PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

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Mr_Wolf
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PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Mr_Wolf »

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This Granada series brought the adventures of Capt. W.E. Johns’ famous fictional airman to Britain’s television screens for the very first time. Starring Nevil Whiting in the title role, Biggles features action-packed tales of derring-do and chivalry, the flying ace’s exciting quests taking him the from the frozen North to the Amazon, from the Panama Canal to the Pacific. Ready to take on any assignment, Biggles finds adventure both on the ground and in the air!

Actor and singer John Leyton – soon to score a Number One hit with Johnny, Remember Me – stars as the intrepid airman’s loyal colleague, Ginger, with Carl Duering as his arch-enemy, master criminal and secret agent von Stralhein; among the writers are Tony Warren and his Coronation Street collaborator Harry Kershaw. Presented here are all 44 episodes of this classic series, originally screened in 1960.

http://networkonair.com/shop/1759-biggl ... 91942.html
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

I honestly thought that all or at least most episodes of this were gorn.

What a missed opportunity for a sales-line: "Biggles.Worth every penny!"

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Richard A
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Richard A »

Quite 'quiffed up' aren't they? I mean, for something putatively set in the 30s/40s. Or was the series time shifted to the late 50s?

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

Wasn't the expression "Brylcreem Boys"?

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Mickey
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Mickey »

No Algy?! That wretched Ginger, not content with usurping poor Algy's position in the books, has knocked him offscreen entirely, it appears. Blasted upstart...

Looks interesting, though. Biggles: The Rock 'n' Roll Years!

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

How much information is there about this series?
The BFI believes that there were 35 episodes,IMDB lists only the lead actors.Is it really the case that we'll only know who the guest-stars were when we buy the DVDs,or were they listed in the TV Times?

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Simon Coward
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Simon Coward »

JWG wrote:How much information is there about this series?
The BFI believes that there were 35 episodes,IMDB lists only the lead actors.Is it really the case that we'll only know who the guest-stars were when we buy the DVDs,or were they listed in the TV Times?
ATV in the midlands stopped taking the series after 35 episodes, so it may be related to that, although I thought Rediffusion carried on to the end and it's normally London info in the BFI's database.

The series was made up of eleven different serials ranging from three to six episodes in length. Up to episode 1 of "Biggles Turns the Scale", which was the eighth serial, TV Times only ever mentioned Whiting, Drummond and Leyton plus Duering on occasion - and it may be that Duering wasn't in every episode. After that point TV Times included full (or certainly fuller) casts lists for the remaining episodes. Guests in those serials include Stratford Johns, William Mervyn, Roger Delgado and Francis Matthews.

And even up to the end of that serial, I don't think TV Times had ever mentioned the story titles or even made it clear that there were separate serials. And despite running two episodes a week for much of the run it was quite possible that one serial would end on the Wednesday and a new one would start a couple of days later. None of this even-numbers-of-episodes tyranny that the likes of Sapphire and Steel or Armchair Thriller imposed upon us some years later.

For the last three serials, TV Times did carry the serial titles too.
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

Phew.Thanks for that Simon.The fullest listing I've managed to find is on IMDB,where they have the right number of episodes,identify each mini-serial,and name the stars. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0161131/epi ... ps_yr_1960
I find it fascinating that there are still whole chunks of information out there waiting to be collated.
There must be an interesting back-story here.Lost Shows is already updated,and the thirty-odd lost episodes were obviously discovered some time ago.I wonder if Network just asked "Have you by any chance got...".
While we could have a thread asking "Which is the most recent incomplete-in-the-archives sitcom/drama/etc. series",we really have no way of knowing because,it seems,there's a lot still uncatalogued.Frustrating,but better than the alternative.
I had trouble believing my eyes when I saw this series listed for DVD release because I knew for certain that most episodes had gone for a Burton.Nice to be proved wrong.Encore.

I've just remembered the colour Biggles strips which were running in TV Express 1960-61 http://bearalley.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06 ... ggles.html He was certainly on a roll then.(The article refers to Biggles as "The new Friday TV series").

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Mark »

Great news about it's release, yet another one to look forward to.

It's a shame other Granada series of the period were not so lucky, such as "Shadow Squad" and "Skyport", but still...!

There's a Biggles forum, where one lucky chap, had the winning bid in an auction for some of the scripts and Tele-Snaps, as well as scripts for other shows including an early "Avengers" script, and one for "Emergency-Ward Ten", that was just a couple of years ago.
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Simon Coward »

JWG wrote:Phew.Thanks for that Simon.The fullest listing I've managed to find is on IMDB,where they have the right number of episodes,identify each mini-serial,and name the stars. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0161131/epi ... ps_yr_1960
I find it fascinating that there are still whole chunks of information out there waiting to be collated.
There must be an interesting back-story here.Lost Shows is already updated,and the thirty-odd lost episodes were obviously discovered some time ago.I wonder if Network just asked "Have you by any chance got...".
I suspect the serial titles on IMDb were taken from ITN Source, but I don't know for certain. I think the main reason why it was believed that so many were missing is that Granada gave each serial a single production number like they did with The Verdict is Yours, rather than giving a different number to each episode, as they would with something like Bootsie and Snudge or It's Dark Outside, And the tx dates attached to these production numbers were always just the first tx for each serial.

With an ongoing villain and no guest cast in TV Times and the fact that some serials stop midway through a week, the listings make it look rather like a long continuing serial rather than a bunch of shorter ones, so it wasn't immediately apparent (to me, anyway) that's what they were doing. And not helped by the fact that two serials were swapped in broadcast sequence but too late for TV Times to catch up in the first instance.
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by silverking »

Well, another one I am old enough to remember.

It was put out with some fanfare & there was a TV Times cover devoted to it.
My recollection is of it being on Friday about 7pm, so going for both the adult &
kid's audience.

There were indeed different serials & some , if not all , were adaptions of the books.
I think the first one was 'Biggles Flies North'. They were all updated to the time period of 1960 or so.

Its very studio bound & I can't remember if there were any filmed sequences.

Amazed it still exists & will certainly be picking it up.

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

It's been kept in storage long enough to miss about two and a half generations of Biggles fans...
Despite this,I'm hoping it's a good seller both here,in Australia,and on those parts of the Continent where Biggles has a following.


I'm also hoping that Granada,or others,will have more serials logged as episodes.

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

My ITV Encyclopedia of Adventure states that this 24-part (sic) series of untitled (sic) adventures ended "in cliff-hanger fashion with an on-screen announcement advising viewers to tune in again next week for more daring adventures".
I've just been watching the 1970s Southern Dick Barton series,each episode of which ended with a very 'Dangermouse' voice-over urging us to tune in again.
Apart from these,and Batman of course,what other shows had similar full-blown serial endings?

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by ctraynor »

Lost in Space.

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

Ye Gods,yes.One of my favourite shoms,too,though I haven't actually watched an episode in 10 years.Of course,my son plays the theme all the time.
Apologies for dopiness.

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

Ye Gods,yes.One of my favourite shoms,too,though I haven't actually watched an episode in 10 years.Of course,my son plays the theme all the time.
Apologies for dopiness.

Though,come to think of it,while LIS does a fine line in "Last week,as you recall...",did they have much in the way of v/o at episode's end?

And-of course!-The Phantom Raspberry Blower et al,the serial-within-shows on The Two Ronnies.I'd actually welcome those issued separately.

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Mickey
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Mickey »

ctraynor wrote:Lost in Space.
And "The Time Tunnel", from the same stable. No voice over at the end, though. Just a fabulously excitable series of captions:

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"Lost In Space" did something very similar. Did "Land Of The Giants"? I forget.

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Spiny Norman »

Amazing that all episodes still exist. However, "Available 31/12/2099"... Bally heck that's a long wait!

Another strange thing is that the BFI holds no episodes whatsoever.
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Richard A
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Richard A »

Yes, but the upside is that by then it will be released in a Ultra HighDef, re-coloured, full user immersion, interactive holodeck version*.

(* = including user configurable quiff length)

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by JWG »

Well...Amazon had this listed at a fraction of its RRP for weeks when it was first announced,and many global-wealth redistribution activists including myself pre-ordered at that price.It's not impossible that that scuppered this important release.

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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by Spiny Norman »

Richard A wrote:Yes, but the upside is that by then it will be released in a Ultra HighDef, re-coloured, full user immersion, interactive holodeck version*.

(* = including user configurable quiff length)
And with digitally added Algie, who was missing in the original version.
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Re: PR: Biggles - The Complete Series [Network]

Post by longtimelurker »

A nice extra to this set would be the edition of Harpers West One in which John Leyton sings Johnny Remember Me (unless they already plan to release that series separately - here's hoping).

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