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April 8, 2007

Mary Bennet, Vampyre Slayer
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 09:12 PM *

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a writer in need of a plot must steal from Jane Austen.

I spent the afternoon watching the six-hour Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice with my beloved daughter. This put me in mind of several things, neat plot twists that could improve it, and continuations and crossovers.

For example: Mary “You have delighted us long enough” Bennet playing pianoforte and singing at the ball at Netherfield Park. Imagine if she had sung, instead of the rather dull song she attempted, the Cab Calloway Saint James Infirmary Blues, or Minnie the Moocher. That would have certainly enlivened the party.

Or, during the period when Mr. Bingley is in London, he rents Netherfield Park to Sir Francis Varney. Into every generation a slayer is born … Mary Bennet, Vampyre Slayer. She alone will have the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness …

Jane and Lizzy are in town. They are attending a ball. Lord Ruthven is in attendance. He’s gotten Lizzy separated from the crowd and is about to work his wicked will, when in through the French windows in a dive and roll, a wooden stake in each hand, comes Mary Bennet, dressed in man’s array.

I suppose Sir Lucas is her Watcher.

There in London, Lizzy Darcy makes the acquaintance of “Lucky Jack” Aubrey, ashore on duty at the Admiralty. Lizzy, encouraged by her sister Mary’s example, dresses in men’s array and ships out with Lucky Jack, where she plays a decisive role in the Battle of Trafalgar.

After Mr. Collins’ unfortunate early death (from a sudden disease with signs and symptoms nearly indistinguishable from arsenic poisoning), and after the death of Mr. Bennet, Charlotte takes possession of Longbourn, where she and Kitty start a school, with the aid of a certain Captain Jack Harkness. Captain Jack has no objection to sharing.

Silly young Lydia, age fifteen, had gone off and married Mr. Wickham. He’s gotten one last chance, and he now has the love of a good woman to guide him.

Mr. Wickham, now, up there in Newcastle with his new regiment and his new wife, soon ships out to the Pennisula, where (never one to stand on formality, nor likely to have much respect for respectability) he allies himself with Lieutenant Richard Sharpe and his company of Chosen Men.

Years later, in a novel to be titled The Colonel’s Lady, Lydia is in India, a terror of propriety to all the junior officers and especially to the officers’ wives. Then one day, the Indian Mutiny breaks out. She has Adventures.

I do love a good crossover.

Now I’m off to watch an episode of House on DVD.

Comments on Mary Bennet, Vampyre Slayer:
#1 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 09:22 PM:

You've got to work Wuthering Heights in there somewhere.

(Why am I reminded of the Flashman novels?)

#2 ::: Emily H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 09:42 PM:

Needs more dragons.

(But seriously: I would buy that book seventeen times over).

#3 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 09:47 PM:

Replace Colin Firth with Jon Firth, aka Jerry Cornelius.

#4 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 09:53 PM:

You are an evil, evil man, Uncle Jim.

However, I somehow think that Richard Sharpe would be enough to squash George Wickham flat. I also think that Sharpe, although famously having "the sense of a dead sheep when it comes to women" would recognise Lydia's type easily enough.

Oh, and what is Lord Ruthven Murgatroyd doing playing around in the balls of London? He's supposed to be haunting his ancestral manors and making life miserable for his descendants.

#5 ::: Ian Ireland ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 09:57 PM:

For whatever reason (OK, so it's obvious) I'm flashing on Newman's wonderful Anno Dracula, here ...

#6 ::: RiceVermicelli ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 10:20 PM:

I, too, would buy that book, and copies for all of my friends.

The only problem with Jack Aubrey/Lizzy Bennet plot is that Aubrey is involved in so dizzying a romance with his ship's surgeon that they only way either of them can be involved with a girl is to leave her on shore.

#7 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 10:29 PM:

That is why Lizzie must dress herself in men's array.

#8 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 10:30 PM:

My head is spinning with the possibilities. I feel faint!

#9 ::: Another Damned Medie ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 10:35 PM:

I think it would have to be Kitty who's the Slayer, though. Mary ... she's too likely to blame the victim and give them an appropriate Bible verse! I do think that Wickham would be one of those horrible people who try to get the better of Sharpe and ends up utterly ruined, but wouldn't be fun to see Lydia dragged all over the Peninsula before running off to India with a handsome (and living) soldier. The intrepid Mary accompanies her poor uncle Gardiner to India to bring back Lydia, but on the way, she meets the equally censorious St. John Rivers ...

#10 ::: Dan MacQueen ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 10:38 PM:

Actually, in the TV movie Sharpe's Justice, Sharpe does meet someone named Wickham. For the reasons listed on this page, this might actually be a son or nephew of the original.

#12 ::: Jonathan Versen ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 10:45 PM:

this is my favorite Austen rip-off, perhaps because I'm childish.

#13 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 11:00 PM:

There are a series of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mysteries, the first of which is solved when Mrs. Darcy learns to trust her magical powers.

I'm afraid I gave up at that point.

#14 ::: India ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 11:43 PM:

Needs more dragons.

Has also been done here.

#15 ::: India ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 11:45 PM:

Needs more dragons.

Has also been done here.

#16 ::: Amit ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 11:47 PM:

Just in case no one has seen this:
Terminators of Endearment

#17 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 11:48 PM:

Where does Mister Collins fit in? And Lady Catherine de Burgh?

#18 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2007, 11:57 PM:

Y'know the hapless guy who gets eaten by the vampire early on just to show that the vampire is dangerous? That's Mister Collins.

#19 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 12:08 AM:

Shouldn't Lady Catherine be a vampire? Or at least become one, until staked by, um, Charlotte?

#20 ::: janine ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 12:19 AM:

Needs more dragons.

And ninjas.

#21 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 12:44 AM:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a cat in view of a door must be on the other side.

#22 ::: Torie ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 01:27 AM:

#19 Shouldn't Lady Catherine be a vampire? Or at least become one, until staked by, um, Charlotte?

I had the exact same thought! This seems most reasonable. How does Miss Anne fit in, though?

#23 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 01:27 AM:

Lady Catherine would be a great vampire-and it explains why she's so eager to marry her daughter to Mr. Darcy-although maybe Darcy's a vampire.
Julia @ 13-you should hear Connie Willis on the subject of those.

#24 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 02:06 AM:

At least nobody has mentioned that damn fop Sir Percy Blakeney. Why, all this sounds far too dangerous for the fellow.

#25 ::: mk ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 02:34 AM:

I picked up Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (link is to an excerpt) as a light read for my young charge, and read it first to be sure that the material would be suitable for her. The book was a bit tattered by the time it got to her.

#26 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 04:17 AM:

I thought Lady Catherine was the dragon.

#27 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 04:32 AM:

Am I the only one who was left wondering about a very special episode of House involving time travel, vampires, one or more of the Bennet sisters, and (perhaps) an epic smackdown between House and Stephen Maturin?

#28 ::: BuffySquirrel ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:06 AM:

Surely Mr Collins has to inherit Longbourne before he dies, or the estate would go to some other remote male relative, if one could be found. Failing that, it would be Jane's. So, maybe another use for the male attire would be to pretend to be a long-lost cousin?

#29 ::: Del ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:10 AM:

Well, if Hugh Laurie is your thing, then no crossover would be complete without a visit to Carlton House to see the Prince Regent and encounter two of the staff in his household, Mr. Blackadder and Mr. Baldrick.

#30 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:12 AM:

If you're branching out with Hugh Laurie, don't forget to throw Annie Lennox in there somewhere.

#31 ::: Rich ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 08:36 AM:

I encountered, years ago, in now defunct Omni magazine, an alt-history "sequel" of sorts to Pride and Prejudice called Resolve and Resistance in which England has fallen to Napoleon, and the Bennet sisters form the core of the resistance, with Lizzie as the mastermind (natch'), bookish Mary busily inventing all sorts of explosives, and Lydia and Kitty acting as courtesans, seducing French officers to learn military secrets.

I also remembered additional details like Mr. Darcy and/or Mr. Bingley being dead/off fighting in the Caribbean colonies, and Caroline Bingley being a collaborator, serving as a French governor's mistress, but when I actually tracked down the short-story (novella?) these facts appeared nowhere in it. Huh.

I have long wished that the author would do a full-fledged book on this premise. There is an awful lot of dreck out there when it comes to Jane Austen "sequels."

#32 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 09:23 AM:

Why has no one cast Jane Bennet in an adventurous role?

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a writer in need of a plot must steal from Jane Austen.

Or Alexandre Dumas, as in a recent vampire novel I read.

#33 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:07 AM:

Um, Uncle Jim?

Been done. (Almost.)

And Mary in men's clothes? Also done.

I enjoyed both these stories, particularly the second one.

Second the nomination for Resolve and Resistance--wonderful story.

#34 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:07 AM:

The coincidence of names has always intrigued me. Surely there's a way to connect in Lord Darcy, Chief Investigator for His Royal Highness, the Duke of Normandy, and his colleage Master Sorcerer Sean O Lachlainn. There must be a mystery so deep that none but he, or the Duke of London and his assistant Lord Bontriomph, or perhaps the inhabitant of Baker Street, could fathom it.

#35 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:17 AM:

quel faux pas. I meant, of course, the Marquis de London. My apologies, your Lordship.

#36 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:18 AM:

ethan @ 30... If you're branching out with Hugh Laurie, don't forget to throw Annie Lennox in there somewhere

Annie Lennox? Sure. I don't know what she has to do with Laurie, but I'm all for bringing her in.

#37 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:30 AM:

Esther Friesner wrote "Jane's Fighting Ships" back in 1993 for Mike Resnick's Alternate Warriors anthology.

And at this rate, somebody is going to have to collect all of this stuff into Alternate Austens.

#38 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:30 AM:

Madeleine @ #27: (perhaps) an epic smackdown between House and Stephen Maturin

Oh, please, _please_!

#39 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:31 AM:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a young man in possession of power armor must be in want of an interstellar war.

From Bugs and Blather

#40 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:35 AM:

Oh, and I can't give you an Austen/O'Brian crossover (though no doubt one has been done, somewhere) but I actually wrote a Persuasion/Hornblower crossover a while back. It doesn't have much in the way of plot, unfortunately, it's just a bit of fluff.

#41 ::: Kng Rchrd ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:43 AM:

t s trth nvrsll cknwldgd, tht n gng fnts wrtr n th twlght f hs mdcr crr mst pst dl n blgs nd brds n rdr t mntn n smblnc f slf-stm.

Frm Bgs nd Brs f Fnts

#42 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 11:07 AM:

Re: 41: I'm so sorry to hear that. Perhaps taking up a new hobby would restore your enthusiasm and self-confidence.

#43 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 11:11 AM:

King Richard@#41: I perceive that you are new here. Should we know you?

#44 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 11:42 AM:

Serge #36: Annie Lennox + Hugh Laurie (+ John Malkovich) = Walking on Broken Glass.

#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 11:48 AM:

ethan... Thanks. My boss is nearby so I'll have to hold off on more than the glimpse I allowed myself.

Meanwhile, Mags brought up Hornblower crossovers. Didn't David Rintoul play Darcy in the 1980s, and more recently a ship's doctor in one of the Gruffud Hornblower movies?

#46 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 11:59 AM:

"Lizzy Darcy makes the acquaintance of “Lucky Jack” Aubrey, ashore on duty at the Admiralty. Lizzy, encouraged by her sister Mary’s example, dresses in men’s array and ships out with Lucky Jack, where she plays a decisive role in the Battle of Trafalgar."

Aubrey and Maturin were no strangers to time travel, as anyone who has calculated the chronology of the series must be aware. Nevertheless, my recollection is that the pair were in the East Indies at the time of Trafalgar . . .

#47 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 12:21 PM:

My Aubreyad temporal sense is horribly messed up-- I can read that and Hornblower and have very little idea of when I am. O'Brian prefaces some of the later books with the admission that time is not exactly linear any more.

#48 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 12:44 PM:

Bwahahahaaa!

(The management apologizes and wishes to reassure the public that intelligent discourse will recommence as soon as possible.)

#49 ::: L.S. Baird ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 02:01 PM:

I expect that this amazing tour de force of English literature may be found in the bookshop of one Bernard L. Black, right next to The History of Screaming and the Little Book of Calm.


#50 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 02:06 PM:

Jane Austen's Stakes and Screams.

#51 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 02:15 PM:

*swoon*

I want to read these. Each and every one.

#52 ::: Another Damned Medievalist ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 02:30 PM:

Serge at #45 -- yep!

#53 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 02:57 PM:

ethan #44 - now I'm wondering what would happen if Jane Austen had written Les Liaisons dangereuses* and then it had been adapted into a musical. Especially if I were as young and impressionable when I saw it as I was when I first saw Les Liaisons dangereuses on stage.

* Which inevitably leads us back to Buffy, via Cruel intentions

#54 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 03:04 PM:

Dragons and ninja- psha! More pirates, says I!

#55 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 03:08 PM:

#33: Was wondering if someone would mention Lizzy the Vampire Slayer. Ooh, and Resurrecting Mary...hadn't thought about that one in years.

*nostalgia*

#56 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 03:25 PM:

You could have some really nasty vampire types in "Headbanger Abbey".

#57 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 03:27 PM:

LauraJMixon @ 51... I want to read these. Each and every one

Even Austen's Sunlight and Sensitivity? And what about Brontë's Withering Light?

#58 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 03:28 PM:

Not Stakes and Screams-- Vampyrism and Vanity. Peril and Personality.

#59 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 03:48 PM:

Neil Willcox #53: I am mortified that I missed my chance to be the one to add Les Liaisons dangereuses into the mix. I'm an idiot! You win.

(And since you brought up Cruel Intentions, now all of this has kind of morphed into teen drama in my mind, so all the Jane Austen is turning into Clueless...)

#60 ::: Laurie D. T. Mann ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 03:51 PM:

Jim - and I'm sure you've seen the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility, in which Hugh Laurie gets to be nasty for almost the first time in a movie? Up until S&S, he tended to be either broadly comic or silly.

#61 ::: Smurch ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 04:27 PM:

How about a crossover with Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be gay.

I leave it to the reader to figure out a way to insert the vampire theme. Perhaps further cross-fertilization with Anne Rice is the answer.

#62 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 05:03 PM:

I have an explanation for the time weirdness in the O'Brians, which is that Padeen is clearly one of the Sidhe, and messes up the linearity of time whenever he's around.

This totally works.

Oh, and Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility is an excellent adaptation of a novel. I knew it could be done, because of The Princess Bride, but look, the world now has two examples.

#63 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 05:24 PM:

Smurch @ 61

Perhaps further cross-fertilization with Anne Rice is the answer.

Vampires and softcore porn, oh my.

#64 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 05:30 PM:

This is starting to sound like a casting call for a new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume...

#65 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Peter @ 64... Fine by me, as long as there's no Nautilus in the canals of Venice.

#66 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 05:44 PM:

Neil #53 wrote: now I'm wondering what would happen if Jane Austen had written Les Liaisons dangereuses*

Lady Susan, a lesser-known work unpublished until many years after Jane's death, seems heavily influenced by Liaisons. Go ahead, read it, it's not that long, and is delicious fun. The eponymous character is very like to Madame de Merteuil. (I think I spelled that right.) No musical version that I'm aware of, though.

And in Persuasion Anne Elliot and Captain Benwick discuss "The Giaour," which I think in its turn mentions vampyres. Or one vampyre, at least. I thought about writing a vampyre sea-story based on that but never got around to it.

I can't tell you how many Janeites of my acquaintance are also Buffy fans. And not always the ones you would expect, either. It's the humor, I think. Of course, Catherine and Henry Tilney would have been in front of the TV every week ready to watch.

#67 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 05:52 PM:

Laurie @ 60 -- I wouldn't call Mr. Palmer nasty so much as short-tempered and idle. He's what Mr. Bennet might have been had he not had the home farm and the girls to keep his disposition better. When he offers to send for Elinor's mother, you see his true mettle.

Jo @ 63: to Sense and Sensibility and Princess Bride I'd have to add Cider House Rules, which I thought was a really good adaptation of the novel.

#68 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:01 PM:

Hugh Laurie then went on to play a very sarcastic MI6 agent in Spooks, where he butted heads with Matthew Macfayden who then went on to play Mister Darcy.

#69 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:07 PM:

King 41: thnk yr pst hs t mny vwls. Jst m pnn.

Debra 43: While your first statement is true, it seems to me that the answer to your question is an emphatic "No." Indeed the referenced post seems to be a deliberate effort to convince us that the very last thing any of us needs is to make King Richard's acquaintance. I'd also note that he seems largely to be modeled on the third English King of that name, as slandered in Shakespeare.

Bruce 63: Vampires and softcore porn, oh my.

My dear friend, vampires are softcore porn. Unless done by someone with an appalling lack of any sense of drama—such as any Hollywood studio. Besides, you didn't fill all the slots in that formula. Allow me to propose a friendly amendment: "Vampires and Austen and Porn, OH MY!"

#70 ::: Laurie D. T. Mann ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:22 PM:

Mad, I agree he was fairly idle, and he certainly could be decent when called upon. But he was just so constantly snippy, to his wife and his mother-in-law. True, they did deserve it, but...

Best adaptations: I agree on S&S, Princes Bride and Cider House Rules, and I'd also add LOTR: The Fellowship of the Rings and To Kill a Mockingbird.

#71 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:34 PM:

Mags #66 - I had meant to go to bed, but now I'm reading Lady Susan, for which I award you both great credit and also the blame for keeping me up late. It was pretty clear to me at the age of 14 or so that Austen had read Liasons* (although maybe not quite the translation I had). Despite the fact that my introduction to Jane Austen was from being set to read Pride and Prejudice in English, I read all her novels that were in the school libary and, assuming that was it, stopped looking. As I ran into Austen and Liasons at the same time (give or take 6 months or so) the connections have been lurking in my memory ever since.

Just to add one more to the Jane Austen/Buffy connections, while I was in Bath last September, ITV were filming a new adaption of Persuasion; when I got home and looked for details on the internet, who should be playing Sir Walter Elliot but Anthony Stewart Head. Coincidence? You decide.

Now to stop rambling and read Lady Susan instead of going to bed.

* Or, because I had a rather shaky grasp on the order of writing and publication at the time, that Laclos had read Austen and decided to add more sex.

#72 ::: RiceVermicelli ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:59 PM:

Neil @ 71 - I have to cast up a wail of protest at your news that Anthony Stewart Head is playing Sir Walter. The wail sounds a lot like the noise my three-week old son made for most of last night. It is the sound of a soul in hideous torment.

The actor who played beloved Giles, whose absence from the airwaves causes us grave lament, should not, can not, debase himself by offering himself to the public in the guise of the vain and hideous Sir Walter. He should be one of those darling old sea captains (particularly the one with the speech about partings and reunions), or possibly Admiral Croft.

I will take up a collection to pay his rent if, by so doing, I can avert this travesty.

Less artisticly picky parts of me, however, are already cuing the VCR. If this travesty must occur, I want it on tape.

#73 ::: Ross Smith ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 06:59 PM:

Jennifer #55 - The phrase "Lizzy the Vampire Slayer" conjured up an immediate vision of some future Doctor Who episode involving the teenage Princess Liz chasing Nazi vampires around wartime London.

#74 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 07:52 PM:

OT, but I thought Bride and Prejudice was wonderful.

#75 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 08:16 PM:

One can find consolation in the certainty that Anthony Head will be a superb Sir Walter Elliot. O my goodness.

Constance

#76 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:10 PM:

Peter @ 64
( and Serge @ 65 :} )

Thank you for saying it first. As I was reading this, all I could think of was the potential for a "League of Extra-ordinary Gentle-Women"

Mary Bennett, one of Alcott's girls (probably Jo), Jane Porter, Moll Flanders, and an older Estella Havisham (maybe Christina Rosetti, as well?) unite for continental adventures ...

#77 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 10:42 PM:

76: And don't forget Becky Sharp in the role of Avon.

#78 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2007, 11:15 PM:

*coughPersuasionwithTonyHeadavailableonYouTubeifyousearchcreativelycough*

(though I am hearing through the underground that bits of it are being pulled--so make haste!)

The aforementioned adaptation of Persuasion will be aired in the U.S. in November on Masterpiece Theatre, along with new adaptations of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park, recently aired on ITV in the UK, and Sense and Sensibility, which is currently filming and should air in the autumn on the BBC in the UK. I have, through the generosity of the Fangirl Underground, seen the three ITV productions and been quite underwhelmed, though Tony Head produced some of the few laughs I got out of any of them. He's quite good as Sir Walter--silly and vain, just as he ought. But they all were much too short, much too rushed, and except for Persuasion very obviously done as cheaply as possible.

#79 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 12:14 AM:

Re #62:

Oh, and Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility is an excellent adaptation of a novel. I knew it could be done, because of The Princess Bride, but look, the world now has two examples.

Jo, The Princess Bride is not a good example. It's magnificent, it's digressive, it's stodgy in places, and it's extremely long. The publisher had a skilled screenwriter work over the Morgenstern text to produce the abridged version you read. From that degraded "novel," it was straightforward to generate a screenplay. Anyone could have done it.

#80 ::: Tehanu ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 01:47 AM:

#26 ::: Lois Fundis

I thought Lady Catherine was the dragon.

D'oh! I'm kicking myself, why didn't I think of that? Of course she is!

#27 ::: Madeleine Robins

Am I the only one who was left wondering about a very special episode of House involving time travel, vampires, one or more of the Bennet sisters, and (perhaps) an epic smackdown between House and Stephen Maturin?

Not Maturin, I think. Scaramouche.

#34 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers)

The coincidence of names has always intrigued me. Surely there's a way to connect in Lord Darcy, Chief Investigator for His Royal Highness, the Duke of Normandy, and his colleage Master Sorcerer Sean O Lachlainn.

I never have thought it was a coincidence, even though it's Lord D'Arcy -- "the lord of Arcy," Garrett calls him at one point.

#45 ::: Serge

Meanwhile, Mags brought up Hornblower crossovers. Didn't David Rintoul play Darcy in the 1980s, and more recently a ship's doctor in one of the Gruffud Hornblower movies?

yes to both questions. He played Darcy in the first BBC production, which I still think is better than the Colin Firth one (and I love Colin Firth, but I couldn't stand that smirking girl).

74 ::: Lila

OT, but I thought Bride and Prejudice was wonderful.

Not OT at all! and so did I. Especially the musical numbers! It just proves you can't go wrong with Jane.

#81 ::: bad Jim ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 04:00 AM:

Voi che sapete is a "rather dull song"? That is blasphemy, sir.

#82 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 05:12 AM:

Dozy! Missed that ITV had aired Persusasion by being in France (plus I don't get to watch television during the cricket world cup).

#83 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 06:14 AM:

Mags said (#66):
And in Persuasion Anne Elliot and Captain Benwick discuss "The Giaour," which I think in its turn mentions vampyres. Or one vampyre, at least. I thought about writing a vampyre sea-story based on that but never got around to it.

Which prompted me to look up "The Giaour" on Wikipedia. Where I found this (unintentionally) wonderful little snippet:

The Giaour is also notable for its mention of vampires. After having told how the Giaour killed Hassan, the Ottoman narrator predicts that in punishment for his crime, the Giaour will be condemned to become a vampire after his death and to kill his own dear ones by drinking their blood, to his own frightful torment as well as theirs. Byron became acquainted with vampires while on his grand tour.

Byron became acquainted with vampires while on his grand tour? It's in Wikipedia, so it must be true. (And here I was thinking that Tim Powers made it all up.)

#84 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 08:44 AM:

Tehanu @ 80

It just proves you can't go wrong with Jane.

Or with Gurinder Chadha. What other brilliant writer-director has the urbanity to include her recipes in the DVD extras?

#85 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 09:17 AM:

The works of Dennis Wheatley may provide inspiration for supernatural "secret history", with assorted heroes stopping evil magicians out to destroy England. Mix in a dose of quasi-Arthurian significance for the King, and you get several books already published. "Lammas Night", by Katherine Kurtz, comes to mind.

In a way, I think it's boring. How could Aubrey and Maturin work if we had a magic-user instead of a physician? Maturin is immensely valuable to Jack and his crew, but he doesn't win battles.

On the other hand, some of the lesser naval heroes are closer to action heroes. Look at Dudley Pope's Ramage, still solidly based in history, but not so real. And the first adventure in that series is a good opportunity to pitch young Ramage into something different.

#86 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 09:44 AM:

27: Am I the only one who was left wondering about a very special episode of House involving time travel, vampires, one or more of the Bennet sisters, and (perhaps) an epic smackdown between House and Stephen Maturin?

As it happens...there's at least one House/P&P crossover, plus a House/S&S-movie crossover (Mrs Bennet, daughters in tow, and Hugh-Laurie-as-Mr Palmer, respectively, as clinic patients). They were holiday gifts, written to prompts from the recipients, on Livejournal; I'd link but the journal they're in isn't public.

#87 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 11:15 AM:

Ross Smith (#73): The phrase "Lizzy the Vampire Slayer" conjured up an immediate vision of some future Doctor Who episode involving the teenage Princess Liz chasing Nazi vampires around wartime London.

It made *me* think of our own Lizzy L. (the Bay Area one I knew, yes?), as a martial arts pro and exorcist.

#88 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 11:25 AM:

One could go on forever with Buffy-Austen connections. Here's Marc Blucas in the forthcoming The Jane Austen Book Club.

#89 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 03:25 PM:

I suppose Sir Lucas is her Watcher.

Sir William Lucas or Sir William. Forename is essential.

#90 ::: JerolJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 03:58 PM:

Every time I get asked to read fan fiction and it happens a little too much, it disappoints 90% of the time. And really it has so much promise, so many possibilities to expand certain fictional universes, worlds that were barely explored or explained.

I was pressed to read a novella once called the Eighth Wealey, which surmised that Willow Rosenberg could be a missing Weasley daughter. That's right, Buffy crossed with HP. And while the premise was good the delivery was painful. Still, I did reread the part where Buffy knocks the snot out of Draco Malfoy in Knockturn Alley.

#91 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 04:23 PM:

Peter @ 83: The posthumous fate of The Giaour reminds me of that one Space Ghost Coast To Coast episode wherein he ate Emo Phillips all up, with ketchup.

Perhaps the little alien who cursed SG made a bit of a pit-stop in the early 19th century?

#92 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 04:26 PM:

JerolJ @ 90: I was pressed to read a novella once called the Eighth Wealey, which surmised that Willow Rosenberg could be a missing Weasley daughter.

I am...riveted. Was it ever explained whether the Weasleys were Jewish or that Willow was...whatever the Weasleys are?

#93 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 04:40 PM:

Forename is essential.

True - otherwise you're liable to misinterpret the news that Mr. Ferrars has gotten married.

#94 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 04:42 PM:

Serge @65: Fine by me, as long as there's no Nautilus in the canals of Venice.

I read that, and visualized a miniaturized Nautilus floating in an ear canal (as in Fantastic Voyage). So what if Jules Verne wrote an analog of Fantastic Voyage in keeping with the medical knowledge of his day?

#95 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 04:57 PM:

I don't think Verne would have gone for that, Rob. He didn't go much for things that were way outside of the known physics of his day. Still, a steampunk version of Fantastic Voyage... Maybe with Agatha Heterodyne...

#96 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 07:02 PM:

Agatha Heterodyne

Brings to mind the thought that Willow Rosenberg would make an excellent Spark...

#97 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 08:35 PM:

Rob Rusick #94: It wouldn't have had a role for Raquel Welch.

#98 ::: Scott D-S ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 09:32 PM:

Michael @ 94:

...not to mention Winifred Burkle (heart leaping)

#99 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2007, 10:36 PM:

JerolJ at #90: Every time I get asked to read fan fiction and it happens a little too much, it disappoints 90% of the time.

Fan fiction disappoints? Oh, cheer up. I usually feel that way about professional fiction.

#100 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 12:58 AM:

JerolJ @90:

If only 90% of the fanfic you read sucks, I want to know where you're looking! (Certainly can't be ff.net, as the percentage there is closer to about 99.999%)

As for Mary Bennet's Watcher, I'd speculate that Mr Bennet was a member of the Council of Watchers, and was always a little disappointed that Lizzy didn't show form, as it were. Certainly he's a much better candidate for the job than Sir William Lucas.

#101 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 03:29 AM:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a bookish young woman in possession of excessive free time is in wont of a supernatural infestation.

I don't really see Mary as a Slayer type. Really, if you're going to follow the Buffy mold, pre-Slayer, Christian Slater-obsessed Buffy is like no one so much as Kitty. Imagine: Kitty flirts with a vamp at a party, and when she's attacked, she uses her nascent Slayer powers and dusts him. Her Watcher waltzes on stage, gives the "Into every generation" speech, and is promptly killed by a vampire in order to Show That This Really Is Serious. However, he'd brought his library with him, leaving behind something for Mary to read that's more interesting than all that stultifyingly moralistic claptrap she's been surrounded with since birth.

Oh, and Wickham isn't really a nasty bastard--he's an amateur vampire hunter who started out when he discovered that Darcy's little sis is a vamp--Darcy walked in on him trying to kill her, and took it the wrong way. His apparent dissolution is just a cover for his questionable slaying-related activities and an excuse to get him into brothels (a hotbed of vampire activity). Kitty teams up with him to investigate Darcy: how complicit is he in his sister's predations? Is Lizzy in danger?

Of course, all this is before the zombies show up.

#102 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 10:23 AM:

After Mr. Collins' unfortunate early death (from a sudden disease with signs and symptoms nearly indistinguishable from arsenic poisoning), and after the death of Mr. Bennet, Charlotte takes possession of Longbourn . . .

#28: Surely Mr Collins has to inherit Longbourne before he dies, or the estate would go to some other remote male relative, if one could be found.

This is belated, but Mr. Collins does mention "his expectation of a young olive branch." So Charlotte is in fact holding Longbourn for her son until he comes of age.

#103 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 10:34 AM:

Or, perhaps, the distant male relative is an officer in the regulars, one Captain Harkness....

#104 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 02:58 PM:

#92 Aconite, there have been some very tangled Willow fanfics. One solution, proposed by Marcus Rowland in Family Issues, was adoption.

I know what folks mean about bad fanfic. I don't think any of my stuff has escaped onto the net--it's too old--but I hope my command of the basic mechanics of prose was at least adequate.

#105 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2007, 02:12 AM:

Whoops! I meant that Lydia should be the Slayer, not Kitty. Silly me. Kitty, of course, uses her developing powers as a spiritual medium to help her sisters investigate the Darcys. Being able to speak with the spirits of the dead certainly helps with tracking down vampires--unless you accidentally call up a spirit of one! Hijinks, as is their wont, ensue.

#106 ::: clew ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2007, 09:47 PM:

The urge to relate everyone to everyone annoys me, but I have to remind myself that one gets the same impression from the actual history in, say, Down, the home of the Darwins.

Clearly, my next task is to bring in Trollope. Madame Max Goesler would be an excellent Slayer, one of the few who survived to adulthood and knows how to manipulate the English upper-watchery.

#107 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 08:06 AM:

It is a cliche universally adopted, that a young Captain in search of prize money will find himself off Cape Trafalgar on the 21st October 1805.

And I suspect that if you counted the number of ships involved you would find the French and Spanish to be overwhelmed by aggressively commanded frigates.

#108 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 09:00 AM:

"Whoops! I meant that Lydia should be the Slayer, not Kitty. "

Lydia oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia,

Lydia, the vampire slayer.

oh you should introduce her

to your latest undead daughter

she prefers holy water to slaughter

please it lord you award her,

Good Lydia that saved your honor


Lydia oh Lydia, have you met Lydia

She's really quite refined

She nevers kills the new woke dead

by cutting off their garlicky heads

until they've been out to dine


Lydia oh lydia, that encyclopedia,

oh Lydia, the slayer's incarnation -

at her back is a quiver of wooden stakes

for impaling various reborn rakes

oh She hates all forms of necromancy

and loves thinning the ghoulish aristocracy,

oh you could learn a lot from Lydia!

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la


#109 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 09:34 AM:

Dave Bell @ 107: And I suspect that if you counted the number of ships involved you would find the French and Spanish to be overwhelmed by aggressively commanded frigates.

In some version of reality, those ships are made of pieces of the True Cross.

#110 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 10:36 AM:

Fragano @ 97... Indeed.

#111 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 11:40 AM:

Dave Bell @ 107: And I suspect that if you counted the number of ships involved you would find the French and Spanish to be overwhelmed by aggressively commanded frigates.

Aconite @109: In some version of reality, those ships are made of pieces of the True Cross.

I can't help thinking that pieces of the ark* would be more logical. Which then begs the question, what would happen if Noah turned up at the Battle of Trafalgar? But I should probably not pursue this.

(The ark is roughly twice as big as HMS Victory in length and height, and half as wide again)

* Noah's Ark, not the Ark of Covenant

#112 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 02:50 PM:

bryan @ 108: Did I ever tell you about the time I staked a vampire in my pajamas? What he was doing in my pajamas, I'll never know.

#113 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 05:21 PM:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that
I have used
the plot
that was in
your notes

and which
you were probably
saving
for the sequel

Forgive me
it was ripe
so sweet
and so classic

#114 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 11:35 PM:

I believe that when a plot is ripe it is anything but sweet and classic.

#115 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2007, 11:47 PM:

there seems to be no dickens in this thread. I am disgusted.

The slayer of the previous generation died at an early age, preyed upon by the malicious undead dwarf 'Quilp'.

The task of the new slayer, should she choose to accept it, is to track this nefarious creature down over the rooftops of London and put an end to him.

#116 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 12:56 AM:

Dave Bell @ 107, I have at times speculated on just how overcrowded the House of Lords would be if the fictional nobility of Regency London showed up and did their duty.
Not to mention how the collective inheritances of fictional heiresses would affect the economy of Georgian England. Almacks would have to move to 24 hr service with the Patronesses working shifts.
-Barbara

#117 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 03:34 AM:

bryan @ 108: That is fabulous.

#118 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 10:47 AM:

Heresiarch @ 117, brian @ 108

Yes, it's quite, er, lovely. Though it does beg the question of exactly what Groucho Marx is doing in early 19th Century London, and who he is doing it to. My bet is that he's taken on the massive job of showing the English Watchers Society for the stuffy fools they are. I would surmise a covert op (for very Marxian values of "covert") in which scenes from the Marx brothers movies are re-enacted with the usual jabs at buffoons played by actual Watchers (picture "Horse Feathers" at Oxford).

#119 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 12:30 PM:

Harpo as the slayer?

----

Harpo and Chico walking down a foggy london street.

Chico: AHMS, AHMS,
AHMS, AHMS

Harpo: HONK, HONK

A Bobby stops them: Hey, you can't beg here!

Chico: Oh no boss, we're not begging.
Bobby: No? Then what was all that about Alms?
Chico: Alms, ha hah ha boss at's a good one, at's a good. No boss, we no said nothing about alms we said ahms, at's a different thing. Hey Oliver (slaps Harpo on chest) show da man.
Harpo: Lifts leg, puts it in the Bobby's hand. grins.
Policeman throws leg down.
Chico: No, no at's a not right, at's a all wrong, not the lig the ahm the ahm.
Harpo: starts grinning and nodding his head. Unrolls the sleeve of his jacket. unrolls the sleeve of his sweater. unrolls the sleeve of his flannel workmans shirt
Chico: at's a fine at's a fine, wait until you see this boss.

close up of Harpo's arm as he continues to unroll a progression of sleeves - nightshirt, pirate's shirt, bobby's jacket... he stops. looks puzzled. rolls back down, starts to roll up again.

Chico: hey where you get dat, hey boss, he got a suit just like yours! looks at bobby, bobby is pissed off, standing in street with out jacket, slapping his nightstick into his hand.

Bobby: come here you!!!

Harpo and Chico run.

Bobby chases.

As they run through the street Harpo starts to take off his shirts and throw them back, they hit the Bobby in his face but he throws them angrily aside and keeps chasing. Finally he takes off the bobby's jacket, now he only has his nightshirt. He goes back and tries to have a tug of war with the bobby for the jacket. Chico come back. whenever one seems to be winning the tug of war Chico is telling the one loosing - ah no, you don't let him do that, it's a your jacket. Finally the jacket splits up the middle.
Chico: At's a good, at's a what I like to see. Bobby sits down on the curb and starts crying. Harpo takes out pair of scissors and cuts his suspenders, hands them to Chico.

Chico: No, I can't stand the suspense.

Harpo goes back and starts to cut the bobby's pants, the bobby notices, gets up, tries to hit them with his nightstick, pants falls down around ankles, he tries to run, falls flat on face, Chico and Harpo run off.

#120 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 12:45 PM:

later.

Chico and Harpo walking down same street:

Chico: ALMS, ALMS

Groucho approaches stage left: Hey boy!
Chico runs up: You called boss?
Groucho: That depends, are you a boy?
Chico: sure boss, I'm a street urchin!
Groucho: Street urchin? Really, is that a nice job?

Chico: Oh shore, shore, if you gots yourself a nice street to urch on you can't go wrong.

Groucho: looks into the camera; My father was arrested for urching on a public street once and now they let anybody do it. Say you, who's your friend.
Chico: Who boss?
Groucho: Him.
Chico: Him Who?
Groucho: he's an indian? Somebody get me casting, this picture's all screwed up.
Chico: Oh you mean him here boss, no he's not my friend.
Groucho: Lucky fellow
Harpo: smiles nods, doffs hat, shows cuckoo clock underneath, puts hat back on.
Groucho: what's his name?
Chico: His name. Well i don't like to say.
Groucho: That's alright I don't like to hear.
Chico: His name is Oliver.
Groucho: Do you mean to tell me that you're a street urchin, and your friend's name is Oliver?
Chico: shore shore, at's what I've been trying to tell you all day.
Groucho: Oliver Twist?
Harpo: starts dancing.
Chico: oh now you done it boss.
Groucho: I did didn't I? My god, what have I done.

#121 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 01:06 PM:

Chico gets Harpo calmed down, Harpo looks to Groucho with an expectant smile on his face.
Groucho: Well, that was uh.. quite something!
Harpo looks upset.
Groucho (extremely politely): yes well, it certainly has been very interesting meeting you young urchin, and your companion, and I really hope we can do it again sometime but due to extremely urgent affairs of state..
Harpo starts laughing and waving his hand to indicate that something is hot.
Chico: Ah I had an affair in the states once myself. At's why I'm here.
Groucho: Like I didn't see that one coming.
Chico: Ey, watch your linguini, we're a family show.
Groucho: ok.
Chico:ok
Groucho:ok, Chico:ok Harpo: Honk!
pause
Groucho:OKLet'strythatagain! I'm leaving, goodbye!
Chico: Leaving, boss, at's a fine idea we'll go with you.
Groucho: I'm staying.
Chico: us too, you couldn't pay us to leave.
Groucho: I couldn't?
Chico: Nope. But don't take my word for it. Just try and do it.

#122 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 01:11 PM:

hmm, looks like I've got to eat dinner.

#123 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 01:40 PM:

Groucho: Listen, I have very important business to do. Do you see this case I'm carrying?

Chico: At's a nice case.

Groucho: why, thank you.
Chico: how much you want for it?
Groucho: oh well lets see, they use pounds over here don't they.
Chico: oh at's ok, I take dollars too.
Groucho: Shilling?
Chico: Only part time when urching don't pay so good.
Groucho: pence
Harpo hands him a pen.
Groucho: okay I'll write you a check.
Chico: no at's no good I can't read.
Groucho: well that's fine I can't write - puts pen in back pocket.
Harpo cuts out back pocket get pen back.
Chico: sure you can't write, at explains it!
Groucho: That explains what?
Chico: The screenplay.

#124 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 01:56 PM:

Groucho: well I have a pressing engagement at the Watchers club.

starts to leave
Chico: oh I got pressed into an engagement once, and Oliver's been clubbed for watching.
Harpo: whistles, pulls out binoculars, whistles, pulls out telescope, double whistles.
Groucho: well I wish you two could tag along.

starts running.
Chico and Harpo starts running after him.
They run into a square, Groucho jumps into a cab, and yells 'To the Watchers club, and hurry!' Chico and Harpo jump on the back and shake hands.


#125 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 03:51 PM:

Bravo, bryan! These are great!

#126 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 07:57 PM:

Scene: The Watchers club. Various watchers are milling about. Front and center is Lady Winterbothom and a very dignified fellow, Lord Alfred Jingle.

Jingle: "So Lady Winterbothom have you reconsidered my offer?"

Lady Winterbothom: "My dear Lord Jingle I couldn't possibly marry you yet, you must know that my heart is given to the famous Dr. T. Jackson Spatula, who cured the zombie infestation of Anchorage, Alaska with nothing but a team of sled dogs and his Necronomicon"

Jingle: "I understand, I myself am quite interested in meeting this paragon of Watchers"

Suddenly there is a commotion in the reception hall, the sound of a bugle can be heard to blow. Groucho comes running into the room, blowing a bugle, dressed like Teddy Roosevelt and wearing an inverted eye in the pyramid around his neck.

#127 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 08:11 PM:

More bravos, Bryan! These cry out to be performed.

#128 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2007, 08:30 PM:

Clifton @127, " These cry out to be performed" ... at the next ~con, as long as it doesn't clash with the Eye of Argon reading (recently the talk at Pharyngula)

#129 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 05:31 AM:

Groucho runs around the room a couple of times, blowing his horn, finally ends up in front of Lady Winterbothom and Lord Jingle. Jingle steps back a bit and looks at a nearby Vase.

Lady Winterbothom: Why my dear Dr. Spatula whatever are you doing?
Groucho: It's called making an entrance, you should try it sometime.
Lady Winterbothom (charmingly pointing out the obvious): But I'm already here
Groucho: Ok, try making an exit then. I'd have to use a bulldozer on a building of this quality, but you've got the build for it.
Lady Winterbothom: Dr. Spatula!
Groucho: Lady Winterbothom - I love you. There I said it, and I don't regret it. Much.
Lady Winterbothom: I don't know what to say.
Groucho: Well don't change your state of natural ignorance on my account, I like my women like I like my dockworkers, big and dumb.
Lady Winterbothom: Dr. Spatula!
Groucho: Lady Winterbothom!
Lady Winterbothom: Dr. Spatula, I would like to call you by your first name, what does the T stand for? I have done a lot of research and never been able to find out.

Groucho steps back, puts his hand to his chin and looks like he is in deep contemplation. He reaches into his jacket and pulls out a book, the camera focuses in and we sees it is 'A Children's Alphabet for High Society', he flips through some pages, reads, closes book, put it back into pocket, turns back to Lady Winterbothom and announces: The T stands for Train.
Lady Winterbothom: Train?
Groucho: Lady!
Lady Winterbothom: Your name is Train Jackson Spatula?
Groucho: Call me Dr. Spatula. Better yet call me Spats, I'd like that. It's a very romantic name don't you think? Spats?
Lady Winterbothom: (giggles) Spats.
Groucho looks shocked: such language. I'm shocked! Is this how you high society dames conduct yourselves?

Jingle walks closer

Lady Winterbothom: Oh Dr. Spatula, I would like to introduce you to Lord Jingle.

Jingle holds out his hand. Groucho looks at it.
Groucho: Say, you wouldn't happen to be related to the Advertising Jingles would you?
Jingle: I don't think so.
Groucho: That's too bad, cause they're the only kind of Jingles I like.

#130 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 06:27 AM:

Jingle withdraws hand, insulted, turns to Lady Winterbothom: My Dear Lady Winterbothom I..
Groucho puffs out chest and leans aggressively towards Jingle: Oh trying to make time with my girl hey, and after I had the nerve to refuse to shake your hand too.
Lady Winterbothom: Dr. Spatula!
Groucho: Madam, I'm adam.
Jingle snorts.
Groucho: I dare you to say that again outside.
Jingle: Are you challenging me?
Groucho: To go outside? sure! I'd like you to see you do it.
Jingle(extremely annoyed): Just what are you a Dr. of Dr. Spatula?
Groucho: Paper.
Jingle: Paper?
Groucho: Sure, I can Dr. a Paper better than anyone. You look like the kind of fellow that could use a good doctored Paper too, now that I think of it. If it will help your degrees you can think of me as the friendly Paper upper.

#131 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 06:36 AM:

Jingle: Lady Winterbothom, this man is impossible.
Groucho (turns and talks to screen): and this from a Dickens character in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer bit of fan fiction! (wiggles eyebrows)
Jingle starts to leave, Lady Winterbothom is upset and tries to get him to stay but to no avail.

#132 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 06:40 AM:

this reminds me that I haven't read pickwick papers in nearly three years, because I can't do Jingle anymore. Then again I am not sure if he would fit in a Marxian Universe.

I figure though as he is an older Jingle things it is okay.

Maybe Groucho should meet Pecksniff.
hmmmm

#133 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 07:08 AM:

Lady Winterbothom returns to Groucho.
Lady Winterbothom: Dr. Spatula, we are so happy to have you here, I am sure you can help us hunt down and find who the awful undead fiend is that has been terrorizing the city.
Groucho: No.
Lady Winterbothom: But why not?
Groucho: It sounds boring.
Lady Winterbothom: Oh But Dr. Spatula I assure you it is not. It is awfully exciting. And to help you I think I should introduce you to our best watcher.

Groucho: I hope he's like the last guy you introduced me to, easy to get rid of.

A bell can be heard to ring in the outer hall.

Lady Winterbothom: I believe that's him now.

Chico and Harpo enters from the outer hall.
Lady Winterbothom: Yes it's him. And he has somebody with him.

#134 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 07:12 AM:

hmm, I have about 3 more of these to do figured out. but I should probably get to work.

#135 ::: Therese Norén ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 07:50 AM:

bryan, 134: And the margin is too small?

#136 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 08:11 AM:

Chico and Harpo walk up.
Groucho: You two look familiar.
Chico: Nah boss, I'm an only child. And he's an orphan.
Lady Winterbothom: Watcher Chicolinie, I would like very much to introduce to you the very famous Dr. T. Jackson Spatula from America.
Chico: no I don't believe it.
Lady Winterbothom: What don't you believe.
Chico: Any of it.
Groucho: I believe less of it than you do.
Harpo steps over, scowls, throws his hat on the ground, stomps on it, and waves his hand like an umpire signaling.
Groucho: oh a nihlist eh!
Chico: Are you kidding me, no way, you're looking at the new Slayer here.
claps Harpo on the back, Harpo grins, shakes Lady Winterbothom's hand, turns, we see he now has Lady Winterbothom's bracelet on wrist. Shakes Groucho's hand, Groucho turns to the screen:
I'm lucky the wristwatch hasn't been invented yet.

#137 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 08:34 AM:

Bryan,

Way to go! A truly scholarly explication of the role of Chaos in defeating Evil.

#138 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 10:41 AM:

Lady Winterbothom: The new slayer! how exciting.
Groucho: Does he do any tricks.
Chico: Does he do any tricks? Does he do any tricks.
Groucho: That's what I want to know.
Chico: Does he do any tricks. Watch this.
chico whistles
Harpo stands up, nodding, smiling. backflips from standing position, lands with a bicycle horn in each hand: Honk! Honk!
Chico: Ey, ey, at's not right. at's no good.
Harpo hangs his head, looks sad.
Chico: you can't slay the undead with horns, its unhysterical. whats wrong with you? no, try again.

turns to Groucho: watch this boss.
Harpo backflips from standing position, lands, tossing two stakes at a nearby statue. The stakes make a BOING sound and flips back to his hand.

Chico: No no, those stakes are rubber. at's no good either.
Groucho to Lady Winterbothom: Rubber steaks, have you been cooking again?
Lady Winterbothom: No-
Groucho: Well don't start.
Chico: we want wooden stakes.
Groucho: Okay you can cook after all.

#139 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 02:44 PM:

hmm, actually I guess at this rate I have 11 more to do. There's still Chico and Harpo's musical numbers, Lord Jingle sending secret messages to the head vampire during the musical number, Groucho nearly getting vamped, Royal Ascot, Baker Street - chico, harpo, and the bobby part 2.
Harpo chasing the cute girl vampire -HONK! HONK! lots of stuff.

but I guess I will need to do my work now, also order a pizza and ice cream.

#140 ::: Michael Turyn ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2007, 05:32 PM:

Meg: The "Lord Ruthven" to which the poster referred is the title character in Dr Polidor's "The Vampire", which I believe is also the source for an opera by Marschner. I've not read the book, and the precis of the plot of the opera I read thirty years ago is unmemorable except for Ruthven's needing moonlight to survive.

From what little I know of the character, he seems a more direct literary ancestor of Count Dracula than is Varney. He's a key player in a couple of Kim Newman books, having the habit of ending up in government every fifty years or so.


Gilbert appropriated the name for his Lord Murgatroyd, quite well, even though (at least in Merka) it gets mispronounced a lot---it should, of course, be pronounced "Ruth"-lessly.

#141 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2007, 12:39 AM:

Bryan, I've been waiting patiently and wearing out the Refresh icon for you to continue "Groucho & Co. meet Dickens and prepare to slay the EEvildoers."

Please? Please?

#142 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 07:08 AM:

--starting from part where Groucho said you can cook after all--

Harpo comes over, pulls out roast chicken and small butane lighter, starts rotating chicken over flame of lighter.

Chico: no not you, her. (points at lady Winterbothom)
Harpo points at her, with questioning look.
Chico: Yeah her, she can cook.
Groucho: Have you no shame with your lies?
Harpo beguns to laugh silently, slaps his knee.
Lady Winterbothom looks perturbed. turns partially away.
Harpo slaps her ass.
She whirls backaround.
Lady Winterbothom: Really!

#143 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2007, 01:20 AM:

Harpo thrusts groin at lady Winterbothom, puts left hand in pants and honks horn.

honk honk.

Lady Winterbothom is flabbergasted.

Lady Winterbothom: Watcher Chicolini, your new slayer lacks manners.

Chico: Nah, he ain't never locked a manor. He's a repressible street urchin.
Groucho(to the camera): Somebody should have repressed the writer of that gag.
Chico: You just ain't whistlin dixie boss.
Groucho (with a far away look in his eye): Dixie?!

Harpo starts marching around, pulls out a tin flute, and whistling dixie.

Groucho starts dancing, and Chico stamps the floor with his feet.
Groucho: Oh I wish I was in dixie hurray, hurray
Chico: hurray hurray
Groucho: dixie dixie dixie, hurray hurray
Chico: hurray hurray
Groucho: dixie dixie dixie, or maybe even trixie
Chico: hurray hurray
Groucho: dixie dixie dixie dixie dixie dixie
Chico: hurray hurray hurray hurray...(continues singing hurray and stomping feet)
Groucho stops after a bit, gets out cigar, watches Chico: hurray hurray hurray...
Chico looks up at Groucho: hurray hurray help me out here boss hurray hurray....
Groucho looks a bit longer and suddenly shouts: Dixie.
The boys finish with jazz hands at the camera.


After which they all shake hands.
Groucho shakes hands with Chico, Chico turns shakes hands with Harpo, Harpo shakes hands with Groucho, Groucho continues shaking Harpos hand and Harpo starts to shake hands with Chico, Chico shakes hands with Lady Winterbothom.

Lady Winterbothom: Well I never!
Groucho: At your age? Don't you think its time you start?
Groucho shakes hands with Lady Winterbothom, now everybody is shaking two hands.
Lady Winterbothom(coquettish): Ohh Professor Spatula.
Harpo lifts his legs off the ground, he is being shaken in the air by Chico and Groucho.
Chico: Spatula? you related to Lord Spatula?
Groucho: Yeah, blood relation.
Chico: blood is thicker than water.
Groucho: you never miss the water til the well runs off.
Chico: you can lead a horse to the racetrack but you can't come in second.
Lady Winterbothom: Dr. Spatula I am becoming tired with all this shaking.
Groucho: that's because it's your first time toots, you'll get better.
Chico: there's no time like the first time.
Groucho: time waits for no man.
Chico: no man is iceland.
Harpo tries to put his feet up on Groucho's and Chico's extended arms.

#144 ::: finmaigk ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2007, 12:20 PM:

You have to add in Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell some how.

#145 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 11:09 AM:

just then a beautiful blond walks through. Harpo sees her, falls down, jumps up slaps his own ass and starts chasing after her.
Chico steps out of the group shaking hands, only Groucho and Lady Winterbothom are shaking hands now. Chico: Ey, 'ere goes my trademarker!
starts running after Harpo, we see them running around, the blond chased by Harpo chased by Chico.

Groucho drops lady Winterbothom's hand, puts his own hands at his lapels and announces disgustedly: Let that be a lesson to you!

#146 ::: Zed Lopez ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2009, 03:07 PM:

Totally late to this party, but I wanted to mention that there's a maybe canonical Buffyverse Austen pastiche, "Presumption" by Jane Espenson, in Tales of the Slayers.

#147 ::: Vic ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2009, 08:29 AM:

I am currently reading Mr. Darcy, Vampyre Slayer. You were years ahead of the current craze and could have made a killing. Frankly, I like your plot better.

#148 ::: Gypsy4ever ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2010, 09:17 PM:

From #76 Thank you for saying it first. As I was reading this, all I could think of was the potential for a "League of Extra-ordinary Gentle-Women"

Mary Bennett, one of Alcott's girls (probably Jo), Jane Porter, Moll Flanders, and an older Estella Havisham (maybe Christina Rosetti, as well?) unite for continental adventures ...


I love this idea. But we need to add Christine Daae to the mix.

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