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The Thom(p)sons: Who coined the term "Thom(p)son Twins"?

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jock123
Moderator
#1 · Posted: 23 May 2004 23:55 · Edited by: jock123
The question came up at Greenwich as to where and how the misconception started that the Detectives are twins: i.e., who coined the term "Thom(p)son Twins"? It surely predates the pop trio.

My personal guess is that it was the BelVision cartoons, but the best I have come across in a non-exhaustive, casual listening to of The Calculus Affair (my jaw dropping at what might be best referred to as a (very) free adaptation of the book...), is them calling each other brother when they think they are about to die.

Has anyone confirmation that they ever are called twins in the BelVision cartoon series? And if so, did it originate in the French?

Simon
jockosjungle
Member
#2 · Posted: 24 May 2004 13:56
In the broken ear they're referred to as The Thompsons by Tintin, might just be a UK translation thing, I do believe that they're not as it was pointed out on Blue Peter.

Also they have different names so I think it might be the series but I've never noticed them referred to as twins.

Also why are they always working abroad when they're supposed to be Scotland Yard detectives?

Rik
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 24 May 2004 14:38
Thanks for the reply, jockosjungle. I suppose the Scotland Yard detective bit is another fabrication from somewhere, as they are presumably detectives from the French Sureté (sp?). It can be added to the list of inconsistancies introduced by the translators Anglicising the adventures to make it seem that Tintin was located in England, resulting in him taking a very improbable ferry trip in “The Black Island”...

I will just quickly add that I know in terms of the books they are not actually twins, and probably not even brothers (although without added information it is impossible to say that they don’t share at least one parent in common...).

However, there was in the past a tendency amongst the public to call them the Thompson Twins, and the question at Greenwich was trying to pin down where this might have originated.

I was in turn reminded of the question by the site poll curently running.
tybaltstone
Member
#4 · Posted: 24 May 2004 16:09
Being at Greenwich, jock123, you'll already know the general consensus was that they are not related, and the point about their different surnames coming up. And perhaps you can confirm this, but wasn't it also mentioned that it wasn't Michael and Leslie (the UK translators) who came up with the names - they just continued what they thought was a good idea from the original Casterman UK editions?

Scotland Yard detectives do certainly travel abroad if a case deserves it, and I think they're under orders to keep an eye on Tintin as a possible source of trouble - perhaps due to his suspicious early travels to the Communist Bloc, and then continued thanks to his curiosity always getting the better of him!
jock123
Moderator
#5 · Posted: 24 May 2004 16:56
Certainly the groundswell of opinion at Greenwich did seem to be that they are not related. However, I couldn’t put my hand on my heart and say which translation provided the Thom(p)son names - it could have been the Casterman book or the Eagle comic serialisation.

I’m not certain that Lesley and Michael were sure of the source either, but I agree that they said they inherited the names, which they felt to be a clever and useful solution to the Dupond/Dupont gag of the original. I’m sure they also mentioned something else which they inherited, but I can’t remember what. It may just have been to say that Tintin and Haddock remained the same. It wasn’t Marlinspike, because that started out as something else, and they came up with Cuthbert Calculus (which personally I think is a great name, and far better than Tournesol). any ideas?

I like your idea that Tintin was subject to special attention by Scotland Yard due to his activities! Goodness knows, these days he’d probably be detained somewhere without trial... Gun-running, slave trading, dope smuggling... There’s no smoke without fire, and wherever there’s trouble, there’s Tintin...!
edcharlesadams
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#6 · Posted: 24 May 2004 17:16
I believe that Thompson and Thomson were so-named by the Eagle serialisation - though this was pretty much contemporaneous with the Casterman English editions so it may have been both.
jock123
Moderator
#7 · Posted: 24 May 2004 17:25 · Edited by: jock123
Thanks, edcharlesadams!

Is there any chance that the Eagle and Casterman translations were in fact one and the same?

In answert to my own question above (it came to me about five minutes after I posted - isn't that always the way?), the example of another name they carried over that Leslie gave was Roberto Rastapopoulos, so it wasn't really to do with what translators before them had done. I was getting confused...
tybaltstone
Member
#8 · Posted: 24 May 2004 17:49
ed and jock - very well remembered!
edcharlesadams
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#9 · Posted: 24 May 2004 17:55
Chris Owens (Harrock n'Roll) may know whether the Eagle and Casterman versions had the same translation as he's interviewed the translators - over to you, Chris?
jockosjungle
Member
#10 · Posted: 24 May 2004 18:13
If i recall in one of the adventures (i forget which) that T&T were thought of as the world's best detectives, seems a waste of resources to simply follow Tintin around.

Although i know they're not twins to add an argument to the mix, except from the minor difference in moustache styling, they are identical.

Rik

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