Review

Summary:

Daring British WWI fighter pilot James “Biggles” Bigglesworth and 1980s low-level business executive Jim Ferguson discover that they can time travel to each other’s eras. They try to stop the Germans from changing the outcome of WWI.

Review:

A New York yuppie businessman named Jim Ferguson (Alex-Hyde White) is whisked away through time one fateful day, and he’s thrust into an impossible scenario: He must help a World War 1 pilot named “Biggles” (Neil Dickson) survive a plane crash. As soon as his assistance is no longer needed, Jim is thrust back to his own time (1986), none the worse for wear, but the experience changes his life. A mysterious old man (played by Peter Cushing in his last role) visits Jim and tells him he must come to England and learn his true destiny and purpose in life: To help Biggles survive World War 1, save the world from Germany (which has perfected a new super weapon), and live to tell the tale. Biggles has no choice but to go to England, travel back and forth through time and help Biggles and his squad defeat the Germans, and destroy Germany’s only chance at wining the war. Because Jim is such a fish out of water, and because his “time twin” Biggles simply accepts Jim’s help, the two of them (and the men under Biggles’ command) alter the course of history and become an inseparable pair in war and adventure.

Biggles: Adventure in Time was based on a whole series of pulp novels written by a real-life war pilot from World War 1, and it’s quite a nifty adventure. It reminded me of fun films like Zone Troopers, Jake Speed, Firewalker, and other things like even Raiders of the Lost Ark. It has a unique spin on time travel, and the action-adventure heroics of the characters are the stuff of great, old-fashioned movies and stories. While Hyde White’s acting may be a little green around the edges, he sorta fits into the crazy situations he gets himself into. I had a great time with this movie, and fans of ’80s synth soundtracks should appreciate the score by Stanislas, who was a protégé of Vangelis. There’s also a cool theme song by Jon Anderson of Yes. There should have been a sequel! Directed by John Hough.

Kino Lorber’s brand new blu ray release should bring this title back into the public consciousness. Long unavailable, the movie looks and sounds great in high definition, and I enjoyed the on-camera interviews with stars Hyde-White and Dickson. All said and done, Biggles: Adventures in Time is a neat discovery for film fans.



About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.