Weird Review: Biggles: Adventures in Time

Okay I am back again with another edition of Weird Wednesdays! I am a big fan of time travel movies and this is probably one of the worst I have ever seen.

The movie is based on a series of books by a WWI RFC pilot named William Earl Johns. The character was featured in nearly 100 books which all took place within 50 years. It was the story of flying ace James Bigglesworth and his cadre of pilots during WWI. They had high flying adventures tangled with such foes as The Red Baron and Dracula.

For the film  they took the concept of the books and gave it an 80’s twist.  They spliced in an 80’s catering salesman, Jim Ferguson (Alex Hyde-White), who accidentally gets displaced in time and is sent back to WWI. There he meets Biggles (Neil Dickson) and together they try to stop a new German sound weapon. Jim’s girlfriend Debbie also gets pulled along for the ride.

 Biggles has the concept design of an old Doctor Who episode and everytime Jim gets sent into the past it reminded me of that 80s teen-romp Zapped! And for some reason the director thought that everytime Biggles was flying it was so exciting but it was shot like the TV shows of 1980, from the ground or behind.

Not to mention everytime the flying scene occurred the main theme would scream “Do You Wanna to Be a Hero,  hero, hero.” Imagine those lyrics in 80’s synth-style with a Donna Summer rip-off singing them. It’s just so strange you have to see it to get it. (Probably why it’s part of Weird Wednesdays)

Neil Dickson portrays Biggles a right and proper British gentleman who takes command of every scene he is in. It is kind of funny but when pushes his chest out and looks regal or heroic he reminds me alot of John de Lancie (Q from Star Trek: TNG).

Peter Cushing
Peter Cushing

I am not all that familiar with Alex Hyde-White. The only other role I know he played was Mr Fantastic in Roger Corman’s version of the Fantastic Four. But I have to say that he is the best part of this movie. He is capable, heroic, comedic and is able to react to the weirdest of circumstances. I really liked him in the role and he was an interesting counter balance to the prim and proper Biggles.

One other thing to note was that this was the great Peter Cushing’s last film. He is known to most as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars but I know him more from the Hammer horror films where he played Van Helsing to Christopher Lee’s Dracula. He also played Dr Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Who quite brilliantly.

One interesting trivia fact is that three years before Cushing made Star Wars he worked with an actor named David Prowse on 1974’s Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. In that film, Cushing was Frankenstein and Prowse was his monster. Prowse would go on to play Darth Vader in Star Wars.

2 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

7 thoughts on “Weird Review: Biggles: Adventures in Time

  1. Hello! I love this film! Ummm…have you by any chance removed a picture from this reveiw? Because I wanted to see if there were any pictures from the film, so I google-imaged ‘biggles’ and it came up with what would be a wonderful picture of all the main cast in the movie: Biggles, Jim, Debe, Algy, Bertie, and Ginger all in their costumes and poseing in front of one of the ‘nuked’ buildings. And I clicked on it, and it brought me to a web site with THIS review on it. The exact same one, and so I clicked on View Full Size Image, but it said that the picture couldn’t be found! Did you have it on this review and then take it off?
    If you did, please can you tell me where to get the picture?
    Here is the link to the google page: http://www.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&source=imghp&q=biggles&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=g6g-m1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    Thank you VERY VERY VERY much!

    1. Hi Dominic… Yeah that picture I have had to replace on my blog at least three times. I link the pictures on my site to other sites and sometimes genre specific sites disappear. Sorry about that. I have decided to replace the photo with the movie’s trailer. Older movies which I love to cover on my blog are hard to find photos for. Enjoy the blog!

  2. I mean, did you get it off a website, or did you upload it yourself? Do you know where I can get it? I really badly need it for the inside of a CD I made of the soundtrack of this great movie. Thanks so much for your help!

      1. Wow! Thanks SO much! That picture is almost as good as the one I’m looking for! And thanks for the link to the soundtrack! I got a torrent for it which included the covers, and although the pictures it found of the covers were quite good, they were photos that had been taken with the flash on so you can imagine the result…! I don’t suppose you own the record…?

        By the way…do you actually like the film? I think it’s great, but you’d probably already guessed that!

        Thanks so much!

        Dominic

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