Tintin Forums

Tintinologist.org Forums / Tintin books /

Explorers on the Moon: The Thom(p)sons, lost - with guns?

Page  Page 2 of 3:  « Previous  1  2  3  Next » 

jock123
Moderator
#11 · Posted: 15 Apr 2009 19:26
cigars of the beeper:
Would guns really work, though? Jock has said that he thinks that the cartridges contain all the necessary materials to combust. However, combustion is the same thing as oxidation, which can only happen in an oxygen-based atmosphere.

No, that's not strictly true: it's not the atmosphere, it's the presence of oxidizers, as you suggest - and they are included in the gun-powder, in the form of saltpeter or niter. A cartridge is hard-packed with powder and sealed by the bullet, to maximize the effect of the explosion, not "leaky" to the atmosphere.
As I said, a chemical rocket will fire in space for the same reason, and you can use explosives under water.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#12 · Posted: 15 Apr 2009 19:39
Thompson's temporary insanity in that scene was caused by too high a concentration of oxygen after Tintin replaces the oxygen bottle. Tintin and Haddock happen to have their guns with them because I suppose the worst thing you could give somebody insane would be a gun, wouldn't it? It's similar to the scene in Cigars where Prof. Sarcophagus finds Tintin's gun after he'd gone potty from the Rajaijah poison. The mixture of crazy people and weapons is always quite scary!

Actually, it wasn't until I'd seen that deleted scene from Explorers that I realized that they'd carried guns on the moon. I think that in the book the only place they have the holsters is when they visit the cave. I thought they were just belt packs containing handy supplies. Gun-shaped belt packs, of course!

There were saboteurs trying to steal the rocket and a gun came in handy later when Tintin took back control of the rocket from Boris, but it still seems ridiculous to carry a gun actually on the moon. Quite different to the peaceful sprit of the real moon missions ("We Came in Peace For All Mankind", etc.) I expect someone's going to tell me now that they carried guns on the Apollo missions... Or phasers, maybe...? ;)
jock123
Moderator
#13 · Posted: 15 Apr 2009 21:20
Harrock n roll:
I expect someone's going to tell me now that they carried guns on the Apollo missions... Or phasers, maybe...? ;)

Nah, they never did, so don't worry - it's Russian cosmonauts who have guns...
NASA astronauts have hatchets instead!

Actually, while the U.S.S.R./ Russia has sent firearms into space, it has been as part of the craft's survival pack, and intended for use on Earth, if the capsule were to land in a place where the occupants might have to defend themselves from predators (as opposed to "Predators", the blood-thirsty movie space-monsters...), or kill game for food.

The U.S. supplies the hatchet for similar purposes...

However, the mention of phasers...
The article in which I found the above info begins by suggesting that the popular depiction of the space-man in the Fifties was armed...

And one final thing: it's not that it's actually in any way the same thing, but moondust smells like gun-powder...
cigars of the beeper
Member
#14 · Posted: 16 Apr 2009 00:41
jock123:
the popular depiction of the space-man in the Fifties was armed.

Of course they were, since "Spacemen" like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were always running into interplanetary villains!
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#15 · Posted: 16 Apr 2009 10:16
Thanks to jock for the links to those articles which I found very interesting. It also proves that if Tintin had carried a hatchet instead of a gun he might have found it a lot easier to cut those footholds in the ice. Of course, they needed a gun, although it was unfortunate for Boris who has the dubious distinction of being the first person to die in space.

Also, if I may just correct your earlier point about them carrying rifles up the Himalayas: you might have been thinking of the Andes in Prisoners. I think Tibet was one of the only adventures that was gun free.
Balthazar
Moderator
#16 · Posted: 16 Apr 2009 10:53 · Edited by: Balthazar
Earthfall survival packs aside, I think mct and Harrock's point is very persuasive that it's entirely illogical for Tintin and Haddock to be taking holstered guns into the cave or anywhere on the moon (prior to them knowing that there's a baddie stowaway with them). I think Tintin would certainly go along with Calculus's scientific knowledge that they definitely won't encounter any living creatures or beings on the moon, hostile or otherwise, so I'm not sure that my earlier suggestion that the guns were simply an expeditiony sort of thing to take along stands up very well.

But I wonder if the presence of guns, both in the edited-out Thom[p]sons scene described earlier, and in this cave scene, is simply a plot device by Hergé to establish that the mission is carrying a gun or two, so that later, when Tintin knocks Jorgen's gun from his hand with the spanner and holds him at gunpoint with a second gun, the reader doesn't think: "Hang on. Where has Tintin suddenly got a gun from?"
jock123
Moderator
#17 · Posted: 16 Apr 2009 19:02
Harrock n roll:
Also, if I may just correct your earlier point

Of course! Please do!
Harrock n roll:
you might have been thinking of the Andes in Prisoners.

Well spotted, that man! Indeed I was! You know me too well!

Balthazar:
it's entirely illogical for Tintin and Haddock to be taking holstered guns into the cave or anywhere on the moon

I'm still not convinced that it's entirely illogical: a little un-necessary, perhaps, but better safe than sorry.
Balthazar:
I think Tintin would certainly go along with Calculus's scientific knowledge that they definitely won't encounter any living creatures or beings on the moon

Possibly, but obviously some other authority in the space programme thought that weapons were a good idea and supplied them, as they are patently there on the Moon!

But, most importantly, as you point out, they are necessary to the plot, and it's better to include them in the whole story than have them appear deus ex machina at the last moment.
Balthazar
Moderator
#18 · Posted: 17 Apr 2009 00:46
jock123:
I'm still not convinced that it's entirely illogical: a little un-necessary, perhaps, but better safe than sorry.

Maybe you're right. Thinking about it, in Flight 714 it turns out that there are in fact aliens buzzing around our solar system, so in terms of the reality of the Tintin books as a whole, I suppose it's not out of the question that Tintin and co would encounter beings on the moon.


jock123:
Possibly, but obviously some other authority in the space programme thought that weapons were a good idea and supplied them, as they are patently there on the Moon!

Good point. The Syldavian government does seem a bit militaristic in Destination Moon, and even more so in the immediately post-Moon-adventure, The Calculus Affair. Maybe they insisted that guns be carried on the mission (and on any lunar cave exploration trips), regardless of Calculus's scientific beliefs and pacifist tendencies.

Also, I have thought of a further use for guns on the mission as a whole, if not for the actual cave scene:

If you do what Haddock does on the trip to the moon, and leave the spaceship in the middle of space and float off towards an asteroid, I think you could use a gun to propel yourself back to the ship, by firing it in the opposite direction you wanted to go in. Mind you, that relies on you being sober enough to take the gun with you, and if you were that sober, you probably wouldn't leave the rocket in the first place.

Still, as a primitive space-walk propulsion sytstem, for making repairs to the outside of the rocket en route, I suppose a gun would be better than nothing.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#19 · Posted: 17 Apr 2009 02:07
Balthazar:
Still, as a primitive space-walk propulsion sytstem, for making repairs to the outside of the rocket en route, I suppose a gun would be better than nothing.

I don't know if you've seen the film Wall-E, but a fire extinguisher works pretty well for that!

As mentioned before, on my first reading of the book it didn't occur to me that they were carrying guns. I never felt it needed to be established personally, although it might well be what Hergé intended. Tintin has one at the end, but you take it for granted that Tintin has a gun from reading his previous adventures. I think the fact that you can see they have guns (in holsters) seems strange. Normally Tintin's would be in the pocket of his plus fours (which I always thought was a bit dangerous! You reach for some chewing gum and, whoops..!)

Tintin only carries a gun as a deterrent anyway, to keep the baddies at bay. I don't think that he ever shoots anybody in any of his adventures (not counting those poor animals in Congo). He might shoot some sand in someone's face, like in Crab, but that's about it.

The funny thing about the delirious-Thompson-with-a-gun scene is that it's immediately after Calculus assures Tintin that they are the first and only people on the moon. They must have thought the Thompsons really had seen someone else's footprints, so they simply ignored Calculus and said "never mind that old goat, we'd better take one each, just to be on the safe side."
Balthazar
Moderator
#20 · Posted: 17 Apr 2009 10:54 · Edited by: Balthazar
Harrock n roll:
Normally Tintin's would be in the pocket of his plus fours (which I always thought was a bit dangerous! You reach for some chewing gum and, whoops..!)

That might explain Tintin's permanently pre-pubescent arrested development.


Actually, I reckon Tintin stops carrying a gun of his own as a matter of course at some point in the 1950s. He certainly doesn't seem to be carrying one in his pocket in The Calculus Affair (just after the Moon adventure). He doesn't wield a gun in the whole of that book (unless you include the tank), even though it would have been handy to have been able to whip out his pre-war automatic at several points in that adventure.

Maybe the two moon books are the last books where we see Tintin pointing a gun at somebody that seems to be possibly his own (ie: not definitely acquired from someone else during the course of the adventure).

Page  Page 2 of 3:  « Previous  1  2  3  Next » 

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.

Reply

|

» Login  » Password  Forgot your password?
Please log in to to post. No account? Sign up for one!

 

Online now: 1 guests and 0 members
Members online:

Most users ever online was 311 on 30 Sep 2013 21:02: 311 guests and 0 members

Load time: 0.311