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Ellipse-Nelvana: Haddock appears out of nowhere in “Land of Black Gold”

#1 · Posted: 17 Oct 2004 07:20
After Tintin finds the prince in the cell and gets trapped in the fireworks room, Captain Haddock appears out of nowhere!

There was no reference to him being involved with the story beforehand, so how did he know that Tintin was even there?

I'm going by the TV version here, I haven't read the book in a few years. This doesn't make sense to me. Can anyone help?
#2 · Posted: 18 Oct 2004 00:46
If I remember correctly Black Gold was begun just before the war began in 1939. Herge was put in jail for a few days for continuing to draw but later released.

Black Gold was left unfinished where Muller had knocked out Tintin in the desert. Herge picked up Black Gold in 1950 and continued the story. When Tintin is trapped in the fireworks room and the Captain comes to his rescue Herge had to explain why he wasn't there earlier on in the adventure (Haddock first appeared in 1940). Anyway Herge dealt with the issue cleverly by having Haddock begin to explain things to Tintin, but always being interuppted by something more important.

I hope that helps.
#3 · Posted: 18 Oct 2004 08:16
I assume his ship was in port or something

#4 · Posted: 19 Oct 2004 03:38
Yeah, the Ellipse-Nelvana version completely glosses over the issue, which I thought was a little weak.

That said, I think many Tintinologists agree that the "very simple yet very complicated" non-explanation for Haddock's sudden presence (and knowledge of where Tintin was within Wadesdah) is one of Hergé's weaker moments as well... for a very resourceful author, he seems to have dropped the ball a little in explaining this one.

Not that I can imagine a great explanation myself... the 1950 edition could have made a link between Haddock as a British naval officer (as we mostly agree he was... British, I mean) and the fact that Britain was very ubiquitous in the region at the time that version was drawn (actually up until two years prior when they pulled out of then-Palestine).

Might make for a good thread: take your shot at explaining Haddock's presence in Wadesdah!

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