12 user 9 critic

Castles in the Sky (2014)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 23 June 2014 (UK)
It is the mid-1930s and the storm clouds of WWII are forming in Germany. This film charts the work of Robert Watson Watt, the pioneer of Radar, and his hand-picked team of eccentric yet ... See full summary »


Gillies MacKinnon


Ian Kershaw
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Eddie Izzard ... Robert Watson Watt
Laura Fraser ... Margaret Watson Watt
Arran Tulloch Arran Tulloch ... Pat
Lesley Harcourt ... Helen - Secretary
Alex Jennings ... Henry Tizard
David Hayman ... Frederick Lindemann
Julian Rhind-Tutt ... Albert Rowe
Karl Davies ... Arnold 'Skip' Wilkins
Stephen Chance ... Scientist
Carl Heap Carl Heap ... Scientist
Celyn Jones ... Edward 'Taffy' Bowen
Iain McKee ... Higgy
Joe Bone ... Bainbridge Bell
Nick Elliott Nick Elliott ... Navy Guard
Tim McInnerny ... Winston Churchill


It is the mid-1930s and the storm clouds of WWII are forming in Germany. This film charts the work of Robert Watson Watt, the pioneer of Radar, and his hand-picked team of eccentric yet brilliant meteorologists as they struggle to turn the concept of Radar into a workable reality. Hamstrung by a tiny budget, seemingly insurmountable technical problems and even a spy in the camp, Watson Watt also has to deal with marital problems as he chases his dream. By 1939, Watson Watt and his team have developed the world's first Radar system along the south east coast of England - a system that, in 1940, will prove pivotal in winning the Battle of Britain. Written by John

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 June 2014 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Scotland, UK See more »

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The aircraft in the initial test is of the right era but the wrong type - it looks like a de Havilland Rapide, while it should be a Handley Page Heyford, something in which the film makers had little choice, since not a single example of a Heyford survives, flying or not. See more »

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User Reviews

For something so important it wasn't very compelling
5 September 2014 | by imattheendofmytetherSee all my reviews

Not knowing much about how radar came about (although knew of the significance) and being a fan of Mr Izzard I was keen to watch this docu-drama. They were honest from the start saying this was based on true events, but the events you see have been made up for TV. Well, that's fine and fair enough.

But as soon as it started I felt my attention slip, Eddie Izzard was good, his accent went from Scottish to American can back again which I found funny. But he came across as a nice enough chap enthusiastic about his job. I didn't care much for his wife, and assumed that they didn't have children but lived that experience through his nephew?! That's when it hit me, if these things matter I clearly am not enjoying this programme.

I fast found myself confused by who everyone was, what became of the mole, or the guys who worked for him. I didn't care much about Robert's personal circumstances and was surprised he was surprised things didn't go according to plan. His team were good sorts, but I guess they all enlisted bar one?! I don't know I was out of the room at that time.

I understand the writers didn't really know how they got to a successful radar station, but the "eureka" moments were plain dull. I had hoped that Taffy was having a flash back from WW1 and was going to put them all in jeopardy. But no...

I wanted to like this, but it was just too dull, like boiled meat and potatoes. Shame for something so momentous and unsung. If you don't know about the birth of radar and don't want to be spoken at for an hour, this will give you all you need to know in a softer 1 ½ hours.

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