Friday, August 21, 2009

Phineas Bogg Character Study: Part 1

Phineas Bogg is an amalgam of all the heroic 'types' found in literature and movies. I find that putting a singular label limits this vibrant character. I would venture to say he is first and foremost a 'Romantic Hero.' Using a plethora of descriptions I found on the web, I will now attempt to give my explanation of the great and gorgeous, Phineas Bogg.

~Many Romantic heroes may have somehow been rejected by society or are otherwise non-conventional in their ideas and ways of life ~

Hmm..this is a tough one. Voyagers! never had an opportunity to delve into Bogg's past. While that's great for Fanfiction (Shameless promotion for my 'Origins of Phineas Bogg' story, sorry!)
it doesn't add much to this character study. We know Phineas was a pirate. Look at his clothes. Have you ever really studied the design? Billowy white shirt with string? Check. Suede, slightly worn and torn vest? Check. High brown boots? Check and Check. A pirate sash? Of course. And check out the detail on this belt...very nice!

We don't know when Phineas traversed the high seas or for how long. If he had been a pirate since young adulthood, I would assume he would be gnarled and weather beaten. But, Phineas Bogg has skin as smooth as my newborn nephew's bottom. I'm so jealous! Planet Voyager probably has a killer spa treatment for these ragamuffins they "pluck out of time and train to travel through the ages."

Is Phineas from the 'Golden Age of Piracy' perhaps? Anywhere between 1600-1800 is my best guess. In the episode 'Old Hickory and the Pirate' he tells Jeffrey that he was a "pirate long before being a Voyager" 'Created Equal' he claims to have been playing cards when they were still, "made out of rocks." Just how old is this man? Methinks Voyaging through the centuries has given old Phinny the swiss cheese brain and he confuses his 'Voyaging years' with his actual age! If you were basing it on Jon, then Phinny is a very young and plucky 24 years old. (Gahh! It's really starting to hurt me to say that...being 29...and it doesn't help that my sister already is starting to tease and calls me a cougar!)

~Some might be recluses, some might be obsessed with a lost love.~

"Nice to know ya kid, but I work alone." Never was a bigger lie uttered from a man who boasts, "I never lie!" Phineas a recluse? I highly doubt that. He is amiable and friendly. He has to be, it's part of the job description. How are you going to help anyone or convince a founding father to sign the declaration of Independence or that sort of thing if you are a grouchy Voyager? Phineas Bogg has boundless optimism and hope. His words are inspired.

~"A Voyager's got to have spirit, so when everybody's telling you you're wrong you got the courage to fight back. And a Voyager's gotta be able to make people take a new look at a situation, to give people that confidence to take that one extra chance."~

Phineas' smile alone can draw people of all sorts to him in droves. Tell me you wouldn't want to at least say 'hello!' to this guy?

I believe Phineas' loneliness stems mostly from his clandestine career as a Voyager field worker. "I'm a Voyager! Ever hear of one? Of course not, no one has..." He tells Jeffrey with a twinge of bitterness. You can sense that it bothers him, at least when he actually stops and thinks about it. Phineas may not have realized it then, but he had finally found someone he can tell his troubles too, or at least vent about his situation. In other instances he complains about "No paid vacations." Do you think there should be a Voyagers Union? I do. As long as Phineas plays his cards right, no one ever would or should learn about the Voyagers. However, throughout the series that was not always the case, and it all started with Jeffrey Jones.

As far as a lost love is concerned...that's another thing sort of left up to the imagination, it's something I tackled in my Origins story. Based on the series we know that Phineas did fall in love with the sweet Mabel Hubbard...only to nobly give her up and break her heart in order for history to continue on it's course. :Sniffles:
"I love Mabel!" He admits to Jeffrey. That's quite an admission to make...because I was all with Jeffrey when he rolled his eyes and said, "I've heard that one before." But then Phinny knocked the wind out of us with his stern, "No you haven't!" While he may had "fallen for a few" in his time, he had never said that he "loved any of them."
Was Mabel his love of a lifetime? At that moment... I say an emphatic, yes! But probably not in the long run. He simply couldn't have her. He had his whole life ahead of him and who knew what other wonderful woman awaited him in his future? That's a lesson many of us, male or female, could learn, but it is a very, very hard one to overcome. I can empathize with Phineas' situation.

Phineas does strike me as overtly fickle in the romance/love department. He certainly loved to kiss them! For proof of this watch this fantastic video created by BlueCanvas2. It's hysterical! (Uhh, hey, watch it AFTER you finish this blog!)

It would take someone very spectacular to make Phineas ever consider dropping the Voyager cause again...what if he didn't necessarily have to? Unlike the limited 2 days he had with Mabel, this new woman would probably be someone he could befriend and really come to know and admire...or perhaps someone he has known all along?

Your next guess would probably be Olivia Dunne. They did hit off at the end of 'Voyagers of the Titanic' didn't they? While they do kiss each other well enough, the reality of a true, loving relationship is not based on competition of the sexes and huge egos. Nor is it overly cute when you and your man have petty arguments every five minutes...that stuff only works out happily for lovers in books and TV. I must admit, I used the ploy in 'Origins' and it's very fun... but the reality is that love takes time and a lot of patience and involves sacrifice. Despite having the key to universal time travel attached to his belt, that was something Phineas was short of...time. And, with sayings like...
"I'm not a man known for being patient," the Voyager doth protest too much. I think he was very patient, especially in his dealings with Jeffrey and the poor boy's volatile emotions.

Back to the love theories...Olivia turned out to be a good egg after all, but I think there would always be an underlying rivalry between her and Phineas that would wear them both out. A good man like Phineas needs to be built up, not torn down and made to look a fool as she tries so mightily to do in the episode. I don't think there is any man that likes that feeling. I'm not sure Olivia was 'the one.' I'll just come out and say it, as much as I loved the episode...I'm not an Olivia fan! Whew!!! That felt good to get off my chest.

This now leads me to a very overlooked Voyager lady I have come to admire. The pretty, dimpled, blonde with the mole that has no last name. She is just, sure adds to her mysteriousness, doesn't it?

I have a lot to say about Phineas' relationship with Susan and much explaining to do in regards to his other attributes. So, I will leave you hanging until the next post!


  1. You really keep them coming, Ginger. Your writing is really terrific, these blog articles could easily be used for a magazine!!

    I agree with your thoughts about Phineas' women. Still I think his love story with Mabel was the most touching one. Although I also like Jackie Knox. She was the only *ordinary* girl that knew Phineas' secret. And did you know that actress Brianne Leary is also an inventor? She invented - among other things - the 'Paw Plunger' - a devide for cleaning dowg's paws when they come in from outdoors:
    Isn't that cute?

    -Martin (bluecanvas)

  2. Hi Martin! Thanks for reading these, I'm really trying to improve myself. I agree that Phineas' relationship was the most touching with Mabel, because there was actual love involved. While I loved the concept of an ordinary girl learning the secret of Voyagers, I didn't care for Jackie Knox...she really annoyed me to pieces. It's funny, most guys I talk to liked Jackie, and most women don't? That's interesting. haha. I've read that Brianne had done a lot of things outside Hollywood. That is a very cute invention. :D I did like her role on CHiPs as one of the officers. That was a little before Voyagers.

  3. I love that blog G! Keep it comin'! I'll nvr stop readin'!

  4. You go on girl...OPB...WOOT. One of my personal favs. I'm with you - so NOT an Olivia fan, it totally wouldn't have worked out. They were to hard headed for it to really have worked out (IMO), but I will say I would take Olivia anyday over Jackie....LOL

  5. Jackie annoyed the snot out of me, least when she was playing the airheaded tourist cover. She wasn't too bad when she was just being herself...and yeah, that's the "guy" in me talking, the girl that grew up with three brothers, and a father who wanted another boy when I was born! So I guess your assessment that most guys like her is still intact. LOL



You smart kids give me a pain…
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