Sunday, March 20, 2016
Crossover of the Week
Early January 1891
THE GREEK INVERTEBRATE
Professor Moriarty and Colonel Moran are asked by the Professor’s brother, Colonel James Moriarty, to ignore a summons from the third Moriarty brother, stationmaster James. The Professor and Moran defy his orders, and become involved with espionage and a new machine with which to wage war. Appearing or mentioned are: Sir Augustus Moran; the Club of the Damned; the Mausoleum Club; a chandelier falling on the audience of the Paris Opera during the jewel song from Faust; Fal Vale Junction; Greyfriars; the kuripuri; the Grand Vampire; Les Vampires; a German rival of Moriarty’s who sometimes assumes the guise of “a shock-haired, stooped alienist with mesmeric eyes”; Irma Vep; Palliser; Nevil Airey Stent; Fred Porlock; the Lord of Strange Deaths; R. G. Sanders; Eduardo Lucas; Thomas Carnacki; Cursitor Doone; Monsieur Sabin; Ilse von Hoffmansthal, aka Madame Gabrielle Valladon; Flaxman Low; Hugo Oberstein; Sophy Kratides; Malilella of the Stiletto; Irene Adler; Lady Yuki Kashima; Mad Margaret Trelawny; Dr. Syn; Partington; Paul Finglemore, alias Colonel Clay; and Ram Singh.
Short story by Colonel Sebastian Moran, edited by Kim Newman in Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the d’Urbervilles, Titan Books, 2011. Professor Moriarty, Colonel Moran, and Irene Adler are from Doyle and Watson’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Colonel Moriarty is mentioned in “The Final Problem.” Stationmaster Moriarty and Fred Porlock are from The Valley of Fear. Sir Augustus Moran, the Colonel’s father, is mentioned in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” Eduardo Lucas is from the Holmes story “The Adventure of the Second Stain”; since Lucas died in that story, which Baring-Gould has dated to October 1886, the Lucas in Newman’s story must be a cousin of Doyle’s character who is also involved in espionage. Hugo Oberstein is mentioned in both “The Adventure of the Second Stain” and “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans,” which is also the source of Partington. Sophy Kratides is from the Holmes tale “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter.” The Club of the Damned is from the 1970s British television series Supernatural. The Mausoleum Club is from the 1980s BBC radio comedy series Tales from the Mausoleum Club. The chandelier falling on the audience of the Paris Opera during the jewel song from Faust is a reference to The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Fal Vale Junction is from Arnold Ridley’s play The Ghost Train. Greyfriars is the school attended by Billy Bunter in stories written by Charles Hamilton under the pen name Frank Richards. The kuripuri (originally spelled curupuri) is from Doyle’s novel The Lost World. Les Vampires are from Louis Feuillade’s film serial of the same name, as are their leader, the Grand Vampire, and Irma Vep. This Grand Vampire’s predecessor, who appeared in “The Adventure of the Six Maledictions,” must be the one murdered by Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, in 1889, as mentioned in Josh Reynolds’ Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows. Rick Lai’s “All Predators Great and Small” has Irma as a child in 1895; perhaps the alias “Irma Vep” is used by whoever serves as Les Vampires’ primary female operative at any given time. This is likely the same Irma seen in Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows. Moriarty’s German rival is Dr. Mabuse, the master criminal who appeared in fiction by Norbert Jacques and three films directed by Fritz Lang. Palliser is Plantagenet Palliser, the protagonist of a series of novels by Anthony Trollope. The Palliser novels are connected to the Chronicles of Barsetshire series, as well as several non-series novels by Trollope. Stent is from H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. The Lord of Strange Deaths is Fu Manchu. R. G. Sanders is Edgar Wallace’s Sanders of the River. Sanders and another of Wallace’s characters, Lieutenant Bones, appear in each other’s series. Thomas Carnacki, “the Ghost-Finder,” was created by William Hope Hodgson. Cursitor Doone’s name is meant to evoke the British comic book character Cursitor Doom. Monsieur Sabin is from E. Phillips Oppenheim’s novels Mysterious Mister Sabin and The Yellow Crayon. Ilse Von Hoffmansthal (originally spelled without the second “h”), aka Gabrielle Valladon, is from Billy Wilder’s film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Flaxman Low is from the collection Ghosts; Being the Experiences of Flaxman Low, by “E. and H. Heron” (Hesketh V. Prichard and Kate O’Brien Ryall Prichard). Malilella (usually spelled without the second “l”) is from Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s opera The Jewels of the Madonna. Lady Yuki Kashima is better known as the title character of Kazuo Koike and Kazuo Kamimura’s manga Lady Snowblood. Margaret Trelawny is from Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of Seven Stars. Dr. Syn is from novels by Russell Thorndike. Paul Finglemore, aka Colonel Clay, is from Grant Allen’s An African Millionaire. Ram Singh is from the film Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon. Several details given about the Moriarty family in this story contradict their established CU history: the Colonel is younger than the Professor, the father of all three brothers was named James, and the Professor implicitly killed his own parents. Moriarty must have had an ulterior motive for lying to Moran.