Peter Cushing cameos in this time travel adventure movie doing his best Mr. Slugworth impression as he seeks out the time twin of the dashing WWI pilot Biggles, because after all, someone has to set up the tenuous link between a band of British Nazi-fighting heroes and a 1980’s New Yorker who is shoehorned into the plot because everyone wanted to board the gravy train at the Back to the Future station.
BIGGLES: ADVENTURES IN TIME (1986)
Genre: Adventure/ Sci-Fi
Director: John Hough
Buy the DVD
The film kicks off in New York following Jim, who isn’t Biggles, doesn’t have his name in the title of the movie, but is nevertheless the leading man of this entire debacle. Jim works with Porkins who once again plays a corpulent sex pervert who literally can’t go five minutes without eating, even if that means contaminating the very products he’s meant to be selling.
After a long day at the office listening to Porkin’s lurid pitches for Celebrity TV dinner slogans, working closely with his girlfriend in what we can assume is a choice that he is totally not regretting, and playing the live action version of Muscle March, Jim gets a house call from Slugworth who, despite suspecting that an anomaly in time of utmost importance should be occurring at that very moment, has decided he can’t hang on for 10 minutes.
Dismissing the old man as some kind of coot, Jim gets brutally electrocuted by a lightning bolt and has either a severe mental episode or a brief magical adventure through time in which he rescues a downed pilot named Biggles from his plane whilst remaining completely unfazed and strangely smug about the whole scenario.
Slugworth gets his shit together and he and his off-kilter camera angles pay Jim another visit to extend an invitation to his London pad for when the next inevitable time hop happens. Jim barely has time to absorb this ominous portent, or the fact that the old timer is claiming to live in Tower Bridge like some modern day Quasimodo before their tête-à-tête is cut short by a glitch in the matr– I mean mashed potato.
Lo and behold, Jim flip flops through time like an assortment of fun bags at a women’s volleyball game and even manages to drag his girlfriend with him to an assault on a secret Nazi base where some unknown but highly dangerous secret weapon threatens the outcome of the war. She wastes no time in being absolutely useless and putting that nonexistent forensics degree to good use by poking fresh cadavers’ eyeballs out and then getting really grossed out about it.
More hijinx ensue when Biggles gets zapped into 1980s London to help Jim escape the police after inadvertently peppering them with bullets. How do they escape? After pulling off a bout of blending Ezio would be proud of, Biggles commandeers a downed SWAT helicopter that has landed safely, is in perfect working order and conveniently left unguarded and using his knowledge of early 1900s biplanes, flies them out of harm’s way and back in time.
It’s up to Jim, Biggles and his three friends who aren’t fleshed out enough for us to care about their well-being to turn the tide of the war and defeat the Nazis, even though the then present-day absence of a ruling Nazi power would indicate – you know what, never mind. Why is Jim the only person on the planet with a time twin? How does Slugworth know so much about this whilst simultaneously knowing nothing of any real use whatsoever? The only real lesson we should all take away from this is eloquently phrased by James ‘Biggles’ Bigglesworth; “you’re not a god, you’re just an American!”
We dare you to buy Biggles: Adventures in Time on DVD!
Author Gamer Girl is a podcast co-host on FrontTowardsGamer Radio. You can check out her blog at GamerGirlTalk.com. It is highly recommended you follow her on Twitter.
Previously in Poison Popcorn: Chernobyl Diaries. See previous Poison Popcorns right fucking here!