Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"That's our motto, mum's the word." "To be precise, that's our motto, dumb's the word."

 Today you shall meet two of my favorite characters in the "Tintin" books. They are the Thomson twins. To be precise, the Thompsons.

 The Thompsons are two blundering detectives who first appear in, "The Cigars of the Pharaoh." They are completely identical except for their mustache. Thompson's is straight wherein Thomson's turns up at the ends.
 From what I read there is some debate as to whether they are related or not. It is never clearly established in the books. In, "Destination Moon," Snowy refers to them as twins but the two are always calling each other, "Friend, colleague," and so forth. But, related or not, they are inseparable.

 When the detectives first appear they are sent to arrest Tintin who has been framed. He spends the whole book trying to avoid them and in the end they become friends, after Tintin clears his name. And after they nearly blow him up. Still, in spite of their friendship, they try and arrest Tintin in, "Tintin and the Black Island," when he is again framed for a crime.

 The Thompsons almost top Haddock's ability to crash into everything and slip on everything. In one book they break their arms, they smash their noses more then once, and whenever they go to see Tintin in a hospital they wind up in the next room.

 Often when one of the detectives says something the other will reply with, "To be precise," and try and repeat what the first has said, usually ending up in insulting the two of them. "To be precise, we can deny that we are ever right."

 The ONLY reason the Thompsons ever catch the bad guys is because Tintin helps them, more or less catches them for them. In, "Destination Moon," the detectives arrest a skeleton, convinced it is he who shot Tintin.

 Of course, the Thompsons get on Haddock's nerves and he often insults them, but since they are so clueless they rarely relieve they've been insulted. In, "Explorer's on the Moon," they did catch on once when they thought there was a lake on the moon and that they would be spending a holiday there. Haddock tells them, "Yes, there is a lake and they need two Punch and Judy men to work at the resort. You two should apply." They get mad at him because he called them Punch and Judy men and demand an apology to which Haddock says, "Okay, I'm sorry, they don't need two Punch and Judy men so you can't have the job." Which makes them happy, but disappointed they cannot have the job.

 The Thompsons don't join Tintin on as many adventures as Haddock, mostly because they spend their time lost or following their own tracks. In, "The Land of Black Gold," they get lost in the desert and end up following their own tire tracks for a whole day, thinking they've found a road. In, "Explorers on the Moon," they run into their own foot marks and are convinced they're are other men on the moon, though everyone tells them it is just their own foot marks.

 The only real time the Thompsons end up in the middle of Tintin's adventures is when they do so by mistake. Such as in, "Explorers on the Moon." They weren't supposed to go up into space but spent the night in the rocket and were aboard when it took off. In, "Red Rackham's Treasure," they are sent along on the ship to protect Haddock, but only end up annoying him to no end.

 One funny scene in that book is when they are trying to locate where the "Unicorn," sank. Haddock did the calculations but the Thompsons are convinced he did them wrong so they do them themselves, then show them to Haddock saying, "We found a mistake." Haddock looks over the calculations and removes his hat, pretending to pray. When asked what he is doing he says, "Well, according to your calculations we are in the middle of Westminister Abbey."

 Another thing I enjoy about the Thompsons is their exclamation of, "Great Scotland Yard!" Which they shout in the movie, which is just beyond grand. Another thing is their hats. Both wear bowler hats which they are quite proud of, and which are always getting sat upon - by Haddock - or squished by aeroplanes, blown away by the wind, and other such mishaps.

 And one mustn't forget their disguises. Whenever they go aboard a ship, or into another country, they try and dress like the locals to, "Not attract attention." Sadly, I cannot find pictures online of these disguises but one of them is a kind of kilt thing, with a wide, puffy skirt. Their sailor suits look like something you'd find on a little boy out sailing his small boat with his dad. They get laughed at for these outfits but never notice.

 I cannot wait to see them in the movie. Which, in case you forgot, is in nine days 8-D

 But, for now, I shall be off. Join me tomorrow for another character, I hope. Tomorrow is busy for me but I'm going to try for another one, so we shall see.

 Allons-y!

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1 comment :

  1. Lovely blog post! I see I am not the only one on blogger excited about the upcoming Tintin movie! I am counting down the days as well. You gave a very accurate description of both the Thom(p)sons and Captain Haddock.
    As to being twins... In the book "Tintin and Co." by Michael Farr, he states that the Thom(p)sons aren't twins. The author is "The world's leading Tintinologist" (according to the back of the book) and met Herge himself. However, I still don't know whether to believe the book... I guess it's for the individual to decide on their own!

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