Would people support a Biggles TV series

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Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby rickee » 27 Jun 2018, 17:57

I was reading about how Legion M is changing the way films and TV series are greenlit, that they are fan requested and in many cases funded as well. It's produced a couple of full release films and some TV work and wondered if people would be prepared to support, financially as well as in terms of word of mouth etc, a new Biggles TV series?

Having just finished reading the entire series end to end I'm convinced that the character development arcs and social commentaries remain relevant today and that it could be Britain's answer to the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. It could be made with lots of jumping around the timeline, flashbacks and the like to illustrate both the action and characters while also reinforcing what was actually a very progressive change in attitudes by the characters through the years of their adventures. Things like the Dr Duck episodes could form the basis of seasonal and novelty episodes (like The Simpsons Treehouse of Terror episodes)

As a concept the only things I can see holding it back would be people's pre-conceived ideas about Biggles and maybe budget, though the tech in the digital effects department has caught up to the point that a high production quality should still be within reach. The writing would also have to be careful to present as fair a view of history so that it's clear where characters are operating under their own misconceptions and prejudices.

So what do people think? is it worth creating a pitch to something like the Legion or to create a kickstarter?
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Sizzling Sausages » 28 Jun 2018, 07:24

Hello Rickee, welcome aboard.
You might want to have a look at this thread first:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2538
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Fairblue » 28 Jun 2018, 08:36

Good morning, Rickee and welcome aboard. You might find some interesting discussions on this thread too.
viewtopic.php?f=64&t=112 (Biggles 60's TV series.)
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby StoneRoad » 28 Jun 2018, 09:10

And good morning from me, Rickee.

I'll answer you with my opinion of the suggestion, after you've had time to read both of those threads ...
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby 266 » 28 Jun 2018, 10:13

Hi Rickee. Welcome aboard. I would dearly love to see a Biggles movie or tv series. If it is done properly. Faithful to the spirit of the books. ..decent casting...realistic flying. Wouldn't it be nice! It seems that every time we get close to it, some bright spark changes Biggles into an unrecognisable anybody. You are right. ..it could be a new Indiana Jones franchise...but only if he stands as wej intended.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby kylie_koyote » 28 Jun 2018, 11:16

:welcome: Rickee!

I would love :love: a Biggles TV series, provided, of course, that it's done properly and true to the source material.


P.S. how long did it take you to read the whole series from start to finish? I managed it in about a year, but it was a challenge, and I admit to skimming parts that I thought were kind of boring, because I already knew how the book was going to end...
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Kismet » 28 Jun 2018, 11:45

I must say that I've never thought of a kickstarter for a Biggles show. I think my initial response would be is the fan base big enough to fund one? I quite agree that the stories and the characters are there to make a tremendously fun, feel good, exciting series which I would want to watch. Let's see what happens with the TV series which is apparently being made. Launching fan productions off a recent release would be easier than launching them cold.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 28 Jun 2018, 13:44

Hi Rickee from Downunder! I think a TV series would be great, as there is just too much to put into 1 movie, & then of course changes would occur, resulting in a movie that does not portray the characters effectively or in the true spirit of what fans expect. I also believe any TV series script (the most important "ingredient" in the whole scheme of things imho) must be written by a fan, I.E. someone who can bring the characters, their traits & motivations to life. If that cannot be done correctly from the start, well...I rest my case, lol.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby rickee » 28 Jun 2018, 22:39

Right... So I've read through the thread about the new series.

I'm hopeful it will be a great series. Concerned about the idea of making Biggles have a problem with drink at the start of the second war and can only assume that the focus on the very mid war period and the eastern theatre is to keep relevance to US audiences? The battle of Britain seems to have very little resonance in the US as it's way outside their frame of reference (being outnumbered and outgunned is not a common experience for the states). Pushing over to the Orient at least makes the landscapes familiar for those who would know more about the war in the pacific.

I'd be concerned with not even touching on Biggles formative experiences in the great war... but there is scope to fit that in.

The biggest loss from my perspective is losing that great arc of social change that the books encompass. This to me is a great way to hook into the modern psyche and allow Biggles to be an impartial eye to changing attitudes to some hot topics for Britain today. This character experienced colonial India, the huge social change after WW1, the calling together of the commonwealth for WW2 and the periods of cultural influx in the 60's. You can accuse me of underlaying an agenda (not overlaying because the entertainment value of these stories is paramount) but I think honest portrayals of life at the time of these events is a great way to legitimise the stories for a modern British audience and make them resonate with the current generation.

On the sexy note (as people seem to get a bit hung up on it), Ginger and Algy are really the only actively sexual characters, In "Biggles looks back" it's made clear that Marie had such an impact on Biggles that he buried his heart in his work and seemed determined never to allow himself to be distracted by any kind of vice again. Bertie is accused of being scared by women, but the circumstances are not normal: he was supposed to be staking out a bar when the lady unexpectedly plonks herself down in his lap. Biggles explanation is more for her benefit that it is the truth, I feel. There is more than a little of Jeeves and Wooster in how Bertie is portrayed (though I can't imagine Wooster being as stone cold when bullets start flying about) so it's probable that no subtext was intended.... being Camp was not necessarily linked with being Gay until relatively recently. Getting back to the relevant subject you could have Ginger and Algy having contrasting romantic subplots: Algy more experienced and in control while in contrast Ginger approaches things with more nerves and shyness. Heck maybe have them both attached to the same women for another way to lighten the mood before reinforcing that they're in such a close knit team that even this can't get in the way of friendship and loyalty especially when confronted with the realities of war flying.

P.S.

KK: Slightly less than 9 months to read all of them, but then I have digital copies on my phone so I could read whenever and wherever I was. Some of the stories are so engaging that my wife started buying me pills for IBS as I was spending far to long in the Loo finishing chapters.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Spitfire666 » 29 Jun 2018, 06:02

rickee wrote:KK: Slightly less than 9 months to read all of them, but then I have digital copies on my phone so I could read whenever and wherever I was. Some of the stories are so engaging that my wife started buying me pills for IBS as I was spending far to long in the Loo finishing chapters.

:laughspit:

:welcome2: rickee; sure you will have a great time here :D
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Frecks » 29 Jun 2018, 08:07

Algy was quite young when he had a girlfriend but certainly much more confident than Ginger. Ginger admired Full Moon but I do not think there was really a romance at all because she and Shell Breaker were more like a young couple. Ginger fell in love with Jeanette but felt very shy with her. I think Fails To Return is the one book which shows Bertie's caring side and the depth of his character.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Tracer » 29 Jun 2018, 08:16

Welcome, and all the best with your proposed project. :welcome:
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby SopwithCamel » 29 Jun 2018, 08:36

Algy was quite young when he had a girlfriend


?? Do you mean the president's daughter or whoever she was?

On the sexy note (as people seem to get a bit hung up on it), Ginger and Algy are really the only actively sexual characters, In "Biggles looks back" it's made clear that Marie had such an impact on Biggles that he buried his heart in his work and seemed determined never to allow himself to be distracted by any kind of vice again. Bertie is accused of being scared by women, but the circumstances are not normal: he was supposed to be staking out a bar when the lady unexpectedly plonks herself down in his lap. Biggles explanation is more for her benefit that it is the truth, I feel. There is more than a little of Jeeves and Wooster in how Bertie is portrayed (though I can't imagine Wooster being as stone cold when bullets start flying about) so it's probable that no subtext was intended.... being Camp was not necessarily linked with being Gay until relatively recently. Getting back to the relevant subject you could have Ginger and Algy having contrasting romantic subplots: Algy more experienced and in control while in contrast Ginger approaches things with more nerves and shyness. Heck maybe have them both attached to the same women for another way to lighten the mood before reinforcing that they're in such a close knit team that even this can't get in the way of friendship and loyalty especially when confronted with the realities of war flying.


It peeves me a little that Hollywood (and therefore all other film makers) feel the need to put in a girl just for decorative purposes :evil: I would much prefer it if they got in someone like Worrals, who would at least be an intellectual equal and a character in her own right. I would hate it if they got in some random girl to be whoever's girlfriend.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Tommy Smith » 29 Jun 2018, 08:59

That is an interesting area, Worrals popping up, and Frecks. Mercifully wartime situations generally were full of strong, focussed and determined women, still retaining style and grace. And then you have the very tricky Marie, mileage there. What was she up to in WW2?

But this does stray from the books a little.

Social manners, emotional restraint and understatement would be a delight to see. Mind you I binned the telly years ago....
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Frecks » 29 Jun 2018, 10:27

Yes the only mention of Algy and a girlfriend that I can recall was in Flies Again when Biggles gives the impression that he knows a lot more about women than Biggles does himself. The Algy in Flies Again is a very different character to the one in the later books where he is more sarcastic and really never very keen on their adventures. In a couple of the interwar books when they are offered jobs he is not at all keen to get involved which does make you doubt his dedication to the project on hand.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Tommy Smith » 29 Jun 2018, 11:15

Most sarcastic Biggles book coments thread?
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby kylie_koyote » 29 Jun 2018, 11:29

Regarding the TV series and its format... this is just my thoughts on how a screenplay might work. Bearing in mind, of course, that I'm a complete novice at such things...

If I were to do it, I think I would start with an old Biggles, perhaps in old-age home or hospital. A young worker or volunteer who is having some sort of teenage angsty crisis. Biggles tells him stories of his adventures, which are told in flash-back mode, with occasional action in the present. As a result, the youngster comes to a better understanding of life, etc. Perhaps he helps Biggles "break out of jail" (hospital) and they go to an airshow or museum or something and Biggles tells his stories relating to the different aircraft, making the exhibits come alive.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Frecks » 29 Jun 2018, 11:46

That sounds a good idea KK.

Your idea of a most sarcastic comments thread sounds good as well TS.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Fairblue » 29 Jun 2018, 13:23

I'm not all that keen on flashback scenes. I don't think I'd like to see an old Biggles.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Kismet » 29 Jun 2018, 13:30

Fairblue wrote:I'm not all that keen on flashback scenes. I don't think I'd like to see an old Biggles.


No, I don't like the idea of an old Biggles either. I quite like the flashback idea, but not for Biggles. I think it would be easiest to tell the stories chronologically. They're spread over such a long time period that I think it might be confusing flashing back to different times.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby Tommy Smith » 29 Jun 2018, 13:32

That leaves Ginger as the angsty teenager to lead it in both directions in his debut.
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 29 Jun 2018, 14:05

Tommy Smith wrote:That leaves Ginger as the angsty teenager to lead it in both directions in his debut.


It's a pity Rupert Grint is too old now to play an angsty teenager... ;)
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Re: Would people support a Biggles TV series

Postby rickee » 29 Jun 2018, 22:47

The grizzled old hero thing is a little Passe I'll admit, they used it heavily in the first season of TYIJC (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles) with Harrison Ford, for which it works as I'm sure that for half the movie watching world Ford IS Indy, and Han for that matter - so it worked.

I agree that its hard to show an aged Biggles as, well, he never seemed to get much beyond his mid forties, though there are lots of references to his getting a bit old for this kind of thing in the later books, notably landing halfway up an Andean peak in the little green god. But yes I was thinking of flashbacks as a lead in, but I'd flashback from the battle of Britain to WWI for example. Or break up a boring stakeout in the air police years by montaging (ooh! Massacred that noun into a verb there; sorry) on incidents in the interwar years.

As a policeman in the 60's I feel Biggles would take it upon himself to be the kind of man who would take the time to talk to some wayward youth who could use a little adult guidance to avoid winding up becoming a "Bad Lad". I could actually see him holding the entire Ace cafe full of young rockers enthralled with some of his exploits too (from one adrenaline junkie to a load of others)!

BTW I wouldn't propose that idea of a love interest, no matter how temporary, being simply eye candy or a bit of fluff. At the least you would need the character to bring out the development of the other two in that triangle: building Ginger's confidence while taking the far more cocksure Algy down a peg or two..... Not fluff... no way. In fact it would be fair to say that no female character in the books is there to be a bit of fluff: Marie: Spy with a heart, The girl from Biggles and Co who manages to pull the wool over Biggles' and Algy's eyes to smuggle her lover across the border (I don't think Smythe was fooled though), the Princess in Fails to return was pretty badass, always acted with dignity and was a very good field nurse as well. They're rare but always ake an impact and drive the story.
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