The true story of international aeronautical design and espionage between the great wars, focusing on Beverley Shenstone, developer of the Spitfire’s elliptical wing

Film proposed about “nerdy young Canadian who designed the Spitfire’s iconic elliptical wing”

Victoria, BC “THAT would make a great movie!” Everyone says that, but it is rare for anyone to act on an inspiration.

Retired neuroscientist Vernon Brooks, 92 and now living in Victoria, is the exception, and he will unveil his detailed film proposal at a free public event May 10th from 1 to 3 pm at the BC Aviation Museum.

Storm Rising: A Movie Treatment pitches the Bev Shenstone story as the basis for a dramatic historical film or made-for-TV mini-series. In the style of box office blockbuster The Imitation Game, Storm Rising will reveal the true story of espionage and aeronautical design that led to the Spitfire fighter plane being superior to the German fighters, helping win the Battle of Britain in 1940. A nerdy young Canadian (Beverley Shenstone from Toronto) unwittingly became the key figure in a battle of wits between British MI6 and the Nazi secret police as both countries raced to re-arm prior to the rising storm of World War II.

"Bev Shenstone was my late wife's first cousin," says Brooks, "and really an almost unsung hero of the war. He was a brilliant young aeronautical engineering grad student who secured work in the Junkers factory in Germany (with clandestine assistance of British military intelligence) and collaborated with that country's top designers. Just before the Nazis grabbed him, MI6 extricated Bev and placed him with Vickers Supermarine in Southampton re-designing the Spitfire prototype's wing. The result was a work of genius."

Professor Brooks wrote his screenplay scripts after accessing Shenstone's unpublished memoir.

At the launch there will be presentations on aeronautical design of that era, Shenstone's career, espionage and, of course, the Spitfire. The BC Aviation Museum is located at the north side of YYJ airport, at 1910 Norseman Road. A 3/4-scale replica Spitfire is on display.

For more info and to arrange an interview, please contact Bruce Batchelor of Agio Publishing at 250-380-0998 or

About the Author: VERNON BROOKS became interested in Beverley Shenstone because Bev was a first cousin of Vernon's late wife, Nancy Fraser of Toronto. Vernon was born Werner Bruck in Berlin, Germany in 1923 into an assimilated Jewish family, and evacuated to Britain by kindertransport in 1939. He completed secondary schooling in an internment camp for 'enemy aliens' near Farnham, Qubec before attending University of Toronto (BA), University of Chicago (MSc) and UofT (PhD). He attained Canadian citizenship after his BA and changed his name to Vernon Brooks. Vernon held appointments at McGill University, Rockefeller University, New York Medical College and University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario).

Dr. Brooks was a pioneer in studies of the neural basis of motor control and motor learning. He became Professor Emeritus at UWO in 1988. He now lives in Victoria, BC, Canada.


Storm Rising in the news

Vancouver, BC “"Storm Rising is no secret"

Click here to read article

For more info, contact Bruce Batchelor at 250-380-0998, or email
Or, email Vernon Brooks at


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