Monday, 8 November 2010

A series-ful of classic Who plots: The Celebrity Historical

5: Stumbling Into History (and wishing you had an autograph book)

A subset, but common enough to get its own entry since I'm doing the Historicals today, the Celebrity Historical is a (pseudo)historical where the travellers meet someone famous, and the monsters often have something to do with the guest star's place in history.

There are degrees of "celebrity" of course. Tooth And Claw assumed more knowledge of Queen Victoria on the part of the audience than The Girl In The Fireplace did of Madame de Pompadour.

Since they're dealing with real historical figures in family entertainment, they don't want to cause offence and tend to "print the legend" rather than go for any grim real details.

The ones about historical figures that the travellers (and writers) would like to meet show their subjects being heroic, bravely facing their monsters and having a hand in saving the day.

In terms of typical plot points, these are pretty much Pseudohistoricals with the addition of starry guest casting.


Example: Mind's Eye

1816, and newlywed Mary Shelley is still unsure whether to publish her novel Frankenstein. Would the moral be enough to prevent scientists pursuing such a course, she wonders...

She decides to publish, anonymously, after meeting the travellers, while aiding them in stopping a rogue combat clone from the year 2124 who has come back in time to kill her and prevent the inspiration for cloning from taking place. Her work will indeed inspire such thought - but on the whole it will be for the betterment of humanity.

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