Friday, May 04, 2012

The Dr Watson in my family tree

(or, A rambling blog entry even by my standards)

I've been having a lot of fun reading the Sherlock Peoria website lately, and I'm particularly impressed by the attempt to put together a definitive timeline for the 60 Sherlock Holmes adventures. Many people have tried their hands at this task in the past, and since all sane people would give up on the idea once they've read "The Red-Headed League" and noticed that April 27 is followed exactly eight weeks later by October 9 (Arthur Conan Doyle wasn't quite as precise with details as his famous creation), there's always scope for a lot of creativity. This website has my favourite view of all the ones I've seen, asserting that Watson was married a total of six times (the last being to Mrs Hudson) and that he hallucinated the presence of Sherlock Holmes in two stories that actually took place during the period when Holmes was thought to be dead. Recommended reading for everyone!

The whole of the wider website is full of fun articles and snippets, in fact, marred only by one occurrence of that universal American belief that the British measure distances in kilometres. Honestly, I've never met an American who didn't believe that, whether it's Americans who've visited Britain repeatedly in the past or ones who resolutely know nothing about the world outside the USA, they can all confidently tell you that they use kilometres in Britain. It's probably taught at schools. There's probably an exam on foreign countries that you have to pass to graduate from university, in which the only question is "What do they use to measure distance in Britain? a) Miles; b) Kilometers; c) Cubits; d) All of the above." All American exams are multiple-choice, and the pass-mark is 25%.

Anyway, I've drifted a tiny bit away from my original point and lurched into a stereotypical characterisation of Americans that's even more offensive than the murderous Mormons and sinister Scowrers you'll find in Sherlock Holmes, so let me go back to what I was meaning to write about, and something that isn't really gone into on Sherlock Peoria - the question of Dr Watson's first name.

For the uninitiated, it goes like this: The first Sherlock Holmes book, "A Study in Scarlet" (1887) is introduced as "Being a reprint from the reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D.", and after the lengthy digression into Utah written by an unidentified omniscient narrator, the penultimate chapter is titled "A continuation of the reminiscences of John Watson, M.D." But then in "The Man With The Twisted Lip" (1891), Watson's wife refers to him as James. This is the only time in all the Sherlock Holmes stories that anyone uses poor Watson's first name in dialogue. It goes unmentioned for a quarter of a century after that, when the preface to the book "His Last Bow" (1917), written in character by Watson, is signed "John H. Watson, M.D.", and finally the name is used again in "The Problem of Thor Bridge" (1922), when narrator Watson mentions that he keeps his papers in a dispatch-box labelled "John H. Watson, M.D."

Most people dismiss the "James" as a mistake, or else write it off as a pet name used by Watson's wife. And after all, Professor Moriarty and his brother are both called James in different stories, while a character with what should be the memorable name of Athelney Jones becomes Peter Jones when he reappears later, so you have to suspend your disbelief a tiny bit. But if you want to take the Sherlock Holmes stories seriously, I think you have to assume that although Watson's first name was in fact John, he was universally known as James to everyone who knew him.

All of which sounds entirely plausible when you consider my great-uncle James/John Palmer, who puzzled me a lot when I was researching my family tree. I really need to try to look into his life some more and establish why he apparently couldn't settle on a name for himself. I'm at least 99% convinced that there aren't two very similarly-named people who lived very similar lives, but judge for yourself - here are all the certificates and censuses I've got with his name on them:

April 5th, 1891, census:
John Palmer, 3, lives at 50 Powell Street with his father, John W. Palmer, 40, brewery labourer, mother Jane Palmer, 27, and brothers George, 2, and Joseph, 2 months.

March 31st, 1901, census:
John Palmer, 13, errand boy, lives at 50 Powell Street with his widowed mother Jane, 38, brother Joseph, 10, and sister Hannah, 6.

August 2nd, 1908, marriage certificate:
Groom John William Palmer, 23, bachelor, carter, 50 Powell St, father William Palmer (deceased), labourer. Bride Florence Pridmore, 23, spinster, 143 Daisy Walk, father William Thomas Pridmore, bricklayer.

May 17th, 1909, birth certificate:
Baby James William, born to mother Florence Palmer, formerly Pridmore, and father James William Palmer, mineral water carter, 34 Hunt Street.

April 2nd, 1911, census:
James William Palmer, 26, mineral water carter, wife Florence Palmer, 25, and son James William Palmer, 1, live at 143 Daisy Walk.

October 17th, 1911, birth certificate:
Baby Norman, born to mother Florence Palmer, formerly Pridmore, and father John William Palmer, mineral water carter, 143 Daisy Walk.

October 5th, 1913, marriage certificate:
Florence's brother Wilfred gets married, and the witnesses are John William Palmer and Florence Palmer.

June 17th, 1914, birth certificate:
Baby Jennie, born to mother Florence Palmer, formerly Pridmore, and father John William Palmer, moulder's labourer, 1 in court 2 Bond Street.

May 13th, 1920, death certificate:
Death of Florence Palmer, wife of James William Palmer, brewery stableman (ex army), 10 Brough Street.

March 20th, 1926, marriage certificate:
Groom James William Palmer, 40, widower, stableman, 10 Brough Street, son of William Palmer (deceased), brewery worker. Bride Fanny Thornton, 40, spinster, 10 Brough Street.

This is a man who advances his age by three years when he gets married, so there's something shifty about him. The family seem to have gone down in the world over the years, too - first they live at Daisy Walk (4 rooms, according to the census form), which was the Pridmores' old house before they moved to Hunt Street, but then after the war they're reduced to moving in with Florence's sister Lilian and her family, and all living together at the Brough Street house (5 rooms for the Palmers and their three children, the Mays and their four). But I'd like to know why he starts calling himself James in 1908/9, switches back to John in 1911, then becomes James again by 1920. I mean, really, what did great-aunt Florence marry into?

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Krypton Force Five

Blogger's got a new fancy interface thing, and I think it's now such that I can share a spreadsheet with the world and not lose all the formatting! So this one is for fans of my Krypton Force blog that summarises all those releases of Force Five cartoons by my favourite cheap video label. That post brings in more google-search-directed pageviews than anything else I've written, you know. Except the one about how to give yourself food poisoning.

Here's a summary of the original Japanese episode titles (translated, sometimes badly, into English), the titles of the Force Five translations of 26 episodes from each series, the rarer-than-hen's-teeth pre-cert Video Brokers releases, and everyone's favourites, the Krypton Force videos. Just for anyone who's out to collect them all. All this information is, I think, gathered together on the internet for the very first time, and although it involves a teensy bit of guesswork here and there, it's at least 90% accurate. And what more could you want?

(If this doesn't look readable on your computer, please tell me. It looks okayish on mine.)

Getter Robo G Starvengers Formators
Japanese number Japanese title Force Five Episode Title Video brokers tape Krypton Force number Krypton Force tape
1 Revive, Getter Robo! 1 Who'll Fly Poseidon 1a 2a The New Starvenger
2 Mystery of the Fearsome 100 Demon Empire 2 Dragon Formation... Switch On! 1b 2b The New Starvenger
3 An Insidious Trap! The Flying Fleet 3 Sky Tankers Away 2a 3a The Havoc Symbol
4 Benkei! Victory Of Tears 4 Tip Gets The Needle 2b 3b The Havoc Symbol
5 The Frightening Hydrogen Bomb Plan 5 Atomic Blackmail 11b
6 The Dream Shredding Hyakki Empire 6 The Star Energizer's Gone 3a 4a Star Energizers
7 After That Black Jet!
8 Two Stars Shining in the Night Sky
9 SOS! Getter Robo, Please Respond! 7 A Deserted Laboratory 3b 4b Star Energizers
10 Attacking the Demon Island! 8 The Island Fortress 4a 5a Earths Defence
11 The Hyakki Empire! The Road to the General 9 Honour Redeemed 4b 5b Earths Defence
12 Showdown in the Desert!
13 Bat Bombs Crisis! 10 Tip's Falcon 12a 7a Birds Of Prey
14 A Friend became Wind
15 The Ballad of the Red Butterfly
16 Battle!! Stormy Man's Road
17 Koro, Bark For Tomorrow 11 Joey Finds A Friend 5a 6a Joey & The Pup
18 Danger in Izu Penisula Shallows
19 Rescue Dr. Saotome! 12 Mount Pandemonium Explodes 11a
20 Major Battle! Mecha Fortress 13 Star Fire part 1 6a 9a Star Fire
21 Final Battle! Shinespark 14 Star Fire part 2 6b 9b Star Fire
22 Jumbo Jet Disappears On The Ocean Floor 15 Free Trip To Danger 5b 6b Joey & The Pup
23 Moonlight Dancing Clown 16 Send Out The Clowns 7a 8a Omicron Ray
24 A Boy Screaming Into The Sea 17 A Boy Crying To The Sea 7b 8b Omicron Ray
25 Michiru Disappears into the Beach
26 He who became a Demon!
27 Swallow, Fly away 18 Flight Of The Swallow 8a
28 Green Earth Dies
29 Whistle after the tears 19 A Family Reunion 8b
30 Dry Snow Sneak Attack!
31 Burn! Ryo's Sword
32 What's Up With That Healthy Girl? 20 A Girl Named Maria 9a 10a Fear Of Imagination
33 Dusk knows
34 Showdown! Hyakki Three Brothers 21 Triple Play 9b 10b Fear Of Imagination
35 Never Die Hyakki Old Soldiers 22 The Old Warrior 10a
36 Benkei Assassination Plot 23 The Cry Of Silence 10b
37 Approaching Crisis In Japanese Waters? 24 The Mother Quail's Strategy 12b 7a Birds Of Prey
38 Emperor Brai 's Counter Attack 25 The Battle For Earth part 1 13a
39 Battle! Sky over Japan 26 The Battle For Earth part 2 13b

SF Saiyuki Starzinger Spaceketeers Sci-Bots
Japanese number Japanese title Force Five Episode Title Video brokers tape Krypton Force number Krypton Force tape
1 The Journey To The Great Planet 1 Aurora Accepts The Challenge 1a
2 The Princess Of Space 2 The Invincible Warrior 1b
3 The Planet Of Mud 3 Enter The Space Hog 2a
4 The Adventure And The Dream 4 One For All And All For One 2b
5 Friendship Is The Strongest 5 Crystal Palace 3a 12a Crystal & The Space Bees
6 The Astrobat 6 Swarm Of The Space Bees 3b 12b Crystal & The Space Bees
7 The Bravery Of Haka 7 The Panther Bat 4a 11a Star Point Tantar
8 The Nightmare Of Energy 8 All For One And None For All 4b 11b Star Point Tantar
9 The Lost Star
10 The Symbol Of The Lost
11 Doctor Mud 9 Dr Snark's Chance 5a 10a Snark & The Diamonds
12 Don't Die, Princess! 10 The Galactic Diamond 5b 10b Snark & The Diamonds
13 The Split Planet 11 Enter Tryax Khan 13a 4a Betrayal
14 The Fort Planet 12 Reluctant Enemies 6a 9a Surrender By Force
15 The Dark Point 13 Too Much Monkey Business 6b 9b Surrender By Force
16 A Dead Flower
17 A Shadow In The Water 14 Eye Of The Beholder 7a 8a Evil Catyla
18 Hot Wave 15 Sacrifice To Rorka 7b 8b Evil Catyla
19 Bye-Bye Captain 16 Heart Of Ice 8a 7a Zalo
20 Unbeaten Mart
21 Underground Hero
22 Lost Monster
23 Telepathic Vision
24 One Of Two Is A Liar 17 Truth And Consequences 8b 7b Zalo
25 The Bright Planet 18 A Rose Is A Rose 9a 6a Love And Treasure
26 A Terrible Battle 19 Treasure Of Tryax Khan 9b 6b Love And Treasure
27 Kin Kin Attacks Again 20 Menace Of The Fire Dragons 10a 3a Battle Of The Flame Dragon
28 The Death Of Queen Cosmos 21 A Stitch In Time And Space 10b 3b Battle Of The Flame Dragon
29 Fort Goldstar 22 An Enemy Betrayed 11a 13a Dector The Betrayer
30 The Three Brothers 23 The Three Brothers 11b 13b Dector The Betrayer
31 Revolution Of Lephan 24 The Truth About Solda 12a 5a Death Valley
32 The Monster's Love
33 Devil Of Space 25 The Sayleen Solution 12b 5b Death Valley
34 Cursed Forest Of Glass 26 The Mirror Cracks 13b 4b Betrayal
35 The Monster's Heart
36 Without A Planet
37 Lonely Wolf Of The Space
38 The Dog-Robot
39 The Eternal Snow
40 The Princess Is Missing In The Planet Magma
41 The Big Search For The Princess
42 A Woman From The Dark Past
43 Kill The Princess, With Love !
44 The Red Desert Oath
45 Lullaby In The Battle
46 Soldiers Of The Foreign Legion
47 Tomorrow Will Be The Day
48 The Attack Of King Ghyuma
49 Queen Lacet's Plot
50 The Last Day Of The Evil Stronghold
51 Hurry Up , Soldiers Of Love !
52 The Last Day Of The Evil Forces
53 Unexpected Attack (Black Sun)
54 Princess Aurora In The Hands Of The Devil
55 The Battle Of The Planet Girara
56 End Of A Wicked One
57 The Primitive Appearance Of The Monsters
58 The Ghost Queen Edora
59 The Enigma Of The Ancient Planet
60 Destruction Of Earth
61 Back To Bright Sun !
62 Planet Atlates
63 Beyond The Storm
64 The Monster Of Light
65 Cogo's New Circuits
66 The Abduction Of The Princess
67 The Planet Of The Slaves
68 The Little Demon
69 The Fifth Planet
70 The Fake Cogo
71 Tears Of Pain
72 The Final Battle
73 Farewell, Princess

UFO Robo Grendizer Grandizer Orion Quest
Japanese number Japanese title Force Five Episode Title Video brokers tape Krypton Force number Krypton Force tape
1 Brothers Of The Universe 1 Robot Back To Action 1a 3a Red Moon
2 Prince Of The Other World 2 Beware The Red Moon 1b 3b Red Moon
3 The Tragic Fiesta
4 The Island Of Fear 3 The Southern Cross 2a 1a Triple Triangle
5 The Pitfall Of Death 4 General Ding 2b 1b Triple Triangle
6 Attack On Perlepolis
7 The Feast Of The Wolves 5 No Honour Among Thieves 3a 2a Vega
8 The Radars Are Off 6 Blinded By The Fog 3b 2b Vega
9 The Black Moon Camp
10 Vega's Spy 7 The Youngest Spy 4a 4a The Youngest Eclipse
11 The Day When The Sun Will Stop 8 A Vegan Eclipse 4b 4b The Youngest Eclipse
12 Blood On Snow
13 By Iron And By Fire 9 Solar Powered Invaders 5a
14 The Day Of The Rising Sun
15 Red Akerae
16 The Fiance Of Death 10 Love Conquers All 5b
17 The Infernal Ride 11 A Run In The Snow 6a
18 The New Time Of The Caves
19 The Crushed Town 12 The Orphan 6b
20 Earth In Danger 13 The Lunar Menace 7a
21 The Submerged Continents 14 The Northern Lights 7b
22 The Slayers Of The Sky 15 Coward Or Hero? 13a
23 The Flood Of The New Worlds 16 Brenda's Guardian Angel 8a
24 The Enforcer 17 Brenda To The Rescue 8b
25 Fleed's Lovers
26 The Edges Of The Abyss 18 The Gift Of Life part 1 9a
27 Win Or Perish 19 The Gift Of Life part 2 9b
28 The New Masters Of Darkness
29 The Fire Bird
30 The Lightning Rock 20 The Radiation Rock 10a
31 A Dreamer From Outer Space 21 The Return Of The Boss 10b
32 The Ghost Queen 22 Upon A Sweeter Memory 11a
33 The Wings Of Death 23 All Things Great And Small 11b
34 The Mercenary Of Opression 24 Taos The Wolfman 12a
35 The First Raid
36 The Invincible Cosmos 25 Achilles Heel 12b
37 A Star Is Dead 26 Of Noble Friends 13b
38 Darkness Makers
39 The Patrol Of Eagles
40 The Awakening Of Volcanoes
41 Baptism Of Fire
42 Peril In Abode
43 The Victory Of Eagles
44 When Dogs Are Loosened
45 Ants And Men
46 The Ballet Of Sharks
47 The Ignited Lake
48 World In Fusion
49 The Last Survivor
50 The Four Headed Eagle
51 The Black Star
52 The Monsters Generation
53 The Beast
54 The Snake
55 The Loch Ness Monster
56 The Lynx Of Outer Space
57 The Monster Child
58 The Double
59 The Commando
60 The Rats
61 Pegasus
62 The Swans
63 The Polar Bear
64 Five Minutes To Die
65 A Big One
66 Death Comes From The Sea
67 The Dived Operation
68 The Great Pain
69 Like Father, Like Son
70 The Impostor
71 The Best Friend
72 A Princess In Love
73 For The Love Of The Earth
74 It's Only A Goodbye

Daiku Maryu Gaiking  Gaiking Protectors
Japanese number Japanese title Force Five Episode Title Video brokers tape Krypton Force number Krypton Force tape
1 Mysterious Black Holes 1 Aries Joins The Team 1a 1a Vital Element
2 A Necessary Fight 2 Right Down The Middle 1b 1b Vital Element
3 The Enigma Of Emperor Darius 3 The Dark Horror Corps Strikes 2a
4 The Haniwa With Shining Eyes
5 Brave Yamagatake
6 The Mu Empire 4 The Last Continent 3a
7 The Awful Inverted Death Cross 5 Jaws Of Darius 2b
8 The Space Dragon Goes Out Of Control
9 The Nazca Lines Mystery 6 Mystery Of The Nasuka 3b
10 Skyler Jumps Into Death
11 Crying Hachiro 7 Great Balls Of Fire 4a
12 Answer, Midori! 8 Pendant For Nebula 4b
13 The Red Scorpion Barks In The Desert 9 Devil Of The Desert part 1 5a
14 Space Dragon's Counterattack 10 Devil Of The Desert part 2 5b
15 Miracle Drill! 11 The Coach Comes Back 6a 2a Yongard The Terrible
16 Midori's Eternal Separation
17 Nesser's Big Underwater Challenge 12 The Threat From Beneath The Sea 6b 2b Yongard The Terrible
18 Spaceship Noah's Ark
19 Brother, Play In The Future 13 Golden Threads And Super Concrete 7a
20 The Revenge Of The Hell Warriors
21 The Tears Of The Devil Jaguar
22 The Enigma Of The Underground Reign 14 The Underground Kingdom 7b
23 Infernal Moon 15 Encounter On The Moon 8a 4a Moon Plane
24 The Gods Of Easter Island 16 Guardians Of Easter Island 8b 4b Moon Plane
25 Moral Fighting At The End Of The World 17 From The Frozen Past 9a
26 Pegasus In Outer Space 18 An Android With A Heart 9b 1a* Attack Of The Xelans
27 I Swear On The Southern Cross
28 To Outer Space, Zeus Missile
29 Triumph: Yamagatake In First Place
30 A Dinosaur In The Jungle 19 The Last Dinosaur 10a 3a The Great Swamp
31 The Avenging Double Eagle
32 The Ghost Ship Which Came Back 20 The Flying Dutchman 10b 3b The Great Swamp
33 God Himira's Appearance 21 The Magic Necklace 11a
34 Fierce Cutting Fire Machine 22 Locked Horns In Deep Space 11b
35 Farewell, Mound Of Glory
36 Burn, Golden Leo!
37 Invaded Space Dragon 23 Aries In Lilliput 12a
38 Take Off! Destination Everest
39 The Divine Punch Which Calls The Storm
40 The Rose Spaceship
41 Giant Cutter, Inverted Flight Cut
42 The Monster Of Loch Ness 24 The Loch Ness Mystery 12b
43 A Phantom Castle On Mars 25 The End Of Zela 13a 1b* Attack Of The Xelans
44 Go! The Last Great Battle For Earth 26 The Battle For Earth 13b 1b* Attack Of The Xelans

Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace Danguard Ace Mission Promete
Japanese number Japanese title Force Five Episode Title Video brokers tape Krypton Force number Krypton Force tape
1 Take Flight! Pioneers of Star Travel
2 The Masked Man: Captain Dan 1 Enter Captain Mask 1a 1a The Mask
3 The Crimson Sunset Vow 2 Down From Mach 2 1b 1b The Mask
4 Burning to life... No tomorrow 3 Calling Captain Mask 2a
5 Emergency Takeoff! Satelizer!
6 Fly Onward To Face Tomorrow
7 Stick to the Starshine
8 Flowers From Takuma's Tears 4 The T-Formation 2b
9 As the Sun Sets a Friend is Lost
10 Captain Dan's True Identity!?
11 A Father's Mask of Shadows Disappears Into Space 5 Captain Mask Remembers 3a 3a Blackstar
12 Shine! Danguard Ace! 6 Mission One Remembered 3b 3b Blackstar
13 Beyond the Father! Fight!
14 Don't Weep Until That Day Takuma
15 SOS! Fly to Mars
16 A Father's Cloudy Weather Judgement 7 Practice Makes Perfect 4a
17 Two White Contrails 8 Splashdown From The Past 4b
18 A Cry Out at the Sky's Rainbow
19 Captain Dan In Danger 9 Captain Mask At Risk 5a
20 Lisa In The Sunset
21 Tamaga's First Credit 10 Circuits Saves The Day 5b
22 If It Is For Her 11 The Fourth Dimension 8b
23 Friendship Blooms On The Ice 12 Friendship On The Ice 6a
24 The Bridging of the Sun and Stars
25 Submarine Escape! Close Call 13 A Narrow Escape 6b
26 Three Young Lions 14 Three Pilots For Danguard part 1 7a
27 Young People Aimed At The Universe! 15 Three Pilots For Danguard part 2 7b
28 Formidable Rival 16 The Adversary 8a
29 Wonderful Rival
30 Fighting Spirit Sparks 17 Winstar Takes A Back Seat 11a
31 Mekatasan Fellow Daredevil
32 Desperate Situation RX-2! 18 A Cadet Takes Command 9a
33 The Doppler Corps Takes off!
34 Tears! Takuma Zessho
35 Shine To Eternity! Eternal Star Of The Father
36 Change Course To Mars 19 A Martian Detour 9b
37 Farewell, Star Of Icarus 20 Return Of The Octor 10a
38 Swear To Mystery Satellite 13! 21 A Boy From Atlantis 10b
39 Dark Nebula! Escape 22 A Planetary Nebula 12a
40 The Endless Sea Of Galaxies
41 Star Esplanade Raid 23 Sixth Sense 11b
42 Smile of the Alien
43 Takuma's Showdown in Thailand
44 I Saw The Star Of Hope Prometheus
45 Full Throttle
46 Comet Blasting Operations 24 Tale Of The Comet 12b
47 Flowers Of Fear Attack! 25 Grand Illusion 13a
48 Mother Ship Rebellion
49 Black Shadow Doppler Corps
50 Here Is A Bold Man Ban 26 Butch To The Rescue 13b
51 The End of the Vice President!
52 Defended By Hand
53 Love Is Beautifully Sad
54 Fight For The Star Of Love
55 Shout To The Prometheus!
56 Beautiful Shining Star Of Hope