBC even keep it on the iplayer so we can watch it again and the other episodes as they are not showing on TV. i watch on the iplayer with headphones, great sound coming through which I miss on my non-HD TV!. Give us some info BBC on the Pan Am page!

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  21. i soo agree love pan am, really fed up with every program i get into getting cut, not always the bbc.
    theve promised us 22 episodes so lets hope we get them. and that a second series in comissioned

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  22. Just to concur with the above in hope that all the positive opinions will ensure that the BBC does return this series to our screens… I love Pan Am. Please make sure it comes back after the US mid-season break! And BBC please learn to communicate/ inform the viewers of changes to scheduling. It is such a disappointment when you fail to make changes known!

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    1. I agree – it seems like Pan Am has come in for some very heavy criticism from TV and film critics, yet every negative review I read seems to have missed the point of the series… it’s all about the Clipper Majestic, not the characters…
      I really don’t think this new series deserves such heavy criticism. I guess, at the end of the day, it’s easy for someone to say negative things than it is to look for the positive…

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  23. wow – am so glad that every one is postign here.

    actually emailed BBC today to complain and referenced this site so they can see how it has upset so many.

    lets hope it works 🙂

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  24. I’m so disappointed, that I have just made a complaint to the BBC. The only thing I could find on the BBC website (FAQ page) is this:
    “When will series one of Pan Am resume on BBC Two?
    We have received a number of enquiries from viewers who wish to know when episode nine and the remainder of the Pan Am series will be shown on BBC Two.
    We are looking into this and will update this FAQ with an answer as soon as we can.”
    Lets keep our fingers crossed that some info will be forthcoming soon.

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  25. I agree it’s a fun programme to watch. What really disappoints me is the BBC don’t make much of an effort to communicate with the viewers about what’s happening with the show. Much scouring of the web still uncovers little in the way of an answer whether the show has been pulled or if it’s a victim of the ridiculous US mid-season break.

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    1. It’s definitely fun. I have to say that I’ve likewise been unable to find out any more about why it’s been taken off air so suddenly… I never expected Unscheduled Departure to be a metaphor!

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  26. I don’t think it’s the Beeb’s fault, but their lack of info is frustrating. There is a #SavePanAm campaign on twitter & there were rumours of ABC cancelling the series due to low ratings (not the first time in the US – I for one am getting increasingly frustrated when a good US series starts and then stops so suddenly :/ )…but they seem to be fulfilling their commitment to finishing series one. There was a bit of a break between the airings of Ep8 & Ep9 in the US from what I can gather online, so presumably the BBC will have had to wait to broadcast it over here. It seems the rest of the episodes won’t start airing in the US until January ’12.

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    1. This does sound promising, and I’ve noticed that the BBC’s FAQ page has been updated to the following:

      When will series one of Pan Am resume on BBC Two?
      We have received a number of enquiries from viewers who wish to know when episode nine and the remainder of the Pan Am series will be shown on BBC Two.

      The series will return in 2012 and once we have an exact transmission date we will update this FAQ with an answer as soon as we can.

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  27. At last! was settling down to watch latest ‘Pan Am’ on iplayer & couldn’t find it ! nor any explanations as to why. (Thought I had imagined it all -old age etc lol ) I echo the previous comments ie WHY not let us know what was happening? Jolly Bad Show, BBC2 – and now what am I going to watch whilst ironing ? 😎

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  28. So dissapointed, couldn’t watch Pan Am on Saturday night and so planned to watch it tonight on catch up. But nothing 😦 Glad I found your site though, thought I was going mad.

    Bring back Pan Am, one of the best series we have had for a long time.

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  29. I really hope they bring it back! I’ve really got into it and think it’s a really interesting story line. At least if ABC don’t give up on it then maybe BBC will show it some more. Go Pan Am! 🙂

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  30. Dear Santa,
    I’ve been a really good girl this year, and all I want for Christmas is for Pan Am to be back with a regular slot in the schedule..oh yeah.. and world peace!

    Thank you

    Mrs C.

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  31. Totally Agree With All The Posts Above! Really Unhappy I Have Not Been Able To Watchh, This Programme & The Apprentice Are The Only 2 Shows I Watch Relgiously! Bar That I Don’t Watch Television.

    PAN Am Series Has Been So Captivating Even My Friends Know Not To Call My Mobile When It Starts ! Period !!

    BBC Do Us A Favour And Reschedule It Pronto!

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    1. Thanks for commenting – here’s the latest from the BBC’s FAQ pages:

      When will series one of Pan Am resume on BBC Two?

      We have received a number of enquiries from viewers who wish to know when episode nine and the remainder of the Pan Am series will be shown on BBC Two.

      The series will return in 2012 and once we have an exact transmission date we will update this FAQ with an answer as soon as we can.

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  32. The BBC have presumably purchased the first series in entirety and would probably have known about the American mid season break, so why air it two at a time? If they had been shown one at a time, then the 2nd half wouldn’t have needed to have a break at all

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  34. I stopped watching it on BB2 coz RTE2 in Ireland is showing it too and went up to episode 10, and its back next week 🙂 Hope they dont cancel it its my fave.

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    1. This is great news! Hurray! Thanks for letting us all know – I wonder if we could get RTE2 on our Sky packages…? I think that the BBC are having some kind of “break” with some show over the Christmas period, since “The Walking Dead” stopped at the same time as Pan Am and hasn’t been on again yet.

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  35. I absolutely love this show – if it is cancelled in America, could the bbc not use some of our tv licence money to take over production? I don’t know about anyone else but for me, this show has been the only thing worth watching on a Saturday night in ages! We don’t all want to watch old film re-runs, lame reality shows or an endless procession of lawyer based shows you know!!!

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    1. here here !! come on BBC..time for something apart from the usual rubbish reality shows on a saturday…you have 4 tv channels now i am sure there is room for this somewhere

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      1. There must be room for good drama like this, it’s a nice change from the usual stuff. I would like to see the BBC invest more time in drama like Pan Am and Sherlock.

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  36. I am gutted that Pan am has ended and I am hoping that ABC in the states reconsider their decision to not re-commision it, it is a stunning looking, glamorous change in a dull world of current reality TV

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  37. well i hope ABC listens to everyone and carry on with this programe, a great family show with everything. just watched what i believe is the last episode of the first series, surely they can’t leave it like that. i think it got better as it went on.

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    1. I reckon it really took off (ha ha) after a few episodes too. We’re up to episode 14 here in Britain, aren’t there 22 in total? I reckon the series could really develop and gather pace in a second season – let’s keep our fingers crossed!

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  38. I noticed there was no episode this last weekend and I’m hoping it hasn’t just been dropped. While it may still be finding it’s way I do find Pan Am one of the more interesting shows on TV at the moment. Personally I would welcome a second season and it makes a welcome change to the seemingly endless diet of current day police dramas.

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