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In this weeks Voyagers! Rewatch, Cory and Tom dial the ripper hotline as they discuss the final episodes 19 & 20, “Barriers of Sound” and “Jack’s Back.”
Barriers of Sound:
Bogg and Jeffrey land in 1890, Texas, and quickly discover that future president Dwight Eisenhower is in danger of not being born due to the fact that they cannot reach a doctor by the telephone, which hasn’t been invented. The duo Omni’s out to…
Boston, 1875 where Bogg saves a deaf woman named Mabel Hubbrd from being run over by a runaway carriage, and who subsequently leads them to her school where her former teacher, Alexander Graham Bell, works as an instructor for the deaf by day, while working on his inventions at night.
Due to money constraints and his backer’s demands, Bell and his associate Thomas Watson are forced to focus on improving the telegraph machine to send multiple telegraphs at once, as opposed to the fledgling idea of the telephone. After Jeffrey explains to Bogg that Mabel’s father was the one who backed Bell originally, he leaves to try and convince Mabel to visit Bell, hoping to kindle a romance between them which will lead to a marriage and thus ensure that her father would support his son in law with an investment in his inventions while Jeffrey works on Bell and gets him to agree to a meeting with Mabel.
The meeting goes well but is in danger of failing as later that evening, Mabel shows that she has fallen for Bogg and he for her. Bogg admits his love to her to Jeffrey who is adamant that they need to fix history and that he can’t quit and settle down with Mabel. Bogg, unsure of what to do, eventually decides to tell Mabel he doesn’t love her and was only playing her, which has the desired effect of sending her running to Bell for consolation. With a green light on their belt, Jeffrey suggests they go to see the telephone actually come to fruition and travel to…
March, 1876, where they learn that Bell and Mabel became engaged and her father did indeed invest in him and that the telephone is ready to be tested. After hours of trying, however, they are not able to get it working. Bogg asks about the water being used as a conductor while Bell decides to try acid instead, burning himself with it accidentally and inadvertently sending a message through the telephone to Watson, proving the invention is working. With that, Bogg and Jeffrey Omni back to…
1890 where they witness and celebrate the birth of Eisenhower as well as their green light.
Being “pixilated” (as opposed to pixelated) means crazy.
The word “Timbre” is pronounced like “Tamber.”
The first spoken words over the telephone are different according to different people. According to Bell’s journal, he said “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you,” while according to Watson’s journal, he said “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.”
It’s been speculated that Bell and Mabel’s marriage was more for business than love, so he could procure funds for the telephone through her father.
This episode was originally written where the Voyagers help King Louis IX, before meeting Alexander Graham Bell and Mabel Hubbard. The script was altered to include the love story between Bogg and Mabel and the idea with King Louis was discarded. Most likely due to the slashed budget.
The original script, “The King and the Voyager!” can still be found online for fans to purchase. There is also have a transcribed plot summary from Epilog Magazine on the website page “Voyages Untold.”
Mabel Hubbard’s blue dress is the same dress worn by Princess Victoria in the episode Buffalo Bill and Annie Play the Palace.
The college that Mabel attends has a building called “Thiel Hall.” It is a nod to Voyagers! writer Nick Thiel, who also wrote this episode.
The Old Man Farmer was played by Bill Irwin. We’ve seen him in the L&C episode Operation Blackout as Andy Tucker. He also played the conductor in Naked Gun 33 & ⅓.
Mabel was played by Lou Mulford. She was a Vestal Virgin in the Mel Brooks comedy “History of the World Part One.”
Mabel’s father was played by John Randolph. He was also in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “You’ve Got Mail,” and the Superman 50th Anniversary Special. He was also in the first season of “Family Ties” for a guest appearance.
Dan Frischman played the clumsy waiter. He was also in “Keenan and Kel” as Chris/Rick Potter and in “Head of the Class” as Arvid.
Read Morgan was the cop. He also played a cop in Back to the Future. He was also the actual Octaman in the movie “Octaman.”
Watson was played by Linwood Boomer. Creator of Malcolm in the Middle. He’s been a producer and writer for various hit shows, including “Night Court,” “3rd Rock From the Sun,” and “God, The Devil and Bob.”
Bogg and Jeffrey literally drop in on a mysterious figure about to accost a young woman, saving her life, while the figure disappears. The woman turns out to be Nellie Bly, an American reporter, circumnavigating the globe as part of a story she was writing for a newspaper, but stopped in London and began investigating the story of Jack the Ripper. Dr Arthur Conan Doyle appears as well, offering help, and the four all retire to his flat.
As Nellie tells her story she notices the Omni in Bogg’s belt and having seen a similar albeit silver device on her attacker and believing Bogg to be Jack the Ripper, she develops a fuse allowing her to escape Doyle’s home. While Bogg chases after her, Jeffrey remains with Doyle as he deconstructs the clues he found at the scene of the attack.
Once Bogg finds Nellie in the local pub, she refused to leave with him and eventually manages to get him involved in a fight while she runs out and finds a policeman to come and arrest Bogg for being Jack the Ripper. Inspector Lestrade takes Bogg and Nellie back to Doyle’s flat but despite Doyle’s explanations of Bogg’s innocence, the Omni and lack of explanation for how Bogg just appeared at the crime scene, lead him to be arrested.
As Bogg and Jeffrey are taken to the police station, Bogg remembers the only Voyager he knew to have a silver Omni, Drake. Believing that Drake is here to mess up history, he and Jeffrey cause a distraction allowing Bogg to escape and Chase after Nellie and Doyle, who have just been confronted by Drake who is set to kill Nellie. A fight ensues with Bogg getting the upper hand but Drake again Omni’s out, just as he did in his previous attempting Nellie’s life.
Having been cleared of the charges, Bogg and Nellie share a moment as she decides to resume her trip around the world, and Doyle, having experienced a bout of writer’s block prior to this adventure, is inspired to jump back in to writing his stories of Sherlock Holmes as our two intrepid Voyagers decide to continue their own adventures in search of their next green light.
Nellie Bly was only 16 when she responded to a newspaper article that claimed women were only good for birthing and housekeeping. The editor was impressed and asked her to do a follow-up article. After that, he gave her a full time job based on her writing skills.
Nellie was played by Julia Duffy, known as Stephanie Vanderkellen in “Newhart” and “Designing Women.” She also had a ton of guest TV appearances over the years and was going to be in Cheers’ as Diane Chambers, but lost out to Shelley Long. Her newest project is “Grand Daddy Day Care.”
Look closely at Nellie Bly’s outfit. She’s wearing the traditional Sherlock Holmes plaid overcoat and Deerstalker hat. Artist Sidney Paget wore the same hat, as did William Gillette, the first actor to play Holmes on stage at the time, and Doctor Joseph Bell, Sir Arthur’s mentor and the inspiration for the Holmes character.
Sherlock Holmes was not the original name of the character. Doyle originally wanted “Sherrinford” or “Sherringford” Hope, then later used Holmes. He eventually settled on Sherlock, it was easier on the ears.
Doyle was played by Michael Ensign. He was the hotel manager in “Ghostbusters” and appeared in “Pink Floyd’s The Wall.” He was also in “Wargames,” and “Titanic.” He’s slowed down on regular acting work but still makes guest appearances in shows, as well as doing video game voice work. He was also in an episode of “Cover Up” called Writer’s Block. In the episode Hexum was replaced after his death.
Lestrade was played by Gerry Gibson. He’s had a handful of roles, a notable one is playing a detective on one episode of “Hard Time on Planet Earth” starring Martin Kove.
Steven Liska reappeared in this episode as Drake.
Cockney #1 was played by James Garrett, who appeared in Time After Time, a movie about HG Wells pursuing Jack the Ripper who has stolen his time travel machine. Malcom McDowell played Wells and David Warner was Jack. He also played Alfred in “Batman Hush” and “Batman Bad Blood” animated films, as well as “Brave and the Bold.” He was a Porter in James Cameron’s “Titanic” and did voiceover work in “Avatar the Last Airbender.”
After a break for the summer holidays, we’ll be back with the Seaquest Rewatch.
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I had so much fun and it helped break me out of my usual shell. Thanks so much for having me on the podcast. I’ll be checking out your other shows too!