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canuckuk


Member

Posted Thu Feb 12th, 2009 9:45pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
Please forgive this, but I couldn't help myself.

And I don't know why I find this so funny.

What if Speckled Jim had lived? How would the world have been different?

I'm off to have a little lie down now.

X

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erik


Member

Posted Thu Feb 12th, 2009 11:10pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
What if Speckled Jim had lived? How would the world have been different?


Well... If General Melchett hadn't been distracted by the murder of his "lovely, innocent pigeon", he would have given Blackadder his order to advance right there and then.
So it would either
A: Have resulted in a succesful briliant plan, so Blackadder, George and Baldrick survived.
B: Have resulted in the series ending at that episode.

Note that it had little to no effect on Melchett. We see the same sort of thing when 'Georgina' is 'killed'. He reacts not with feelings so much as with a pigheaded idea of how feelings are meant to make you react.
During the court scene, Melchett doesn't seem all that out of balance (compared to his usual behaviour). He's being his usual mad self, with the occasional abuse ("the Flanders pigeon murderer!") thrown in. He is only apparently affected by emotion when he chooses to be. Also, there is no anger in the following episode, everything is forgotten.
But, of course, this is comedy, so most of the above is pretty useless.

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michael


Member

Posted Fri Feb 13th, 2009 2:22am Post subject: Speckled Jim
Please forgive this, but I couldn't help myself.

And I don't know why I find this so funny.

What if Speckled Jim had lived? How would the world have been different?



i would be a little hungrier

"HELLO I'M TACTILE !" is an anagram of my name

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canuckuk


Member

Posted Fri Feb 13th, 2009 8:35am Post subject: Speckled Jim
Erik, are you suggesting that Melchett was responding to the loss not of the external, tangible Speckled Jim, but to the internal, metaphorical Speckled Jim within. It was the loss of his possession, not the entity of Speckled Jim, god rest his birdie soul, himself that inflamed the passions of Melchett thus? X

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erik


Member

Posted Fri Feb 13th, 2009 12:27pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
Very astute, Canuckuk, but I fear you dress me with insights I haven't the capacity for.
I think you may well be right. Yes, Melchett probably reacted not out of sorrow or from a feeling of any loss, but rather from a selfrighteous "who-dare-cross-me" sort of attitude.

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canuckuk


Member

Posted Fri Feb 13th, 2009 12:44pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
In an attempt to reach greater understanding via this thought thread, could we therefore construe that the continued existence of Speckled Jim may have fostered conditions that would inevitably climax with the Speckled Jim within ultimately quanofying the Nelson's Column within. X

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erik


Member

Posted Sat Feb 14th, 2009 10:49pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
quanofying

*reaches for dictionary, looks up, finds nothing, puts dictionary back*

I haven't the foggiest.


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canuckuk


Member

Posted Sat Feb 14th, 2009 11:50pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
Didn't want to say "poo"! Quano actually comes out of seabirds, but it's just a damn fine word, so I took the opportunity. X

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erik


Member

Posted Sun Feb 15th, 2009 12:24am Post subject: Speckled Jim
Didn't want to say "poo"! Quano actually comes out of seabirds, but it's just a damn fine word, so I took the opportunity. X

I should have run with my initial thought of the similarity with the word 'guano'.

The image of the internal Speckled Jim of Melchett and the internal Nelson's Column is an important one.
Speckled Jim is a link to Melchett's childhood, unburdened and flying with ease, with not a care in the world. Nelson's Column, of course, is a deeply fallic image, an image of the grown Melchett, lustfilled, full of idolatry and martialism, and with the military commander to crown it all.
So had Speckled Jim lived, who knows what interaction might have occurred? I'm willing to go with your theory, since it gives so much on the allegorical level of the tale of Melchett. He is a child and a father figure at the same time. His rank and power alone gives him a parental authority over Blackadder, who in turn has the clarity of mind shared only with Darling.
Had Blackadder not shot the actual fabular Speckled Jim, Melchett would have remained a child forever. His attempt to execute Blackadder right after the incident is of course a classical Oedipal conflict.
On that note, when the final push comes, and everyone except Melchett is finally slaughtered, he becomes a Medean figure, sacrificing his allegorical children (especially Darling, who he has a strong scene with in which he sends him off to adulthood and death).
*looks at what he's written, winces, then staggers off to bed*

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canuckuk


Member

Posted Sun Feb 15th, 2009 8:13am Post subject: Speckled Jim
And you said you didn't have the insights! Woaw!
You were a veritable Arachne with that bit of weaving.
Will mill and return. X

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canuckuk


Member

Posted Sun Feb 15th, 2009 9:23am Post subject: Speckled Jim
Right then...have had breakfast.

In that case if Speckled Jim had lived, Blackadder received message and either proceeded to the front and/or pretended to go mad, which someone may/or may not have noticed and he then might/ or might not have been mowed down in his line of duty.

Melchett would have been elevated to the rank of Field Marshal, whether or not all this led to success, because that is the nature of warfare. Redemption never arrived and then, I presume, he faded away as do all old generals.

Speckled Jim would have been put out to the pigeon fancier's equivalent of a stud farm. And he would have spent the rest of his days regaling his grandchicks with stories of his past heroics during the Big One.

I hope we haven't created a space-time paradox.

Could there have been any other scenarios possible. After all, he was only a frikin' bird for crispie sakes! X

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Chris Mac


Member

Posted Sun Feb 15th, 2009 5:52pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
One wonders if the writers based the episode of speckled Jim on an actual event? Was someone roundly court martialled and executed for killing a carrier pigeon?

From Wrongpedia:

Messenger pigeons were used extensively during World War I. In 1914 during the First Battle of the Marne, the French army had 72 pigeon lofts which advanced with the troops.

The US Army Signal Corps alone used 600 pigeons in France. One of their carrier pigeons, a Black Check cock called Cher Ami, was awarded the French "Croix de Guerre with Palm" for heroic service delivering 12 important messages in Verdun. On his final mission in October 1918, he delivered a message despite having been shot through the breast or wing. The crucial message, found in the capsule hanging from a ligament of his shattered leg, saved around 200 US soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division's "Lost Battalion".


But I can't find anything about their protection or indeed any case which refers to someone deliberately harming our winged messenger friends. But they did play a crucial role.

During World War I the British Army had a unit called the Carrier Pigeon Service (CPS) which was led by Lt. Col. A.H. Osman. Carrier pigeons were used by the Brits during the Second Battle of Ypres in May of 1915. The Carrier-Pigeon Service was only used when telegraph and telephone communications failed and was soon overtaken by the development of Wireless Telegraphy (i.e. Radio), further limiting their usage; hence, they were only used for emergency or espionage purposes. The avian unit saw further success at the Battle of the Somme and at Verdun, often against screens of poisonous gas and heavy shelling from the opposition.

I'm sure this was once covered on QI wasn't it?

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canuckuk


Member

Posted Sun Feb 15th, 2009 6:40pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
You know I started down the dusty maze that is the National Archive. They have a lot of interesting titles relating to Pigeon Carrier Unions. And then I thought to myself, "What the...am I doing!!!!!"

I'm not at all aware if QI covered the "Pigeon Question" as I have only recently bought a television and am fairly virginal in regards to all things QIish.

Bless your hand-knit hosiery for all the time you've dedicated to the Speckled Jim debate. X

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erik


Member

Posted Sun Feb 15th, 2009 9:23pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
Was someone roundly court martialled and executed for killing a carrier pigeon?

In one QI episode, Stephen finishes it all off by telling the story of the Canadians that found four (I think it was four) carrier pigeons in their trench. They ate the three and used the last to send a letter of thanks. He doesn't go on to specify what happened, but their action of saying 'thanks' seems to indicate that it wasn't a court martial offence. At least right then.

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canuckuk


Member

Posted Sun Feb 15th, 2009 9:25pm Post subject: Speckled Jim
Thank god you're back, Erik! The burden was becoming great. X

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