Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Red Dwarf: The Inquisitor


Just a short one to start off with, as I need to do some work :).

If you haven't seen the episode in question, this is worth quoting in full:

KRYTEN: Ah, Virgil's Aeneid. Oh, the epic tale of Agamemnon's pursuit of Helen of Troy -- the most classic work by the greatest Latin poet who ever put quill to parchment!
LISTER: Yeah, it's the comic book version. It's good though, man. Absolutely full of history.

RIMMER gives them a disgusted look.

KRYTEN: (Reading from comic book) Zap, pow, kersplat, die in bed you Trojan pig-dog, gnyarrg, kerpow. I see they've remained faithful to the original text. I'm sure Virgil would have approved.
RIMMER: Kryten, don't discourage him. It's the only thing he's ever read that doesn't have lift-up flaps.
LISTER: I dunno though. This wooden horse of Troy malarkey, I'm not buyin' that.
RIMMER: It's one of the most famous military maneuvers in history!
LISTER: I mean, the Greeks have been camped outside Troy, kerpowing, zapping, and kersplatting the Trojans for the best part of a decade, yeah?
RIMMER: So?
LISTER: So all of a sudden they wake up one mornin' and the Greeks have gone. And there outside the city walls they've left this gift; this tribute to their valiant foes: a huge wooden horse, just large enough to happily contain 500 Greeks in full battle dress and still leave adequate room for toilet facilities? Are you telling me not one Trojan goes, "Hang on a minute, that's a bit of a funny prezzy. What's wrong with a couple hundred pairs of socks and some aftershave?" No, they don't -- they just wheel it in and all decide to go for an early night! People that stupid deserve to be kerpowed, zapped and kersplatted in their beds! You know what the big joke is? From this particular phase in history we derive the phrase, "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts," when it would be much more logical to derive the phrase, "Beware of Trojans, they're complete smegheads!"
RIMMER: Well, thank you, A.J.P. Taylor.


I realise nit-picking Red Dwarf over historical accuracy is probably not only futile, but could lead to accusations of spoiling the fun. However, I feel duty-bound to point out that the story of the Trojan War takes up only one Book out of 12 in the Aeneid. The rest, with the exception of the trip to the underworld in Book 6, are much more boring.

The A. J. P. Taylor joke falls completely flat with the live audience, because no one knows who he is. I can't remember who he is at this moment, except he was once a famous historian. Let this be a lesson: beware jokes about historians, for no one will ever get them.

I actually really like the idea of a comic book version of the Trojan War story, which would be a very cool update of an ancient myth into a modern format. I also want to know exactly what weapons they are using that involve zapping, powing and kersplatting. If there is one, let me know.

Which brings me to an important point - Rimmer and Lister are both suffering from a common delusion, and think that the Trojan War really happened. I hate to break it to them, but it didn't. The Trojan Horse is not an historical military manoever, but a myth which may or may not be related to Indo-European horse legends. King Arthur is not real, Father Christmas is not real, the Tooth Fairy is your mum, and the Trojan War is entirely fictitious. Sorry, kids.

Lister has a point though. Bringing the horse into the city was clearly completely stupid and the phrase should indeed be 'Beware of Trojans, they're complete smegheads'. Maybe I will make that my motto...

7 comments:

  1. Hello Juls

    This is the beginning of a beautiful blog. Add some pics and it will look smashing.

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  2. Wow, I have comments! Thank you guys!

    Pics would indeed be good. Will go have a look-see.

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  3. There is a comic book version of the Trojan War out now, in fact - http://age-of-bronze.com/ . Looks interesting.

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  4. Ooh, that looks good - must see if I can get hold of it! I don't tend to read graphic novels, but this one looks like a good place to start... Thanks Rebecca!

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  5. it was indeed an excellent episode. The old myths are so fascinating. It's nice to see some used in modern stuff, even if they are incorrect.

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  6. Im pretty sure the gag was intended to make fun of the fact it DIDNT actually happen =/

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