Tuesday, January 22, 2008


There are times when the needs of a Toobworld splainin must take a contrary position to the intentions of the original source. This is especially true when dealing with characters originally created in literature. An upcoming example I have to deal with is that of Undersheriff Hugh Beringer in the 'Cadfael' mysteries - for Ellis Peters (Edith Parteger), he is the same man throughout the run of her twenty novels, and the idea that science fiction would play a role in her historical mysteries would surely have been anathema to her. But because the role was recast twice over after Sean Pertwee played it in four episodes, then a splainin must be found as to why he looks different and yet nobody else in Shrewsbury takes notice.

Throughout the run of short stories and novels about Hercule Poirot in which Captain Arthur Hastings appeared, Dame Agatha Christie established his history and family relations. I'm only just now beginning my run through the DVDs of the series starring David Suchet as 'Poirot', so I'm not sure if the episodes will follow Christie's lead. However, I think there is just enough wiggle room - based on what I've read in Christie-centric sites - to make this theory of "relateeveety" plausible.

According to the stories, Captain Arthur Hastings eventually marries a woman named Dulcie and moves to South America to run his own ranch. He has two daughters, the eldest of whom marries an Army officer.

Based on the impression actor Hugh Fraser has made on me while I watch the series, I'm going to suggest that his portrayal of Captain Arthur Hastings is the maternal grandfather for one Arthur Dent - as seen in the TV series 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'. Arthur Dent was once upon a time the last human survivor of Earth - before he went back in Time and caused the timeline to be changed so that the Earth never was destroyed in the first place.

As I watch Fraser's performance, there are certain mannerisms and even exclamations that put me in mind of Simon Jones' portrayal of Arthur Dent. And allowing for the dilution of DNA (something that doesn't always happen in Toobworld), it looks feasible that the two of them could be related, separated by a generation.

And it could be argued that Arthur Dent was named after his grandfather!

Of course, this could all be invalidated as I get deeper into the series. But for the time being, I think the theory works and it's mostly harmless, so I'm going to stand by it.

There is a need for that splainin about Hugh Beringer. There was no need for this theory of "relateeveety", but I liked it and wanted to use it to tie the two series together.

Hopefully the ghosts of Agatha Christie and Douglas Adams will leave me be.....

Toby OB

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since you're dealing with the family tree of a couple guys named Arthur, you could have called this post "Arthur Branch". Or not.