Thursday, 7 June 2018

Film Review - Biggles

As a plane-mad boy growing up with no History Channel Biggles was a staple of my childhood, thanks to my parents taping the movie from ITV one Bank Holiday - a recording I ran to death. Biggles was created as a series of aerial adventure books by W. E. Johns, a World War I pilot himself, for younger readers in 1932. The books were a staple for boys from then until 1970, the series having enough of a loyal following to only end when the author died. Biggles' in-fiction career started off in 1916 but did move forwards through time, taking in post-war time in a charter plane foiling various plots against Britain and then reactivation for World War II, followed by a period as part of a special flying unit. This seems to have been possible by James "Biggles" Bigglesworth and his chums having some sort of sliding lifespan; initially his callow age was a feature but it froze when he hit about 30. The book's attitudes towards race and nationalism congealed at about the same point and by the sixties were firmly out of swing with much around it; one suspects by this point the readership was mainly made up of those who had been reading the books for decades.