Voyagers! The Junior Novel: Ch. 9 (Ben Franklin and Richthofen)

In the beginning of chapter 9 There's a quick description of the peaceful scene. A bombed out barn in France and an old horse calmly eating the hay off the pile. The horse trots off suddenly when it hears the familiar whistle. What do you make of this Voyagers whistle? It ain't Dixie!

Once I described it in a fanfic as a sort of harsh cosmic/sonic and discordant sound that the Voyagers are trained to get used to. Since they are traveling faster than the speed of light and sound, it made sense to me to describe it that way. Just as it reaches the earth's atmosphere with the Voyagers it gently fades to a whistle – The concept is similar to a giant Meteor that wants to strike earth out of orbit, but the moment it hits and passes through our atmosphere, it's nothing bigger than a small rock by the time it lands.

The author mixes things up here. "The whistle became louder–louder–ear shattering. But no explosion came. Instead, Bogg and Jeff flew through the air on a pile of hay–the whistling came to an end."

Say what? It's a wonder Bogg and Jeff aren't as deaf as poor Mabel Hubbard if they have to put up with a noise like that for every landing. And what about the bystanders in the area? The show was inconsistent with the whistle. Sometimes others would hear it and look up confused.  Other times they are totally oblivious until the boys literally tumble down at their feet.

Continuity, people! Sometimes I often wonder if the 60's-80's TV programs even had Continuity people!

In swoops the Red Baron! Shooting a mile a minute. Bogg shouts yet another favorite line of mine. 

"Terrific! Wonderful! We get airplanes into the war so they can blow us to bits!"

Having been present and too close for comfort during the tragic Twin Towers collapse, not knowing if another plane used as a weapon would drop out of the sky and slam into one of the two bridges that hovered over us by the East River…I couldn't agree more with him.

Then Jeffrey throws in even more confusion over who is Richthofen and who is Rickenbacker. I will settle this once and for all. This is Richthofen – and not a bad looking chap, I might add. The man below is Eddie Rickenbacker.


CAPICE, Voyagers?

When our Voyagers spot Eddie and Mary

The author tells us the type of plane they are flying that Jeffrey recognizes from his WWI Books. 

"They were both two seaters. Both had the markings of the 94th Aero Squadron. One of the planes had a machine gun mounted in the rear."

After watching the pilot episode again I'm convinced that the pilots traveling with Eddie and Mary were dead. It was pretty obvious. The book describes them as wounded. But, remember how they were just dragged and left face down in the grass? You don't do that to wounded people. I hope?

This was obviously a scene the show was targeted for by the Censors. After this, no one dies or is seen dead on Voyagers ever again. At least not within the confines of the individual episodes. If you know your history of certain people and events, well, then, yeah, many will go on to meet tragic, early deaths – Spartacus, the Titanic passengers & crew, Cleopatra…among others.

This makes me want to back-track to the beginning of this adventure. Remember when machine guns were firing at Bogg as he jumped the truck with the motorbike? That boy had to have some kind of electromagnetic force field from the omni to protect him from all those rapid fire bullets. Shot from no further than fifty feet or less by at least a dozen men!

It was in a red-light zone. These soldiers were trained for ground-combat and surely knew how to use those guns and ammo! Whew! Just had to get that faux-paux off my chest!
Okay, now here comes a really corny joke "replacement."

"You know how to fly one of these things?" Eddie asked. Bogg chuckles. "Did Benjamin Franklin know how to write?"

That joke falls flatter than a pancake under a steamroller! The answer is yes…and Mary intercedes and still gets her goodbye kiss. Only she doesn't glibly ask Phineas to join her in Hollywood and forgets who Doug is. If I got a kiss like that from Bogg I just might forget who I was!

"Why did you lie to him? You couldn't even fly the glider!"
Good one Jeff! Good one.

"I didn't lie." Bogg said, buttoning up his pilot jacket. "I never lie. Did you ever try to read Benjamin Franklin's handwriting?"
Well gee, Bogg, it's not that bad!

Nothing can beat Bogg admitting that he'd seen Marie Antoinette's legs and thought they were terrible. They obviously weren't these!

But at least the Bogg in this story won't have to deal with Jeffrey's pressing, innocent, and inevitable questions on just how that feat was accomplished!

Adios amigos. Until Chapter 10!


  1. Had to stick the Lords of Brooklyn in there, didn'tcha?

    Oh, yeah; musn't show realities like death to little kiddies. Geeze.

    1960: I'm six years old, in the first grade; in our religion lessons, we were taught about Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell about halfway through the year. Today, people don't think kids that age can even understand what death is. Gee, I wonder why, when we shelter them so much from it?

    In 1971, when I was in high school, one of the students committed suicide by jumping out a fourth-floor window in front of a whole bunch of us. None of us could believe it, but we all went to the wake and the funeral, and that was the end of it.

    Fast forward to four years ago: A high-school student just suddenly collapses, dead, at the Homecoming party. One of the students present was in my church choir. She was in counseling for weeks. Shelter the kiddies, and you get a bunch of pansies.

    Oh, well. Anyhoo, I personally liked the Marie Antoinette line a lot better than the one about franklin's handwriting. It would have been funnier if he had made a reference to Leonardo DaVinci's handwriting, since the guy wrote backwards!

    I wonder how Bogg knows what Marie Antoinette's legs look like, anyway? ;P


  2. The line about Ben Franklin's handwriting is so stupid! I agree Jake,the Marie Antoinette line is much better. I wonder why they didn"t talk about death much on the show,was it because of it airing during the family hour? I remeber an episode from The Waltons where Jason's friend was dying and everyone was upset,maybe they did not give kids in the 1980's much credit. Bogg must have known Marie Antoinette pretty well if he knew what her legs looked like. I would have liked to see him explain that to Jeff . Fantastic post! EmilyW

  3. You're right Jake, kids decades ago were much more thick skinned about things, which is odd, because kids today are totally exposed to violence/maiming/death and killing through television, movies, news media..what's sad is though that the kids in the past new it was real and acted appropriately, today people are stunted and think..'Man! This is like a movie!' There is an element of reality lost because there minds are so warped from shooting down people in video games and such. They've become accustomed to 'fake' violence and real death seems to crumble them! :/
    I don't think the 80's kids were given much credit either, there were so many unspoken things like death, child abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism, drugs...stark contrast to today's youth and what's on the tube.
    That's a good one! Leonardo Davinci would have been perfect to use. I wonder if the author made up BF or was it from the early script? lol.
    LOL! For Bogg to explain something like her legs to Jeff, the censors might have had to step in yet again. But you could have created a totally hilarious scenario there, without being risque- they're at a ball, she trips, Before Bogg could catch her, the skirts fly up and Bogg is like 'eww!'At least he could have made up a story..but..oops! He never lies, and I won't fault him for that.

  4. Oh yeah, those are only the wannabee Lords of Flatbush up there, those are the corny T-Birds from Grease 2-see *Eddie* in the far left? LOL

  5. Hey, if you think the handwriting line is lame, you should read the German version of it! (It's at the end of the "Die Zeitreisenden" page)
    Great review again, G!
    What I always wonder, more than about the noise, is that people just accept without problems that there are two guys falling from the sky! I mean, in "World's apart" Jeff just drops in inside a prison, and all Lawrence and Medina say is: "Come on, this way!" How would you explain that?

  6. Awesome G! Ya made a short scene really interesting! :D He really pours out the quotes there! First with sayin' "a haystack!" Then "we get them in the air..." And then the leg quip! LOL! I thought he was being rather picky! :p I mean the lady went to the guillotine. :(

    And I noticed how they tried to not mention the charcter's deaths in the future, I guess it was too kid orientated to worry their lil' minds about it! Like during the battle at New Orleans, it looks like a soldier is shot down, (wounded at least) and a few moments later he's up and fighting like he just had a lovely nights rest! LOL.

    And I just can't get over just how good Phineas looks especially in this episode! The hair, the outfit, the charm! ;)

    Really fun post! (educational too!) ********

  7. Thanks for the comments! Yes, the whacky landings from the sky should also be a cause for question by the bystanders, but alas, they are not! I'll just assume Lawrence and Medina were too caught up and focused on escape to realize Jeff just dropped in from the sky and through the ceiling. I always wondered hwo they got through the ceiling..with effects now, you'd probably see it open up, as they fall through the solid matter. Usually the show had a way of explaining-like in Agents, they are seen as 'angels' or 'demons' depending on who was speaking, in Bully and Bully it looked like they jumped from the roof for an ambush, "BULLY! I knew my men would come!" In was apparently "a large..catapult?" Hahaha. But then there are other times where no one seems to notice, like in Arabia, Old hickory and a bunch of others. They totally needed to invent a materializing function or something. Star Trek had it and that was the sixties...well, the show was, hehehe.
    Yeah Margaret, poor Marie, I guess Phineas wasn't thinking of that, just her ugly, ultra hairy, scabby, poxmarked legs! That's the meanest thing I've ever heard him say in regards to a woman. No doubt, he was comparing her to Susan...I think we get the point, Phineas is a LEG MAN! hahaha.
    Phineas+Pilot Episode=HOT. My sister loves his look in this episode also. She felt that they should have kept it. She liked the blonder, longer hair and lighter eyebrows on him. LOL. I'm torn, there are a number of episodes where he's just smokin' hot.

  8. And about the falling noise, I never really gave it a thought. I just assumed it's one of those "unwritten film laws": Heavy objects falling down are supposed to make a noise. It's just like lightning in films always makes an extra noise apart from thunder, what's silly because thunder IS the noise of lightning.
    There are a lot of those rules, one of them is also: Ten bad guys shooting at a good guy NEVER hit him, one good guy firing back ALWAYS does!

  9. Why didn't Lawrence and Medina notice Jeff's landing? Basically, they were looking the other way when he dropped in---though they probably would have asked where he came from when they did see him. As for the noise...well, Dolores got it; there are just a couple of unwritten rules of filmmaking. But there's another possible explanation. In the pilot episode, when they first land in France after nearly getting run over by the two armies, the sound is very soft and more like the "whoosh" of a mortar than the whistle of a falling bomb. IMHO, they make the noise loud for our benefit, but in actuality, it's probably soft enough that only someone who knows what it means would even notice it.

    Oh, and BTW, lightning actually DOES make a second sound besides the thunder; when it strikes very close, you can hear a kind of "SNAP" just before the thunder. I oughtta know; lightning struck the fire escape right outside my bedroom window once---and the window was open, so I heard it clearly.


  10. I have to agree with the 'unwritten' film laws. There are so many, right? Like in a dramatic scene if a woman brushes her hands over her belly=pregnant, or in movies set in the past, if someone starts coughing=consumption and possible death later. And yeah, they constantly amplify sounds for our benefit, like whispering in the movies, it's so darn loud you wonder how the person they're whispering about didn't hear, they didn't, but we did. LOL. Bogg and Jeff=guilty of ultra loud whispers. haha.
    OUCH Jake! Almost struck by lightning! Scary! I remember being caught in a massive lightning storm, fun in a way, windy, rainy, booming and flashing all over you...but it makes you want to scream and hide too! lol.

  11. Wasn't a chance of me being struck; I was on the second floor and not grounded (the fire escape WAS, because the ladder was down). I did nearly hit the ceiling when I heard the snap, though, because I had my back to the window and it startled the daylights out of me! ;D

    And it wasn't the first time, either. Another time, a few years before that, I was sitting in the attic playing (I think I was 11 or 12). There was an old stove sitting up against the chimney, which ran through the center of the house. There was a leak between the chimney and the roof, and lightning came down that hole and struck the stove, which was grounded because the chimney ran all the way down into the basement. Imagine thunder INSIDE a house!!! I was deaf for a few minutes afterward, like being too close to a grenade when it goes off! ;D


  12. The last time I heard thunder/lightning like that was 2 years ago I think, that time I nearly hit the ceiling and I was sound asleep too. There was a tornado in Brooklyn, but in Bay Ridge, however, I guess as the tornado came down it was like a sonic boom for the rest of the borough. The wind and rain was fierce on our end anyway. That was crazy, a tornado in Brooklyn! I think it's happened before, but not in my lifetime.

  13. Hey, only half my comment posted! LOL. I said above that, you should write that 2nd experience into a story. I can just imagine that happening to Jeff, and Bogg is like RACING for his life to see what happened, thinking it was a bomb! Scary.

  14. I remember hearing about that tornado in the news. One of those hitting Brooklyn is about as rate as the 2-point earthquake that hit the place back in '78. A little more shaking than the Canarsie line passing under our house; just enough to rattle the glasses in the closet. That shocked everyone, since Brooklyn sits on solid bedrock, and it had been said for generations that an earthquake couldn't happen there, because there were no fault lines. Surprise!! ;D

    Hey, good idea about working the lightning into a story! I never even thought of that!


  15. Hello there again, fascinating experiences you've had! I admit I don't have any like this with lighting, but I think that second sound you mention still isn't like the one in the movies, which isn't before thunder, but immediately with lightning, a loud, cracking, rumbling noise.
    There are still a lot rather funny film rules, I think there are entire lists of them on internet.
    I particularly like: You can see the Eiffel tower from every window in Paris, and: All secret passageways always lead through the kitchen, lol.

  16. Oh, yeah; the passageway always goes to the kitchen---unless it's in a medieval castle; then they're EVERYWHERE (which is actually historically accurate!)

    As for the lightning sound---I don't know about the rumble, but the "cracking" sound is about right; I just call it a "snap" instead. ;D


  17. 3. It was a flub on the series (And we can all attest it had many! hehe) If you notice, the plane fights weren't exactly good old stock footage. You literally saw planes flying around. It could have just been the stunt man escaping the plane and it wasn't meant to be seen...

    :D I'd never really thought about it before, but you might be right there. In World War I, parachutes simply weren't safe to be used whilst jumping from aeroplanes. By April 1918 they were just starting to be used by a handful of combat pilots, but they were still very rare. Most pilots would rather go down with their planes than risk using them. Nobody knows if the Red Baron ever wore one, but certainly he hadn't yet in the earlier part of that year.

    PS: Random Adrian Zmed! :)

  18. Hi Swordz, thanks for the comments. I think you make a great point about the parachutes. Planes were just invented as of 1918, well, only a few years old, I doubt they perfected parachutes either. That guy with the parachute in the scene appeased the censors. And In my research on Barron, he was shot in the chest, and managed to land the plane, no talk of parachutes...though it would have been hard to use it anyway since he's mortally wounded.
    LOL.. Adrien Zmed and Maxwell Caulfield! :D..and now I just realized, you quoted my chapter 10 blog on this one! LOL. No wonder I'm confused.

  19. Oops! That's what happens when you catch up on three chapters at once, I guess! Especially when two of them feature the Red Baron. *is an idiot* :)

    Parachutes had been in use for some time in 1918, because they were supplied to people in balloons. I guess there's a big difference between jumping out of a balloon, and jumping out of a plane, though, especially a plane in trouble. They had to pretty much completely redesign the thing.

    Good grief, they were brave. It must be bad enough being stuck in a dogfight in an open-cockpit biplane as it is, without having to go without a parachute into the bargain. But then how do you get out when the wings are right above you, not to mention all those struts, and the plane is likely falling out of control?

    I'm glad I didn't have to fight in that war.

  20. Oh that's okay. No more Red Barron blogs, lol. I'm actually learning more about WW1, RB, Rickenbacker (The latter whom I never heard of before Voyagers!) and early model planes through these blogs than I ever did in school. :P When you're not expected to learn these things it becomes more fascinating to look them up.

  21. I read Rickenbacker's bio when I was in high school...did you know his name was originally Richenbacher, and he changed the H's to K's so the name wouldn't be so obviously German? And he was a race-car driver before he started flying.

    BTW, I cracked up when I saw that "WHEEEE!" caption! ROFLOL!


  22. LOL. I always love finding a 'Wheee!' screencap when I can. And again, got confused here..that's on Chapter 10's blog! :D Interesting facts about Eddie. My great grandmother was 'Von Bauer' and story goes that during WW2 she dropped that 'Von' like a hot potato, even though she lived here in Brooklyn. lol.

  23. Not at all uncommon anywhere in the US for people with German names to change them during WWII, just as in WWI. There was a street in my old neighborhood that used to have a German name, and they changed it during the first war; don't remember which street it was, though. That's like the kind of potatoes we now know as "home fried" used to be called "German fried potatoes" before that war. It's also why most people in the US knit English style instead of Continental, because the latter was associated with Germans.

    With a "Von" in her name, it sounds like your grandmother's family might have been at least minor nobility back in Germany. ;D


  24. That I never thought of, though I always heard how stern she was and 'well-to-do' and seemed to always push her only son away by sending away to schools all the time and West Point. Interesting. Whatever family money there was there...ha, most likely gone and squandered by later generations. :sigh and eye-roll:

  25. Don't I know it! I understand my paternal grandparents were quite well-to-do before 1929. Enter the Great Depression...



Post a Comment

Smart kids give me a pain…
Comments, thoughts, and ideas are appreciated!