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The Shooting Star: Names of the scientist participating in the Phostle expedition?

RicardoOlcese
Member
#1 · Posted: 12 Feb 2019 17:22
In the Spanish version, the chief scientist is Prof. Hipólito Calys (direct French translation I guess). There are also: Swedish Erik Björgenskjöld, Spanish Porfirio Bolero y Calamares, German Otto Schulze, Paul Cantonneau (from Friburg), and Pedro Joas Dos Santos, from Portugal. Are the Spanish and Portuguese scientists included in other versions of the story, or they just made them up for the Spanish version?
jock123
Moderator
#2 · Posted: 12 Feb 2019 22:26
In the English version, the expedition is led by Professor Decimus Phostle, and Professor Paul I. Cantonneau has gained a middle initial, and is from the University of Paris; the rest, including the Spanish and Portuguese representatives are as given in your post.
RicardoOlcese
Member
#3 · Posted: 12 Feb 2019 22:58
jock123
Thanks for the answer. It's a pity Hergé didn't reuse Phostle for the Moon adventure. Since he's an astronomer, he could have helped Calculus.
mct16
Member
#4 · Posted: 12 Feb 2019 23:16
Actually, an early draft of the Moon adventure did include Phostle, this time as the villain. In this version he steals the plans for Calculus' rocket and sells them in order to buy a diamond for a movie star with whom he is in love.

Herge drew a couple of pages of this version, but then decided to stick to his own storyline.
RicardoOlcese
Member
#5 · Posted: 13 Feb 2019 00:10
mct16
Thanks for the great info! I am glad Hergé didn't go for that plot. Phostle is a good fellow. He deserved more recognition in the Tintin series.
jock123
Moderator
#6 · Posted: 13 Feb 2019 14:24 · Edited by: jock123
mct16:
to buy a diamond for a movie star with whom he is in love.

That would be Rita Hayworth, who might have become the second real person to be depicted as themselves (after Al Capone) in the series.

mct16:
Herge drew a couple of pages of this version

It actually only runs to one page of 15 frames on a single sheet of art board, which would be about a standard page in an album - although because it is effectively landscape in aspect, rather than portrait, it often is reproduced over a double-page spread when reproduced.

The scenario was by Dr Bernard Huevelmans - an author and scientist that Hergé appears to have known through his activities in Scouting, as Huevelmans had already given Hergé some gag ideas to use in his Le Boy Scout Belge calendars - and Jacques Van Melkebeke, the current chief editor at the Tintin magazine.

It's known that Hergé had been looking into the idea of a story in space for a while, reading Heuvelman's L'Homme parmi les etoiles for ideas; letters between the two show that by September 1947, the project was already a long-standing one, and in December of the same year came the Huevelmans-Van Melkebeke scenario.

Hergé was almost immediately struck by the problems of working to this scenario (he said in a later interview, related in Le Monde d'Herge by Benoît Peeters, and quoted in The Making of Tintin: Mission to the Moon, about working to someone else's script: "...I am trapped by the line taken by the script-writer. It is his right to take a certain line, but I, I don't want to follow him..."), especially the fanciful nature of the storyline they offered, and the contrived nature of the set up - Calculus is burdened not only with his usual deafness, but a cold he caught on the boat to America which makes him sniff, and an inability to read his own hand-written notes. Hergé kept their research, and threw out their story, replacing it with one more grounded in reality and scientific thought of the time.

I cannot be certain, but there is a little passage towards the end of the completed drawings, which Hergé might have called to mind a short while later for a completely different purpose...
The story so far has played out as a radio interview with Calculus in New York, where - impeded by his cold, deafness, and poorly written notes - nothing of importance has happened, until he says, of his inspiration for the voyage to the Moon, "Well, it so happens that, as a result of a chain of circumstances too long to go into, the Moon saved my life...".
It seems telling to me that this casual dismissal of the Professor's life-saving encounter with the Moon without explanation other than it's "too long to go into" might just be the seed of inspiration for the "It's quite simple really... but also rather complicated..." ploy, which enables Haddock, in the December of the following year, to be shoe-horned into the revised Land of Black Gold, without ever really saying how or why.

In spite of the setback with the scenario, Huevelmans and Hergé seem to have remained on acceptable terms, as his work as a cryptozoologist was later called upon by Hergé when developing the Yeti Tintin encounters in Tibet.
Mikael Uhlin
Member
#7 · Posted: 13 Feb 2019 21:11
jock123:
"the Moon saved my life...".

That is a reference to the solar eclipse in Prisoners of the Sun, right?
jock123
Moderator
#8 · Posted: 13 Feb 2019 22:42 · Edited by: jock123
Mikael Uhlin:
That is a reference to the solar eclipse in Prisoners of the Sun, right?

Now that you mention it, it's obvious... :-)

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