Victorian Cut-out Theatre #22: Celestial Bodies

Sometimes episodes of VCoT are based around a single joke, a theme, a piece of Victorian literature or…all three. As I continue to work on the series I always find myself revising and refining what it is I want to do with it. I don’t mean for that to sound high and mighty, far from it. What I mean is that I have a list of things that I am interested in, things like monsters and time travel and the the Victorian class system, and I want to use these things for episodes, because VCoT is the best place to let my freak flag fly when it comes to this stuff. Anyway, it had donned on me as I was going down the list of ideas I wanted to do for the series that I hadn’t yet appropriated War of the Worlds.

Alien invasions are nothing new, but we can trace our mainstream fascination with them to Well’s book which illustrates a world torn asunder by an invading race of “tripods” only in the end to be defeated by humanity’s germs. Many people don’t know that it was actually an allegory for colonialism, as the British Empire was having difficulty with India at that time. So it was kind of that era’s Return of the Jedi…or something. Anyway, I knew I wanted to use Wells’ story, but obviously wanted to do something different with it. As with so many VCoT episodes, an alien invasion is just the setting for a conversation about relationships, intimacy as well as reiterating the fact that humanity will almost always act against its own best interest. I find stuff like that really funny, it makes me laugh that the VCoT universe is made up of monsters who act like men, men who act like monsters, wrapped in the pettiness of a high school locker room.

This episode was deceptively difficult to put together. I had different plans for the ending and ran into a series of technical struggles which taught me much but also illuminated my own ignorance. It was frustrating but necessary and other than delaying the episode for a few days, no harm was really done. This will be the last season of VCoT animated in the “old style”, which is to say by hand painstakingly frame by frame. In the future, I will hopefully spend more time writing than I will scrabbling to put the episode together. I also hope for lesser wait time between episodes, but time, experience and training will have to tell.

I hope you enjoy this season 2 finale of VCoT. If you like what you see, link back to the video and tell your friends.

Take care,

-Rob