Tintin Forums

Tintinologist.org Forums / Official Tintin books /

Flight 714: why can't people accept it for what it is?

Page  Page 1 of 7:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next » 

#1 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 04:13 · Edited by: Moderator
[Spinning off from this thread]

Karaboudjan kommented:
The whole notion of aliens in the firmly reality-based Tintinverse is absurd

I've seen this complaint levelled at 714 before, possibly even by myself; however, on reflection, the whole canon is littered with the supernatural and fantastical: Calculus's pendulum can apparently dowse, which is bunk; the Inca can control the explorers using dummies with pins in, and release them by burning the dolls; the clairvoyant lady at the music-hall is actually psychic; and, in Tibet, the old monk really levitates; and is the yeti any more rooted in the rational than alien life?

Add to this the non-supernatural, but still unrealistic physical impossibilities (e.g. Haddock doesn't become a bloody pulp when rolling down a mountain, but instead is transformed into a giant snow-ball; Tintin can do a drop from a trestle bridge, which would have made a Hollywood stunt-man faint, in the worst possible posture, and while carrying a fox-terrier, and survive unscratched etc.), and the Tintiniverse is pretty improbable.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head - there are undoubtedly more...

Addition: Tintin produces an old man disguise out of nowhere; teaches himself to speak elephant; kills a rhino with a brace and bit and eplosives...

I'd like to say that I wholeheartedly agree and would like to bring up a topic about this. Why are people sooo offended by the inroduction of Aliens (who we don't even see) in Flight 714? How is this more far-fetched than everything that happens in Seven Crystal Balls (the psychic, the curse, the shared nigthmares, the thunderbolt, the voodoo....)?
While we can say that most of those things are damn near impossible, can anyone justifiably say that the presence of Aliens and UFOs is impossible?
Personally, I think Flight 714 is a masterpiece of science-fiction writing that is unfairly bashed (that means you, Michael Farr!) a lot of the time.
#2 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 04:38 · Edited by: MoonRocket
I really do like "Flight 714" -- because of the fast-paced action, the comedy, and especially that airplane landing scene on the island. However, I can say that I am one of the many that is rather bugged about the appearance of aliens, or, more accurately, a flying saucer.

I am not one to vouch for the strict realism in the Tintin books -- it is obvious to me that every book has a certain fantastical element to it, whether it's the giant gorilla in "The Black Island", or the Yeti in "Tintin in Tibet", or even the voodoo in "Seven Crystal Balls" and "Prisoners of the Sun."

However, up to the mentioning of aliens in "Flight 714" (or, the telepathy that Tintin receives from the Russian man), I think that the book has a very real plot to it. Yes, it's farfetched, but it's like a movie-caper deal: a plane highjacking, a bad guy who's run out of cash, a hideout on a tropical island, and a truth serum. Then, all of a sudden, you've got aliens. Aliens.

I'm not berating "Flight 714". I think that it is a great book -- definitely the most action-packed of all the Tintin series. But the whole alien thing just kinda ruins it for me. Almost like an easy way out of a mess... Perhaps I can see aliens being in an album if "Explorers on the Moon" hadn't been written -- since it was stressed many times over in that particular adventure that they had been the first to land on the moon, etc. And then, you've got aliens, and that whole notion of being the first humans in space just seems to be ruined.

I don't know. I like the book -- a lot -- but not the aliens.

BTW -- The ball lightning in "Seven Crystal Balls" (and earlier in "The Broken Ear") is a real natural phenomenon.
#3 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 07:33
Its my second favourite Tintin after The Calculus Affair. I think its a great Tintin adventure, with plenty of Herge humor. The only thing I don't like is the way the bald guy always adds a "k" to every word he says. But the book is good!
#4 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 11:47
Love the book to be honest, bit of an odd ending but to be honest there is a lot of talk about ancient tribes knowing details about astronomy they shouldn't know and that they have contaced aliens. I think the tribe was called Dogon or something, perhaps this was even more topical at the time of writing

#5 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 17:10
Flight 714 would have been published around the time Erik Von Danniken's Chariots of the Gods was popular so I think that was probably the main influence on the storyline.

The problem with the aliens in 714 is that they act as a complete deaux ex machina, as though Herge got so far with the plot and then couldn't figure a way to conclude it and so decided to get Tintin and Co out their predicament in the most outrageous manner possible. I think we'd be more accepting if the possibility of aliens had been there from the start - say if Lazlo Carreidas and Dr Kanrokitov were combined into the same character, who invites Tintin and Co (in their positions as the first men on the moon) to travel with him to the island to meet aliens. Upon arrival the whole thing turns out to be a hoax by Rastapololus to lure Carreidas so he can get his money. The big twist at the end then would be that there really are aliens who visit the island and the end can play out as in the book.
#6 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 20:54
One of the reasons a lot of people enjoy reading Tintin over other comics is the degree of realism in both the storyline and the art. Flight 714, for all its qualities, is seen by many people I know as having been blown out of proportion. The character portrayals of people such as Rastapopoulos are intentionally pathetic in their grotesqueness (if that is a word). In his other adventures, Tintin deals with gangsters, revolutionaries, smugglers...all people who exist in our universe. What about aliens? It just seems to take Tintin and his friends into a different dimension, and maybe that's why people are prejudiced against it.
#7 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 21:38
Flight 714 was the first Tintin book I read....and it made me buy all the rest! The book itself was really good, humour at the beginning, the action sequences, etc. I agree the alien bit sorts of throws me off after reading all the rest. It does seem sort of out of place but it is still one of my favourite books !
#8 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 22:19
The "Chariots of the Gods" by Erich Von Daniken was popular at the time; "ancient astronauts" as depicted in the statues in the book. Anyway, there's no more rational reason for baulking at the "aliens" than there is for accepting that a bomb on Tintin's train can destroy the entire train but leave Tintin intact! ("..in The Land of the Soviets").
#9 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 23:24
Sorry there is so much in Tintin that stretches the imagination, I never really understand why this above everything else is deemed a step too far?

Here is a way of looking at it...

Explorers on the Moon - Tintin discovers the existence of water on the moon

This wasn't proved until a few years ago. Nowwhen people look back people see Herge as a visionary.

I'm not saying I believe in Aliens and Flying Saucers but there are people who believe they've been in a situation similar to Tintin and been taken up.

Who knows maybe in the future, Aliens will make contact and people will once again think how wise Herge was to see such an event happening?

Just a thought


PS. It is also no less silly than Curses or Tintin talking to elephants
#10 · Posted: 7 Feb 2005 12:11
Yes, I agree jockosjungle. Why does the idea of aliens "take Tintin and his friends into a different dimension", and not teaching himself to talk to an elephant?? At least the aliens in UFOs are scientifically plausible…!

I can understand if you object to the deus ex machina factor, but really, it's no more 'convenient' a plot device than the monk in Tintin in Tibet getting a sudden vision “just at the right moment” for Tintin and Haddock to go off and save Chang.

Page  Page 1 of 7:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  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.


 Forgot password?
Please log in to post. No account? Create one!