Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Supporting Characters

A regularity established early in Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series was that each story featured Manson Everard as the viewpoint character accompanied by one other Time Patrolman but a different one each time:

Charles Whitcomb;
Keith Denison;
Jack Sandoval;
Piet Van Sarawak.

When a fifth story was added a decade and a half later, we again saw Everard with one other Patrolman but this time Tom Namura was both viewpoint character and central character.

When a second collection, Time Patrolman, was published, it differed in that:

it contained two new longer works as against four or five previously published shorter stories;
in Tyre, although Everard consults two resident agents, he works alone except for his local guide, Pummairam, whom he then recruits to the Patrol;
in the second story, Carl Farness is not only the viewpoint character but also the first person narrator and Everard becomes a supporting character albeit with "senior statesman" status. (Carl narrates when he is with his wife or colleagues in the first, nineteenth, twentieth or twenty fourth centuries but becomes a mysterious third person figure, mistaken for Odin, when interacting with Goths in his study period, 300-372.)

Like Pummairam, Wanda Tamberly is recruited to the Patrol by Everard at the end of a story but, unlike Pum, becomes a continuing character. In "The Year of the Ransom," she narrates when she is the viewpoint character but not otherwise. Thereafter, she and Everard, alternating or together, are the main series characters, although Keith Denison also reappears. The middle section of The Shield Of Time has Wanda with Ralph Corwin.

"Star of the Sea," written later but set before Everard's first meeting with Wanda, features Everard with Janne Floris. "Death and the Knight," following The Shield Of Time, features Everard rescuing Hugh Marlow.

Thus, the full list of main supporting characters becomes:

Charles Whitcomb;
Keith Denison;
Jack Sandoval;
Piet Van Sarawak;
Manson Everard;
Wanda Tamberly;
Ralph Corwin;
Janne Floris;
Hugh Marlow.

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