November 3rd, 2013

casanova

bohemian like you

Ripper Street is one of those shows that frequently feature real people, and real people who have only just passed from living memory (that is, not like the War of the Roses, which is as now as much myth as documentary and archaelogical evidence, though they've made some great and surprising strides of late). Usually, stuff like that is cute and gimmicky, like on Murdoch Mysteries, usually featuring people who've been fictionalised before, but still, where is the cut off point between real people and real lives and fiction? A hundred years? Less?

Because while the Titanic and WWI pass into myth, they were making absolutely nothing to do with reality American films about WWII, pretty much before those Yanks even got into the war, and, well, I'll spare you the usual rant about American forces claiming Australian battles as their own, ditto the Brits claiming Oz victories and the Yanks claiming Brit battles, and so on and so forth. But the point is, turning recent history into fanciful myths is nothing new. Some might even call it propaganda or merchandising.

So where do you draw the line? And are the famous and infamous fair game, while the little people are incidental to anything going on anyway (chances of them featuring that guy in the same class as Doyle, or that guy firing one of the first shots at Gettysburg, have, so far, been slim to none, even in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer).

Do people care? Do relatives care? Does the Doyle estate bother about Doyle turning up in Murdoch Mysteries? Do Winston Churchill's descendants care that he apparently greenlit Daleks for the war effort? What's tongue in cheek, and what's completely tasteless? What's too soon?
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