Tuesday, May 16, 2017


This blog post will be on R.U.R., a 1921 play that introduced us to the word "robot", although technically, the robots of the play are really what we would today call clones, since they are artificially created humans of flesh and blood, not mechanical beings.

Capek play.jpg

1921--R.U.R.--Thanks to James Bojaciuk, we get three crossovers to make this play worthy of a post, and an explanation of how it fits in the TVCU.  James reports:  One of my very best friends, Jadis, got me The Dictionary of Imaginary Places for Christmas. What we have on our hands is another So You Created a Wormhole. It features each of these locals as a real place the reader can visit. And dang, over nearly 800 pages...it covers everthing from the obvious (Lovecraft's dives, Baskerville Hall, Narnia, Wonderland, Tolkien's lands, and Camelot) to the exceedingly obsecure examples: Carabas Castle, Glyn Gagny, the island of Rose, and many other things I won't pretend to have heard of).  Whenever a work is discussed that doesn't quite fit the real world, and isn't an AU, reasons are given for why it fits in the real world. Case in point: RUR is a 1920s stageplay that ends with robots killing every human in the world. The authors lower the apocalypse down to a small island off the coast of the eastern US. The robots, after slaughtering their masters, attempted to forge diplomatic relations with other nations. The text doesn't say what happened next. But, as the island is abandoned, it would seem the United States military did not look kindly on a gang of homicidal robots owning an island with a factory (with which they could make a limitless army of themselves).  It's a lovely book. And, in an effort to kill Rob, brings 800 pages of crossovers into the TVCU and its surounding multiverse.

1928--Eric, a robot constructed in Britain in 1928 for public appearances, bore the letters "R.U.R." across its chest.  Read more here.  

Release Date: May 1988 (Setting is May 1942)
Horror Crosses: Creature Commandos; King Kong
The Story: Deathbolt attacks Project M to steal a T-Rex and place the Ultra-Humanite’s brain in it.
Notes: King Kong’s remains are seen at Project M. Project M is from the Creature Commandos series, which has been brought in via a New Adventures of Frankenstein tale by Donald F. Glut. This story does not bring in the entire Young All-Stars series or DC Comics line.  The Utlra-Humanite was introduced in the golden age Superman series. Most people only know Luthor and Zod as Superman's foes.  Professor Rossum is referenced. The story was written by Roy and Dann Thomas based on the concept by Jean-Marc Lofficier, who provided information on his crossovers to Win Scott Eckert, which he listed in Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World.

Karl Rossum

1940s--BATMAN:  THE ANIMATED SERIES--The scientist that created the HARDAC machine is named Karl Rossum. HARDAC created mechanical replicants to replace existing humans, with the ultimate goal of replacing all humans. One of the robots is seen driving a car with "RUR" as the license plate number.

1980s--TIME SQUARED--In Howard Chaykin's Time² graphic novels, Rossum's Universal Robots is a powerful corporation and maker of robots.


Release Date: January 1, 2007 (Set in the summer, before the start of the Nightside series)
Series: Secret Histories
Horror Crosses: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Evil Dead; Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde; War of the Worlds; Nightside; Hellraiser; Frankenstein (novel)
Non-Horror Crosses: The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Doctor Who; RUR; Alice in Wonderland; Thunderbirds; Area 52 (Image Comics); Allan Quatermain; The Coming Race; Journey to the Center of the Earth; Cave Carson; Moomin; Maltese Falcon; Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Moby Dick
The Story: The Droods are a family that for a long time have been a force for good fighting supernatural evils. Edwin is one of the latest secret agent wizards, who finds himself cast out as a rogue and hunted by his own family.
Notes: The date setting is based on events from future novels and the Nightside series. Green connects all of his series within one larger mythology. One might wonder why I have Secret Histories listed in the Nightside entries as a non-horror cross but the Nightside series listed as a horror cross in the Secret Histories series. Edwin Drood is a wizard secret agent, and I don’t consider wizards as horror. They are more fantasy. Nightside exists in a pocket dimension cloaked in eternal darkness, where monsters walk around freely, so it’s more on the horror side. Both really straddle on the line of horror and non-horror, and I made a call. Having said all that, the Secret Histories series still has a large number of horror crosses, giving it a large presence in the Horror Universe nonetheless. This novel has three Lovecraft references. A patient at a hospital for supernatural conditions is the living embodiment of every mystical tome, including the Necronomicon. There is a rumor that the Old Ones are going to rise, to which Eddie’s friend Janissary Jane dismisses as a constant rumor that will never come to pass. The conspiracy against the Droods is linked to the Lurkers on the Threshold from the Lovecraft Mythos. One of Eddie’s enemies has a Kandarian possessing amulet. Kandarian demons are from the Evil Dead series. Eddie has a confrontation with someone who has taken the Hyde formula. Martian Red Weed is seen as a drug. This is from War of the Worlds. Eddie’s witch friend Molly Metcalf talks about the Arcadia Project that turns up again in the Nightside series. The Blue Fairy finds the puzzle box from the Hellraiser series. The Droods have a scalpel once owned by Baron Von Frankenstein. Based on its significance, I’m assuming they mean Victor and not another member of the Frankenstein family. Edwin’s name is a reference to Charles Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood, with a implied family connection. At a hospital for supernatural conditions, there is a time agent whose latest regeneration had gone terribly wrong, turning him inside out. Time agents are from the Doctor Who series, and so are Time Lords who regenerate. However, typically, Time Lords are not time agents, and in fact, the two groups do not care for each other. Perhaps this was a rogue Time Lord who was recruited by the time agents. Eddie has a confrontation with an android from the 23rd century’s Rossum’s Unionised Robots. This is from the play RUR. Eddie’s grandmother suggests that Eddie court Allice Little, who “lives in a world of her own and only comes out for mealtimes. Lots of mealtimes.” This is meant to be Alice Liddel, from Alice In Wonderland, but of course can’t be the same Alice from the original story. It may still be one of the Alices who has been to Wonderland. Girls name Alice have been drawn to Wonderland for a long time. Another suggested match is Penelope Creighton, who may be related to the character named Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward from Thunderbirds. Eddie mentions a time when he broke into Area 52 in the antarctic. This seems to be a reference to the Image Comics series. The drug taduki is from the Allan Quatermain series. Vril Power, Inc. is behind the conspiracy against the Droods. Vril power is from the Coming Race. Eddie compares a trip through the sewers to the explorers who took the Journey to the Center of the Earth and to Cave Carson. The Blue Fairy also finds a stuffed Moomintroll and the Maltese Falcon. Eddie and Molly when choosing the form of their weapon, have the choice of the Holy Hand Grenade of St. Antioch. At Drood Hall is a scrimshaw carved apparently from Moby Dick.

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2009 to 2010--DOLLHOUSE--The antagonist corporation, Rossum Corp., is named after the play.

2035 A.D.--OUTER LIMITS--"I, Robot"--In the 1995 science fiction series The Outer Limits, in the remake of the "I, Robot" episode from the original 1964 series, the business where the robot Adam Link is built is named "Rossum Hall Robotics".

23rd Century--BLAKE'S 7--"The Syndeton Experiment"--The 1999 Blake's 7 radio play The Syndeton Experiment included a character named Dr. Rossum who turned humans into robots.

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