Biggles And The Dark Intruder

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Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Crazy Man Michael » 20 Aug 2016, 09:13

I can't locate a thread for this one, so I've decided to start one.

I think I've posted elsewhere that this was the book which introduced me to the world of Biggles (same as KK, I believe). I recall one of my junior school teachers, Mr Williams read us a chapter or two from the book, which a classmate brought to school as he'd received the book as a birthday present. It may have been that the teacher's mellifluous Welsh accent had something to do with it, but when he'd finished, I was dying to hear more. But I had to wait several months, until a school jumble sale where I spotted the very same book, which my companion had obviously tired of, on sale for half a new penny. I still have the book now, I finished rereading it yesterday. I like the way that Biggles and Co are given a seemingly hopeless case but, by establishing a logical chain of deductions, come up with a likely starting point for their investigation. Other than that, and the odd atmospheric description of the lonely moor, there's not really much to recommend the book, although Bertie's plight at the bottom of the pit is relatively novel. One inconsistency I spotted - at one point BIggles states: "I was doing charter work at the time. That was before I came to the Yard". But I understand that Raymond recruited the lads directly from the RAF at the end of the War.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Fairblue » 20 Aug 2016, 09:34

Crazy Man Michael wrote:.......I think I've posted elsewhere that this was the book which introduced me to the world of Biggles (same as KK, I believe). I recall one of my junior school teachers, Mr Williams read us a chapter or two from the book, which a classmate brought to school as he'd received the book as a birthday present. It may have been that the teacher's mellifluous Welsh accent had something to do with it, but when he'd finished, I was dying to hear more.

It's always nice to revisit an old favourite, CMM. Nothing like the rush of nostalgia.

Crazy Man Michael wrote:One inconsistency I spotted - at one point BIggles states: "I was doing charter work at the time. That was before I came to the Yard". But I understand that Raymond recruited the lads directly from the RAF at the end of the War.


Yes, he did, CMM, that's quite clear in Sgt Bigglesworth, CID. And well-spotted. I can only assume it's another of WEJ-isms. 'Between the Wars' would have been a better way of putting it.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Kismet » 20 Aug 2016, 11:24

Biggles did have a Charter company. He founded it for Biggles and Co, used it for Dr Duck and Charter Pilot and I think Ginger makes a reference to it at some point too. I presumed when I read that line in Dark Intruder that he was referring to his pre-war activities. I'll try to re-read that bit, to make sure I've read what's there and not skipped to an unjustifiable conclusion.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Frecks » 20 Aug 2016, 11:44

The thing I do not like about Dark Intruder is Ginger being so unsympathetic when Bertie is struggling to run away from the fire on the moor. He then panics and runs off shouting for Biggles at the top of his voice which would have been OK when he was a teenager but seems a bit pathetic in a very late book.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Tracer » 20 Aug 2016, 14:44

Sounds very out of character.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Crazy Man Michael » 20 Aug 2016, 16:32

Frecks wrote:The thing I do not like about Dark Intruder is Ginger being so unsympathetic when Bertie is struggling to run away from the fire on the moor. He then panics and runs off shouting for Biggles at the top of his voice which would have been OK when he was a teenager but seems a bit pathetic in a very late book.


It doesn't happen like that. Ginger helps Bertie as long as he is able to, but when Bertie falls unconcious, Ginger's most pressing concern is to get medical attention for him, hence running ahead and calling for help. Ginger himself was nearly all in and in no state to carry the inert body of an unconscious man across a heather covered moor, even if it were possible. But as WEJ would say, 'such things happen only on the cinema screen'.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Frecks » 20 Aug 2016, 19:13

Yes I see that but it was his impatience when Bertie was struggling that annoyed me.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Fairblue » 20 Aug 2016, 19:25

I don't think it was a selfish impatience, it was a feeling arising more from frustration than anything else. He couldn't do what he knew needed to be done.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Kismet » 20 Aug 2016, 19:37

I'd be a bit impatient if I thought we were in danger of burning to death and my companion wasn't keeping up with me. I might feel a little guilty afterwards for not realising at the time that my companion was more seriously injured than I'd initially thought, but impatience would be the first emotion.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Crazy Man Michael » 20 Aug 2016, 20:53

I think 'anxiety' covers it better than 'impatience'. I suppose it may be subjective.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby kylie_koyote » 21 Aug 2016, 12:57

It was indeed my first book, CMM, and remains a favorite.

Regarding that scene with Ginger and Bertie on the moor - the smell of wildfire smoke can cause the most rational person to panic.
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Re: Biggles And The Dark Intruder

Postby Frecks » 21 Aug 2016, 16:01

Normally in the books one member of the team puts is arm round the other and helps him along - especially with the very common twisted ankle.
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