Reality (TV) You Might Envy

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The BBC on Monday debuted a new reality series called "Spitfire Ace," featuring four young pilots learning to fly the famous World War II-era aircraft. The four-part series follows four aspirants from diverse backgrounds to see if they have what it takes to emulate the heroic achievements of their predecessors, the pilots who defeated Hitler's Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. The series also traces the history of the battle, which is credited with saving Britain from a Nazi invasion, and reminds viewers of the meaning of Winston Churchill's famous remark about the Normandy pilots: "Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few." A reviewer for The Scotsman was less than thrilled by the show's first installment: Descriptions of the Spitfire and its history were "long and ruddy and complicated," according to reviewer Sarah Dempster, and the frequent "inappropriate sexual analogies" were annoying. For example: One historian described the airplane as "a sophisticated cat-walking glamour girl," and an instructor barked at a student to "make love to the sky," Dempster reported.