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Film / Biggles: Adventures in Time

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Biggles, re-released under the title Biggles: Adventures in Time, is a 1986 movie featuring the fictional flying ace Biggles. It stars Neil Dickson as Biggles and Alex Hyde-White as Jim Ferguson, a character created for the movie, with Peter Cushing appearing in his final feature film role as Biggles' commanding officer, Commodore Raymond.

Inspired by the recent success of Back to the Future, and attempting to provide a hook for the American market, the film has a time travel plot in which Jim Ferguson, an inhabitant of present-day New York, is transported back to World War I and helps Biggles defeat a German superweapon.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – History: The Germans didn't build a enormous sonic weapon, which got destroyed by a police helicopter. Of course, Some of the things they DID do makes something like this seem positively sane in comparison.
  • Badass Boast: As Jim protests Biggles getting in the pilot seat of a Metropolitan Police Bell Jetranger helicopter:
    Biggles: If you can fly a Sopwith Camel, you can fly anything.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jim Ferguson. The time hole seems to have some kind of sick pleasure with mistiming his trips to cause the maximum amount of trouble for him.
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  • Fake in the Hole: Jim holds off a group of German troops by turning on his cordless razor and throwing it, yelling "GRENADE!"
  • Inconvenient Summons: The second time Jim is drawn back in time, he has just taken a shower and is clad in only a towel.
    • The summons, as well as the return trips, in general are mostly inconvenient for Jim, but NEVER Biggles.
  • Nice Guy: Biggles. Despite the unusual circumstances, he quickly befriends Jim after the latter saves his life, patiently explains what's going on, and gets along well with him and his fellow soldiers.
  • Sequel Hook: Ends with Jim being zapped back in time again to aid Biggles out of another jam.
  • Temporal Mutability: Varies. Mostly is a case of You Already Changed the Past, but any item which could cause a major change to history as we see it is summarily and rapidly lost or destroyed with prejudice as soon as it's served its purpose.
  • Universal Driver's License: Biggles, transported in time from World War I to the late twentieth century, is able to work out how to fly a helicopter after a few minutes experimentation. He even says, without apparent irony, "If you can fly a Sopwith Camel, you can fly anything!" The Camel was renowned for the remarkable torque of its rotary engine, to the point where you didn't make a 90 degree left turn; it was easier AND FASTER to go 270 degrees to the right. For Biggles, his first attempt to lift off in the helo would have been like trying to fly his Camel straight upwards. He'd have understood what was happening better than most.


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