At our recent appearance at the English Riviera Film Festival in Torquay, the Honest Tommy crew showcased some of the props constructed by Tom Hutchings. These wonderful inventions and bizarre gizmos were intended for use in photoshoots with our cast, and as illustrative visual aids to sit alongside our audio stories in The Radio Adventures. Here, we'll be taking a closer look at some of these cosmic contraptions.
The ZAPPY ZAPPY FWIP FWIP
On the surface, this blazer pistol has much in common with standard sidearms carried by Royal Navy marines, and even the short-barrelled hold-out pistols favoured by pirates beyond the Fifteen Galaxies. However, Captain Dashworth has modified the inner workings of his signature shooter, and has given it not only a dashing splash of "Violet Waft", but has also bestowed it with a name that makes no bones about what you'll get if you stare down its bronze barrel.
The CROWN BREAKER
A custom blazer revolver owned by Princess Victoria, the VR-1 "Crown Breaker" was gifted to the daring royal as a housewarming present from her Ladies-in-Waiting when she took possession of her Moon fortress. A chunky weapon with a powerful, ironclad punch, the VR-1 (also known as the "Empire Breaker") is sometimes hard to conceal beneath a regal dress or ballroom gown, but Victoria rarely leaves the palace without it.
As the Royal Navy has an unfortunately high turnover rate for limbs and various bodily appendages, the cybonics workshops of Pillockwick Pistons & Gears churn out several models of robo-limbs to replace any lost, torn, or otherwise mangled while operating Britain's war machinery. Gwen Broadchest, formerly of the Royal Navy, owns a Rostrum-8 Mk3, boasting myoelectric fingertips and internal self-lubrication, although isn't entirely happy about it.
The INDIFFERENCE ENGINE
The engineer Charles Babbage picked up a thing or two while working with Professor Runcible at the Royal Academy of Scotland. One of those things was the professor's notebook, from which he picked up several more things. His famed difference engine was the result, based on an Indifference Engine Runcible came up with after a particularly big sneeze. Her design is an endless work-in-progress on a robot designed to do nothing much of anything, as part of her attempts to stick two fingers up at the laws of motion. The Mk1 is little more than a cybonic brain, usually found festering in a half-eaten can of beans on the professor's cluttered workbench.
While some killer robots guard the Realm and Star Territories, others have been co-opted by nefarious pirate groups and insane warlords who'd like to charge into battle astride a mechanical behemoth of belching steam and clanging claws. The Robo-Killer fielded by the Fifth Vorgak Horde during the Invasion of Vorgak 3 was powered by a raging furnace and armed with a shoulder-mounted blazer cannon lashed down with several loops of twine. This unit possibly nursed ideas above its station, if the admiral's cap perched jauntily on its head was anything to go by.
The JOLLY GOOD
It may have been the sleekest and sexiest rocket ship in the Fifteen Galaxies, but in the hands of Professor Runcible the Jolly Good looks more like a shanty town on wings—and indeed boasts a small hamlet of vagrants living quite happily next to the central chassis. The design came to Runcible while in the throes of cosmic transcendence and a large volume of chemical substances, and the ship's precise operations have been lost to the whirlpool of the professor's addled mind.
Today Honest Tommy landed at the English Riviera Film Festival with a showcase of props, art, videos, and audio for the good people of Torquay and visitors to the Riviera International Centre.
Having known and contributed with organiser John Tomkins for many years now, we were happy to join his growing community of filmmakers and creatives displaying their work at his third annual film festival.
We assembled our wares alongside our friends Simon Tytherleigh and Curiosity Cabinet Studios, displaying our humble collection of ray guns and robot arms against the backdrop of our Vlog Background, the construction of which has been chronicled in our In the Making video series. We also showed off concept artwork by Ian Massey, and collections of our behind-the-scenes video and original music from our upcoming Radio Adventures audio series.
We were joined by other members of the Honest Tommy crew, including Morwenna Towns (Commander Gwen) and Lucy Townsend (Princess Victoria), who had fun posing with their signature blazer guns, as well as Ben Gilbert (Ensign Benson) and sound engineer Phil Baker. Our table received a lot of attention and some lovely comments from admiring visitors, and over the coming months we'll be bringing you more photos, more props, and more cosmic adventures in audio... and beyond.