Voyagers! The Junior Novel: Ch. 1 (The worst dressed Pirate Voyager!)

Let's begin at the beginning....


Jeffrey's opening Pirate dream sequence is more descriptive, and I like that. Jeffrey is not just haphazardly running around beating on pirates. He is a cabin boy with a mission...to save the Pirate Captain Jones and his wife, aka, his parents, Bill and Kathy. They are being ambushed by the British army. Well...in all honesty, I'd be defending my seaport too if a band of raucous pirates came to town to looking for booty (as in loot, money, gold!) But I digress... these are pirates with honor, they want to free the peasants from the tyranny of British rule.


Jeffrey is caught in the fray, ducking burning and cannon bombed buildings. Plus, he's a little thief, having stolen a strong box of gold. Instead of sword fighting other pirates like in the show, he's grappling with the British. In the climatic rescue attempt, it is a soldier who cuts the clothesline he swings down from, not a burly pirate in a fright wig and beard. (Yeah, its that guy in the red striped pants walking by..next to the blonde who looks almost suspiciously like Jon in a beard...but it's not him.

This makes a tad more sense than the show. In the pirate scene, Jeffrey is still decked out like a cabin boy, in a long-sleeved version of his rugby shirt, yet his parents look like British peasants, not pirates. If Jeffrey was a pirate, then why did his fellow crew-mate try to kill him? Unless there is mutiny afoot! In the pirate world of Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island', that's called a 'black spot.' Jeffrey was targeted for punishment.

Jeffrey awakens and puts away his book – 'Pirates of History' – and glances over the family picture, which is taken on the front lawn of their suburban home. Aunt Elizabeth is still in the living room deciding Jeffrey's fate with her boyfriend Tom. I'd always assumed they were married, but making him the boyfriend adds an additional kick of obnoxiousness to her...she's immature, young and single, choosing some lame guy over her own flesh and blood…who obviously makes the decisions.

"Fine, tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it!" is her famous line. The book leaves out the part about Jeffrey ruining their trip to Cancun, but that was the knife plunge for me. How self-centered could you get?

Did I mention Jeffrey's room has a bed and he's laying down when he hears rattling. Poor Ralph jumps next to him and is unfairly called the "world's worst watchdog" by the author.


While Jeffrey ducks from flying shards of glass (which would have been an awesome sequence in the show), he turns back around and there he is…

WARNING, WARNING…the author is vague describing Bogg's good looks, (Well, this isn't a Harlequin novel.) but I'm sure if you read this story you can picture Jon…if you can't…then something must be dreadfully wrong and I suggest medical help. There might've been baby oil in your eyes when you watched the series. (That is one of the most irritating feelings in the world, trust me!) In case you sincerely don't know what Bogg looks like, here's a portrait…


Book line: "When he turned back, he saw a six-foot man wearing a get-up that might have been put together from a costume designer gone mad."



Somebody call Tim Gunn, we have a fashion emergency!

"Jeff had already seen the pirate boots, and he recognized them as seventeenth century Spanish. Tucked into the boots was a pair of dueling pants, probably from eighteenth century France."
Not only is Jeffrey an 11yr-old historian, he's a male fashionista! Ironically, and rather funny, this is brought out by Bogg in the episode, 'World's Apart.' –

Jeff: "Well those guys are Arabs...I think."

Bogg: "What do you mean you think?"

Jeff: "Well they're dressed like Arabs."

Bogg: "What about the others?"

Jeff: "They're dressed like soldiers."

Bogg: "This isn't a fashion show! I need names, places!"

There you have it...Jeffrey should totally be on Project Runway. He'd make a good judge. So let me try to assemble this outfit thus far...you gotta love Google! I'll link the pics to the source for credit.

17th century Spanish boots (These are hot.)


18th Century French Dueling Pants (And it gets hotter! But I imagine these a little longer to tuck into those boots!)


And Bogg's outfit just keeps getting weirder and weirder...at least how it's assembled!
"Running from the waist up and over the shoulders was a gun belt. Jeff guessed that it was once worn by one of Pancho Villa's men in Mexico."

While Bogg was at it, maybe he should have worn a nifty Sombrero to match! As Voyagers fans know, Phineas Bogg in the series does not tolerate guns, (Seeing it was a kid's show, it would have been cool if he had a sword – after all, he was a PIRATE!) so…he probably never would have worn this…maybe Mac Harper would have! Still, Bogg certainly knew his way around dynamite sticks!

Mexican Revolution Gun Belt

Bogg got a steal, 2 of these gunbelts, free liquor, spurs, and 1/2 off the sombrero, cigar and the fake handlebar mustache!

 


Okay, here comes my favorite part of this somewhat schizophrenic clothing.

"The man's chest was bare, and the criss-crossed gun belt covered most of a saber scar."


Bogg and his glorious bare chest…Do you see a saber scar? I only see a smudge of something on the middle right side in the picture below. Could be a scar, a bruise, most likely dirt...or all 3, he was just in a gladiator battle and got knocked to the ground a few times. Bogg talked about teeth marks in the show…from those pesky furry things with teeth he dislikes so much. 

Is it a light saber scar? Awesome! Oh wait… Bogg's omni only goes up to 1970!



 

Yoda says: "Too bad, too sad, flirt with Princess Leia and hamburger hairbuns, cannot. Yeesssssss?"

Booo! Bogg so wanted to go to the Cantina!

So now we got a bare, gun-belted chest with a scar–this is where things get really freaky...freaky would be a subjective word here...if he carried a whip!

"Over the gunbelt, he wore a leather vest that Jeff couldn't identify at all. It was probably from ancient England."
Okay, this nifty article he's wearing could be a Jerkin – I'm sorta picturing some kind of Renaissance thing going on.


Ahh, Britannia! Ancient England. Conquered by the Vikings and Barbarians at some point when Rome ruled the world. – No doubt by some of Bogg's ancestors…they certainly were Jon-Erik's! But even the prodigy/future host of "What not to wear" Jeffrey Jones is not sure where this mysterious vest came from. 

All I know is, every great hero needs some kind of leather! (Okay, except Superman.) The writer didn't give it a color, so I went with the sepia tone, much like Bogg's suede or leather vest in the series.


Pilot Suede or leather...


Titanic felt material, haircut and dye.


The last piece of this historically significant ensemble in the novel has me imagining all sorts of crazy stuff. Call me silly, but I picture zombies with those old dirty napoleon coats…or is it dusty tuxedos?…either way…SHUDDER!

"All this was partly covered by a coat like the one Napoleon wore, though it was moth-eaten and dirty. All together, he looked like a combination of every adventure movie hero Jeff had ever seen."


Well, that's the entire outfit! I'd love to know what you all think of it. Any crazier and Bogg would look like the male version of this –


Just to clarify, I find the outfit fascinating and I'm totally satirizing the whole thing because that's what I love to do, and it just makes for more fun reading! :D I wonder if this was Joe Claro's vision, or the exact description from the original script by James Parriott? But seriously, it had to be toned down, nobody in any time era would listen or accept help from a stranger dressed like that, they'd probably call an institution or have him arrested. Though nowadays, they'd invite him to a Comic Con! Then he can meet Princess Leia…a whole bunch of them!

Moving on with the last of the chapter, Jeffrey has a realization about Bogg.

"Two things about the man's face struck Jeff immediately. The first that he might bear an eerie resemblance to the man in the photo on Jeff's bookcase."

So, Bogg looked like Bill Jones? Slight continuity issue here, since the only photo mentioned previously was the one of Jeff and his parents. Oh, I guess it was that other photo, that looked like this…


I'm just teasing. Maybe it would have been better to say that – 'The strange man looked uncannily like a drawing in his Pirates of History book.' That way he could look like this…



(lovely drawing by Diana.)

Now that would be eerie! Totally awesome, but weird!

Moving along…Where's Columbus?…yadda yadda, Phineas yells about the height of the building in that famous "When did they start building them this high?" line. This has been the debate of all Voyagers writers for a while. Just how many stories up was Jeffrey's apartment? The answer according to Joe Claro is, thirty. That's a nice round number and I'll stick to it.


Now here's the last change I noticed. Let's all add to Bogg's guilt and give him a greater reason for keeping Jeff – according to the novel he's the one who pushed the kid out the window, (Of course by accident) when his arm flew out and knocked him backwards! I could totally see that happening! In the TV series, it looks like Jeffrey lost his grip on the leash, staggered back, and then realized there was no window. Either way, Jeffrey still blamed Bogg later!

And finally…I like this line,

"As their screams quickly faded, Ralph went to the window, put his paws on the sill, and looked down."

I could just hear the echoes as they are about to become hamburger helper on the pavement, but Bogg grabs Jeffrey and they omni away. I guess it would've been too scary for kids to hear that, (Especially Jon-Erik yelling, with that deep voice!) even if they are safe afterward.


Oops, no mention of the Guidebook in Ralph's mouth. That was a cute touch in the show. It must be on the floor where Phineas dropped it. Ralph will get it later.

That's the end of Chapter one! Onward and Forward!

Comments

  1. I have my own problems with that whole "he doesn't like guns" thing. Personally, I think that was the network kowtowing to the anti-violence lobby. After all, that was during the time when that same lobby actually managed to get all toy guns taken off the market.

    Anyway, I mean, come ON; the guy was a PIRATE, for Pete's sake. In "Old Hickory and the Pirate," we saw him handle a sword like the pro he was, and he seemed awfully comfortable with that cannon, for a guy who doesn't like guns. Personally, I like what Caro's description of him implies---especially the scar, believe it or not. They probably figured that was too scary to show on a kids' TV show, too; I guess there were a lot of things they toned down for the TV show to cater to the Kumbaya crowd.

    Let's look at the dark side of being a Voyager, the side you never get to see, but that I alluded to in one of my stories. "Voyagers of the Titanic" pointed out that sometimes they have to let people die who are supposed to die, but what about the times they have to make SURE somebody dies? Compare to Quantum Leap, where, on two separate occasions, Sam had to kill someone in order to accomplish his mission. Going back to "Old Hickory and the Pirate," do you really think Bogg just pushed that guy off the rock into the water? If he did, that was enough of a drop into the surf that the guy probably didn't survive, even if he COULD swim, which, in that era, is doubtful. (Yes, believe it or not, at that point in time, most sailors couldn't swim!)

    As for what we saw in "Billy and Bully," I think it was mostly Bogg trying to end Jeffrey's hero-worship of Billy the Kid. Heck, I sure wouldn't want my kid learning to shoot from him, and I'm actually in favor of teaching kids to shoot. The son of one of our neighbors was providing venison for both his own family and us by the time he was Jeffrey's age. Anyway, where Bogg threw the gun away at the end of the episode, I chalk that up to his proving a point to the kid more than anything else.

    Okay, due to the "Butterfly Effect," a Voyager does have to be careful with people's lives, and I can envision a talk happening later to that effect. But let's get real. I just can't imagine a pirate who refuses to use a gun.

    I've been wanting to get that off my chest for a while; it's one of my two sore points about the show. I won't even go into the other one here, since that's a whole political can of worms I prefer to save for the voting booth.

    ---Jake

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  2. I think we all have our sore points, and that most likely comes because the show, which could have dipped into so many realms of history and fascinating stories, was directed to a kid audience. We're adults, we've seen and learned about the ugly (especially nowadays vs. sugarcoated history lessons of the past) So, we know Voyagers could take it to the next level. That's why, even though others disagree with me, I could see this show being remade on that more sophisticated level. Possibly up there with 'Lost' or at least, 'Quantum Leap.'

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  3. I loved the article G! It really got into the nitty gritty of his outfit! I've never thought of it like that before. It was prolly several different eras combined. :) All I know is that he looked FINE!!!!! ;)

    And I'm just gonna quick comment on the "guns." I think that Bogg didn't 'like' to use weapons. (He was dealing with people's lives!) But he sure knew how to use them when he needed to! :) The man was no pansy!

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  4. Ginger I loved the article,it was fascinating. I always thought his aunt had a boyfriend and not a husband.I also loved that picture of Jon from the Created Equal episode, which is one of my favorites. The things that is so sad about the show was it had so much potential with so many stories that they could have done if it had been given a chance,that is why i love the fan-fiction stories. Also Jon might still be with us. I can't wait for your next post. EmilyW.

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  5. I disagree about the guns, actually. Don't forget that a lot of pirates eschewed guns because it was too hard to keep the powder dry at sea. Besides, swords are just way cooler. I always like it when TV heroes refuse guns. Might be Doctor Who's fault, but he's hardly alone. Remington Steele never had a gun, neither did MacGyver, nor does the Mentalist. It tends to force the writers to be that bit more inventive, which is something that I appreciate. And this from somebody whose favourite TV show is The A-Team, where everybody has thirty-six guns each, and uses them simultaneously. Mind you, they never actually hit anything, so maybe they don't count.

    On a different note, I just read this book myself last month. I was rather amused by the costume thing as well, and Jeffrey's odd fixation on it. Still, it's good for a boy to have a hobby. ;)

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  6. Hey, good point about keeping the powder dry, swordz; I had indeed forgotten about that. Plus the fact that the hand-guns of that time were often unreliable.

    Ginger, I like your idea about a blog post on the dark side of being a Voyager. And as for QL---you know, if I sit here and imagine Bogg and Jeff years later, I can picture a relationship that would be like kind of like Sam and Al's...hmm, maybe you're right, and the one actually DID inspire the other! ;D

    ---Jake

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  7. Hey Jake, I can certainly picture it too! Jeff would definitely be more Sam and Bogg Al..lol! But they were the best of friends. There are many differences to the QL series of course, I wouldn't go so far to say it was a complete revamp, but it's just funny that only 6 years later NBC pops up with this time travel show. They were both very enjoyable in their own ways.
    Technically, it was your idea, lol. But it would be interesting to even gather info on a few of the various voyages they did in the show and compare it to the real history. Now that's a project to think about!

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  8. More comments here:

    Hey, for all we know, maybe the original Bogg that Parriott had in mind was SUPPOSED to look a bit like Bill Jones.

    As for heavier objects falling faster...actually Galileo disproved that centuries ago by dropping two objects from the Tower of Pisa, one substantially heavier than the other. Both hit the ground at the same time. I always explained it by visualizing Jeff falling sort of spread-eagled, the way most people do, and Bogg tucking his arms and legs and rocketing down until he caught up with him. Any skydiver can tell you that you can control the speed of your descent by the way you hold your limbs.

    Interesting that Claro mentions a suburban home. I always rather imagined that, like maybe somewhere at the far end of Queens, bordering Nassau County.

    And, hey, there's not a whole lot of difference between Bogg's vest and that jerkin you showed a picture of, except for the number of buttons. It's even got the stand-up collar.

    I did a little research on the name "Bogg" just for grins and giggles a while ago and discovered that the name originated in the Berwickshire region, on the border between England and Scotland, and that a branch of the family migrated to Georgia in the 17th century. So, whether he actually knew it or not in "The Day the Rebs Took Lincoln," Bogg really DID have relatives in Atlanta! And given the Nordic invasions of England in ancient times, there's doubtless some Nordic blood in his line, which, as you say, is where he gets his coloring from. ;D

    Hey, just thought I'd let you know, I ordered the book and am expecting it to arrive any day now, so then I'll really be able to swap comments with you on it! ;D

    ---Jake

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  9. Hey Jake, thanks for all the insights..when I wrote the heavier objects comment..I wasn't too sure of it myself, it was just always stuck in the back of my head. Great lineage! Sooo! I was okay with making the Bogg family from England in some of my stories. Yay. :D
    And hey, maybe, this script goes back to the orignal vision of Bogg as the professor/Doctor Who type..before they cast Jon as a young swashbuckler.
    I guess I have to dig as much as I can from this book, considering it's a children's novel, lol.

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  10. Jake said:

    Hey, for all we know, maybe the original Bogg that Parriott had in mind was SUPPOSED to look a bit like Bill Jones.

    Actually, James Parriott himself has said that he originally envisioned someone older - mid-thirties or early forties - in the role of Bogg, and when Jon-Erik was first suggested for the role, Parriott was against that idea. Good thing he changed his mind! :-)

    Casey

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  11. Hi Casey, you're right. It seemed like they were going for the Doctor Who type...or someone like a stuffy English Professor, but Jon's persistence won out. I'm so glad it did! :P

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  12. As for Jeffrey so clearly recognizing all those clothes, I think the details were in the original script and Claro, as he was writing from Jeffreys point of view, used this as a way to pass on the information, but it doesn't sound very credible, really, that the boy has such an exact knowledge about the clothing of other eras that he can recognize them at once, while he is still in shock with a stranger breaking into his room 30 stories above the ground!

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  13. Hello Dolores, thanks for reading the blog entries! I think that TV loves to make kids super smart, don't they? Sometimes just overly patronizing. You're right, the costume description was just for our own visuals. I'd be stammering and my mind would probably be blank for a minute, haha. but, there are people out there with those 'instant' smarts, and those are some of the ones the Voyagers look for! :P

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