FANDOM


The adaptation is fairly faithful to the original but, of course, sections with a lot of description or conversation have been abbreviated. The section headings below do not occur in the comic strip. The commentary here is divided into sections and use the chapter titles in the original text and are inserted here only to make comparison easier. The chapter numbers in brackets refer to those in the original book.

The S.O.S (Chapter 1)Edit

The entire segment where Biggles and Algy make speeches and toast Ginger for getting his pilot's licence is entirely omitted. Otherwise this section is covered in detail, from the text of the S.O.S., Maltenham's note, the falling tree on the way into Brendenhall, the encounters with the blue light, the scream that they hear. Ginger goes over the weapons arrayed on a table and their descriptions match those in the original text.

Dickpa's Story (Chapter 2)Edit

In recounting the backstory, Dickpa mentions his previous trip to Tibet with Maltenham. Maltenham's reason for wanting to come, to get rid of his addiction to narcotic drugs, is omitted entirely. There is no description of the mishaps they encountered while trying to get to the "Mountain of Light", only one drawing with them saying they can't proceed thanks to the guardians of the mountain (note that there was no description in the original either). The snowstorm is not mentioned, they simply get to India. Dickpa does give up his room to two people and shares Maltenham's room. The next morning the two in Dickpa's room are dead with no apparent injuries. The only difference with the original is that here the two are Indians whilst in the original, they were two planters.

The incident with the box on the ship going home is also covered in detail as is the incident of a blue light attacking Dickpa and Maltenham firing at it, causing it to leave behind bloodstains.

The police also turn up and ask about the dead body of an Asian found in the park but Bert Dalton is not mentioned--which leaves a loose end, as the scream they heard earlier on was Dalton finding the body. The police also don't mention here that the body had been dead for at least 12 hours, which links to the earlier incident of Maltenham firing on the blue light.

The possibility of finding radium is mentioned by Maltenham and not Dickpa. Malty also agrees to finance the aircraft and expedition but here the price of £30,000 is not mentioned.

The Roof of the World (Chapter 3)Edit

They set off to Tibet on the "Explorer". Here it is drawn like a Grumman Goose. They are some embellishments to the plot. At first they are caught in a fog. Then they fly over a yak caravan, putting the frightened yak-drivers to flight. Dickpa comments that they are flying too low--no need to unecessarily frighten people but Biggles tells him they are already at 15,000 feet.

The incident of both engines losing power is depicted accurately. Biggles puts down on a plateau and they set up camp.

The Mountain of Light (Chapter 4)Edit

The episode where Ginger gets water and also brings back a dead centipede is depicted. In the evening, they notice a bluish glow. From higher ground, they see that it is the "Mountain of Light".

The Silver Stream (Chapter 5)Edit

Biggles does his test flight as per the original but he doesn't make a clean three-point landing nearby. Here he lands some distance away, causing anxiety for the others. They conclude that they have to walk to the mountain.

They reach an escarpment and walk through a gorge. The encounters with terminal moraine, the blue gentians, the unusual slime and finally the skeleton and cigarette case of Sir Grant Verdon are all depicted faithfully.

The incident of the rifle going off and them feeling fatigued by stepping on the electrified ground is also well drawn. Ginger shoots at a shadow but here he does not find the body of the Chung. As in the original, Biggles sends Ginger off to fetch the rubber sheets from their tent. The centipedes show up but Ginger returns in time just like in the original.

Marooned (Chapter 6)Edit

Biggles spots Angus McAllister on top of a cliff and he and Algy get to him via a cave. The shooting at a blue light in the cave and then at shadows all around Angus are all faithfully depicted. But here Angus does not bust the door mechanism. It simply closes and he can't reopen it. They see the aircraft and the others at a distance but here they do not light a smoke fire to attract their attention.

Angus Tells His Story (Chapter 7)Edit

Angus tells his story which follows the same lines as in the original except that O'Connor is not mentioned. Malty treats Angus for his poison.

An Anxious Night (Chapter 8)Edit

The Chungs drill their way through the rock door and Biggles directs machine gun fire into the hole, only, here the gun is not a Lewis. The negotiations with the Chungs follow the original lines but the name of Ho Ling Feng is not mentioned yet. Then, the drawings faithfully depict the subsequent events: the appearance of the blue rays, Biggles shooting at them and his plan to take them out.

A Grim Journey (Chapter 9)Edit

Biggles and Ginger proceed down the plateau on a rope and journey up the path to the ledge where the blue ray guns are mounted. They evade a Chung, pass a large statue and have to crawl along a narrow rock bridge spanning a hole. The conversation here is almost word for word faithful to the original.

The subsequent battle is slightly simplified and the order of events is changed. Here our friends are spotted by the Chungs on the ledge and Biggles is actually hit by a ray momentarily (this did not happen in the original). Ginger does most of the shooting and extinguishes the rays on the ledge.

Next comes the attack by the two Chungs on the path itself. Here they are not using or holding portable ray guns, and Biggles does not actually throw one off the path into the void. Ginger shoots at them. We do not know if he hit them but the next picture shows two Chungs running away. The following picture has Biggles shooting at the crowd on the ledge and then the Chungs flee en masse (as usual with Aredit adaptations, the plot tends to tone down violent events). Ginger fires a green flare to tell Algy they have succeeded and they then wait for morning.

Biggles Declares War (Chapter 10)Edit

Biggles and Ginger don't actually see the Chungs surrounding their plane. In this adaptation, it is not clear that the plateau is visible from their location. The first inkling they have that something is wrong is when they hear the five shots from Algy's express rifle. The rest of the events, Algy's escape from the Chungs, Biggles' capture of Prince Sing Hi and Algy's account of what happened on the plateau is faithfully reproduced.

The negotiations between Biggles and Ho Ling Feng go much easier than in the original and the Chung agrees to release Malty, Dickpa and McAllister.

Council of War (Chapter 11)Edit

Here, Malty doesn't come up to treat Sing Hi's injury first. Two Chungs simply come with a stretcher and take him away. Malty arrives with the Explorer which lands on the lake.

The council of war is much more brief and in two pages, Biggles has done his reconnaissance and decides to go and collect the radium with Ginger.

Biggles Disappears (Chapter 12)Edit

On the way to the Mountain of Light, Biggles and Ginger pass the spur of rock but here it does not look as precarious as was described in the original. Biggles falls through the hole and the rest, his tour of the inside, the discovery of the generator and his fight with the hammer-armed Chung is much as described. He does fling a stalagmite at the ceiling to dislodge some stalactites but the pursuing Chungs are not drawn. His meets Algy sooner than in the original and they don't spend as much time going into blind alleys. They emerge on the side of the mountain and notice their plane is in the wrong place.

What Happened to Ginger (Chapter 13)Edit

Ginger's account of what happened to him is much briefer. They bail out the aircraft, repair the hole and then straightaway Biggles discusses how to stop the Chung ambition to dominate the world. Biggles has the same plan. Topple the spur of rock. This would cause the lake to overflow into the valley below and so flood the Chung generator.

Deluge (Chapter 14)Edit

Biggles and Ginger proceed to the spur with explosives and a can of petrol (in the original they had to strip the charges from their gun cartridges, here they mysteriously have explosives). As in the original, lightning ignites their petrol trail before they get back to the aircraft and it is a mad scramble. The narrow escape with the dam collapsing just as the plane reaches it is well drawn as are the scenes of fleeing Chungs and the mountain erupting into clouds of steam when the water hit the generator.

The compass incident is covered in detail, and here as in the original, it is Angus who suggests the solution.

The episode where they are questioned on arrival in Chittagong is omitted totally, as is the mention of Marshal Li Chen making a complaint to the British government about them.

Reflections (Chapter 15)Edit

The ending is slightly different. Biggles is debriefed by the government as in the original. He tells the others that the British counter-intelligence had already some inkling that something strange was going on. They also told Biggles that some bandits were backing the Chungs (not Marshal Li Chen). Malty gets a call from the "Royal Institute" but Malty does not mention that three ounces of radium could be extracted and Biggles' disappointment is thus not depicted. What happens to the radium is the same as in the orignal. Angus McAllister did return with them but he is not present at the final meeting and there is no mention of Malty buying a Clydeside cottage for him.