Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Thanks to one of the artifacts in 'Warehouse 13', we can add an historical connection between that series and 'Doctor Who' to the Toobworld Dynamic.

In the season finale "The Stand", Warehouse agents Myka Bering and H.G. Wells found themselves trussed up in the rigging ropes from the Mary Celeste. This was the ship whose crew mysteriously vanished in 1872.
In the episode "The Chase", the First Doctor and his Companions were being hounded by the Daleks through Time and Space. At one point, they found themselves on board the Mary Celeste, but they got away before the Daleks arrived.
Seeing the metal clad alien tanks, the crew and the Captain's wife and baby jumped overboard in such panic and fear that the raw emotions imbued the rope with enough psychic trauma to turn it into an artifact - a rope that could bind its victims under its own volition.
It could have been any one of the coils of rope in those scenes aboard the Mary Celeste.  But I think the most likely suspect for the rope which ended up in the Warehouse would be the coil that hung above the door to the quarters below as seen here:
Most of the actions which could have triggered the transformation of the rope into an artifact occurred just below that coil.  Barbara was ambushed by the First Mate Mr. Richardson, and he was then conked on the head by Vicki (played by "cousin Maureen O'Brien - ahem....).  Later, after the rest of the crew had abandoned ship, the ship's cabin boy came up from the galley and stood underneath that rope transfixed by fear upon seeing the Daleks.  He then bolted over the side as well 

It may not have been an act of aggression on the part of the rope when it lassoed Myka and HG Wells; it could have been the desire from those long-dead victims to reach those ropes and hold fast until rescue - a desire that would never come to be.

One historical note - most people today know the ship as the Marie Celeste, and that's how the computer read-out for the rigging ropes list it in 'Warehouse 13'. But as we can see from the plaque on board in 'Doctor Who', it was the Mary Celeste.
Technically, they're both right.

It was christened as the Mary Celeste. But when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the literary agent for Dr. Watson and those stories he wrote about his friend Sherlock Holmes, wrote about the ship's mystery as historical fiction, he made the error of typing it up as the Marie Celeste. And it was never caught by his publisher's proof-readers. Later journalists used his story as the basis for any articles they would then write about the ship and continue the error until it became part of the world's consciousness. Which is why whoever documented the rope into the collection typed it up as the Marie Celeste.


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