An old man (Thomas) stares at an equally old black and white photograph in his hand.
The photograph is of four German WWI pilots dressed ready for combat.
The photo, reflected in old Thomas’ blue eyes, is zoomed in on (zoom on eye) and zoom out of young Thomas’ eye “in photograph” (i.e. back in time – same style as “Saving Private Ryan”).
Angle change. Same scene as in photograph, but now we see the photographer and a (red/white/black – not sure of colour. Black would be better, but red or white are more distinctive) Fokker Dr.I (triplane)(“Painkiller”) behind the pilots (which isn’t visible on old Thomas’ photograph).
After the photograph the pilots break off and head towards their nearby planes, which are started, chocks pulled and they taxi/take off – with “Painkiller” already in the air, flying parallel to the other four planes as they lift off into the air.
During the first verse the four Dr.I pilots (Erich/Frank/Thomas/Tobi) can be seen preparing their planes/signalling to eachother. “Painkiller” can be seen to be attached slightly above and behind the flight.
“White lines” are the condensation (not sure if WWI panes made them)/smoke trails of a dogfight in the blue sky which are “out on the edge” (the horizon). The pilots signal to eachother and push the throttle lever forward “shifting into overdrive”. The scene ends with the planes racing away from the camera and towards the dogfight.
Scene change. Now from the perspective of some english bombers (Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 or Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8) with the Dr.Is attacking from 8 o’clock to 6 o’clock with rudder (tail-slide) to focus guns on observer.
The scene ends with the Dr.Is climbing away from the bombers, preparing to attack and two bombers falling/spiralling with a smoke trail to the war-torn trenches below.
“A rush a speed machine”. The scene opens from the perspective of six/eight english fighters (Sopwith Camels) which are approaching the dogfight and preparing to attack the Dr.Is. As the Camels dive towards the Dr.Is, “Painkiller” appears behind the group and opens fire.
“Slip-Sliding” as one of the Camels tries, unsucessfully, to (rudder) slip and slide out of “Painkiller”‘s machine gun fire.
“Roll after roll” as one of the Camels repeatedly rolls, with “Painkiller” following the rolls perfectly with machine guns firing.
“Drifting out of control” show the Camels falling from the sky.
“Painkiller” now closes up on the other Camels and starts to disturb their attack, making them dodge the machine gun fire. The Dr.I pilots notice the attacking Camels and break formation, making the Camel’s attack ineffective.
Young Thomas now notices that a couple of Camels have been shot down and looks around in the hope of seeing which plane has helped them/him out. This scene ends with young Thomas looking around the sky and ends with him looking towards “Painkiller” which is flying into shot. The scene then changes, so that “Painkiller”‘s pilot is seen to be saluting/waving at the young Thomas (who does not acknowledge the wave).
The song’s guitar solo is mainly the dogfight between Dr.Is, Camels and the bombers.
The scene is interrupted in the middle with an (eye-to-eye) transfer to old Thomas who is discussing his photograph with a photographer/technician (who is in a modern-day (computer) environment).
The scene changes (eye-to-eye transfer using Thomas’ eye that is reflected in the computer screen, where the photo has now been digitised – but not yet processed) back to the dogfight until the guitar solo ends.
“I’m shot up” The scene starts with young Thomas’ bullet punctured Dr.I aircraft fabric flapping in the wind and engine lightly smoking.
“Too young to die” The scene changes to a fresh squadron (8/12) of Camels which have arrived (higher thsn the Dr.Is) on the scene and looking to finish the Dr.Is off.
“Can’t catch me ‘cos I’m flying high” Scene changes to “Painkiller” which is higher still than the Camels and manoeuvring into a position to attack them.
The scene starts with “Painkiller” rushing into the Camels and the Camels breaking up formation to defend themselves.
Scene changes to young Thomas in Dr.I, making a getaway from the fight, but gratefully looking back at the Camels which are in disarray because they are distracted and in a dogfight with “Painkiller”.
The scene pans out to accomodate each Dr.I which arrive battle scarred but their pilots uninjured. Lots of smiles and signalling from them to eachother.
The scene changes to the Dr.I airfield with the four Dr.Is coming into land.
As young Thomas’ smoking Dr.I comes to a halt, he climbs out to meet the other pilots (already on the ground) as ground crew rush past him to service his plane.
The pilots then walk as a group towards the camera which pans back to reveal “Painkiller” parked up and the pilot (sitting on the wing) with his back to the camera.
The camera angle changes in such a way (a semi-circle motion) so that it tracks the four pilots walking past “Painkiller”. As the camera reaches half way on its semi-circle path, the pilots are passing “Painkiller”‘s wing, blocking the view of the pilot of “Painkiller”, but as the camera continues on its track, the pilot is revealed to be a horned/winged devil/death like creature. The camera slowly zooms closer to the plane, 666 can be seen on “Painkiller”‘s fuselage and the nose art is “Death – the man with the scythe” and the stylised word “Painkiller”.
The scene changes to viewing old Thomas from the front and who is looking disbelievingly and alternatively between a photograph in his left and right hand, and the photographer/technician.
The scene changes so that we are now viewing old Thomas and the photographer/technician from behind and can see that one photograph in old Thomas’s hand is the one at the start of the video, and the other has been “enhanced” on the computer screeen to reveal “Painkiller” – young Thomas’ invisible Guardian Angel for that day.