James Bigglesworth, nicknamed “Biggles”, was a fictional pilot and adventurer in W. E. Johns’ adventure books written for young readers. Although the Biggles books by Captain W. E. Johns were popular worldwide, Australia was the only country in the world to make them into a radio serial. The Air Adventures of Biggles, the radio series, was produced and broadcast in Australia between 1945 and 1954. The series was first produced in Adelaide by AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd). In 1949, production was moved to Sydney from the 209th episode onwards and ran on for a total 1256 episodes. Each episode would run for about 15 minutes and about 30-40 episodes would be needed to narrate one complete story.
2CH – Air Adventures of Biggles, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 16 May 1945, pg. 7.
“The Air Adventures of Biggles – In the Blue” was based on the book “Biggles In the Blue”, originally published by Brockhampton in 1953 which was set in the early 1950s in the Caribbean.
Frontispiece, Biggles in the Blue, Published by Brockhampton Press, Leicester, 1953. Picture Courtesy: Biggles Info
Synopsis: Biggles is sent to Jamaica to recover a cache of secret papers–blueprints of German secret weapons under development at the end of World War Two. Their owner, Werner Wolff, had been living in Jamaica under an assumed name for many years. Unfortunately, Wolff had died without revealing where he hid his papers. There are few clues to go on, just a tracing of an oval shape with a little Square on it. And Biggles must move fast because his old adversary, von Stalhein, now in the employ of a secret service behind the Iron Curtain, is in Jamaica hunting for the same thing. [Biggles Wiki]
Author: W. E. Johns
Scriptwriters: Michael Noonan, Brian Wright and Harry Howlett
Producer: J. Colin Craigen
Production Company: Amalgamated Wireless (Aust.)
Cast: Rex Waldron (Biggles), James Mills (Biggles), Moray Powell (Biggles), Walter Sullivan (Bertie), Diana Perryman (Pat Kendall), Max Osbiston (Algy), Leonard Bullen (Ginger).
Rex Waldron and Dianna Perryman, Truth (Brisbane), 17 July 1949, pg. 36.
2CH – Air Adventures of Biggles, ABC Weekly, Vol. 10 No. 27, 3 July 1948, pg. 16.