Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Series Characters

Series characters are part of our lives and our first encounter with a particular series character is a significant memory.

(i) I knew of Superman over sixty years ago, just eighteen years after his first publication.

(ii) I learnt of Sherlock Holmes and the Time Traveller soon after that. (The latter was not a series character but was an important precursor.)

(iii) I first encountered Poul Anderson's Dominic Flandry over fifty years ago in "The Game of Glory" but did not yet suspect that Flandry was a series character, still less that the telepath tangentially referenced early in the story was a continuing villain.

(iv) I first encountered James Bond in 1962 in the film, Doctor No, and already knew that Bond was the central character of a series of novels. Oddly, in Doctor No, both book and film, it was the mysterious villain that was the title character, given a big build up. The scene where the Doctor, with his artificial hands, examines the sleeping hero and heroine the night before they meet for dinner is accurately reproduced in the film.

(v) Doctor Who, originating in 1963, combines:

series character status;
time travelling;
a name like "Doctor No" and "Clan McWho" of the British Dan Dare series.

(vi) Doctor Who fans should read about Poul Anderson's Time Patrolman Manse Everard.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Alas, I fear my first experiences with serial characters that I clearly remember were with the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and his Uncle Scrooge comic books! Next, I think, were the Hardy Boys mystery books. Nowhere as sophisticated as the examples you listed! (Smiles)


Sean M. Brooks said...

Darn! I mean SERIES characters in the first sentence above, not "serial." Drat!