In which we continue the story of the 6000 Ideas Book, take in ‘the weird space bit’ and the ‘not nearly weird enough castle bit.’ As our protagonists head off into the sunset, we ask the question ‘Where are they now?’ And set the parameters for our quest…
LET me tell you a story. Last week, I presented the first part of Bill and Mary’s adventures in their home town. The 6000 Ideas book was the definitive example of how to use Minifigures to tell a story. With no dialog, seven colours and the imagination of a generation, a lot of you were inspired to write in with your interpretation of the events. I like that. Some of your interpretations make more sense than mine. And I’m going to need some help this week, because we are now up to what people refer to as “The Weird Space Bit”
There are a couple of things I love about this section. One is the depiction of aliens: Put the torso on backwards (ideally with air tanks) and place a couple of bricks where the head. might normally be. With backward bent arms, they look quite alien, even if you are looking at the torso print on their back!
Another is the subtle reimagining of the buildings in the moon base. They look exactly as you would expect a Classic Space Moon Base building to appear, but have plainly been tinkered with. Occasionally with inspirational instructions.
The first question to ask today is “Did Bill and Mary have their car replaced by a spaceship?” or “Was It All A Dream?” But does the answer matter? If you can reconcile the narrative to yourself, I don’t think it matters.
The Weird Space Bit
Having never flown an actual spacecraft before, Bill and Mary were quite glad that the ship they had climbed into seemed to be more than capable of taking itself to the moonbase. Indeed it had performed this trip many times before, but rarely with the time slip back into the 20th century.
On arrival, Bill and Mary made themselves known to the commander of the base. He shows them around. Bill and Mary are impressed by the base, and especially impressed by the variety of spacecraft and rovers that are involved in the daily running of the base.
He explains that they have the ability to refashion any spaceship on site, into a more useful form. They fins a repurposed LL928: no longer the Galaxy Explorer that is still coveted today, but a new surface survey and rescue craft. It turns out, Space can be dangerous.
While surveying the surrounding moon scape with the science officer, Bill and Mary encounter a crashed alien space craft, transmitting a distress signal. They call for help, and have a discussion with the alien captain. Fortunately, no one is hurt, but the ship will need some repair before it will be sopaceworthy again. Mary, with her experience in school yard diplomacy ensures that neither the aliens or the base’s commander attempt to destroy the other!
Several mega wheeled towing vehicles and cranes appear, and they transport the alien ship back to the moon base. Once their, they recheck the original construction specifications, and ensure it is properly rebuilt. With some left over elements, they construct an autonomous drone, which continues to survey the moon after that leave. But for what purpose?
Bill and Mary get back in their ship, after saying farewell to the commander of the base, and follow the aliens to their planet, the first ambassadors from Earth to the new world.
After arriving at the alien planet, it is clear that things there are, well, alien. The vehicles are different, the buildings are more brightly coloured than at the utilitarian moon base. After exploring some of the buildings, they meet some more of the aliens, including their leader.
They rebuild their craft into roving truck with vertical solar panels to harness the energy of the nearby sun, and explore.
They then depart the planet, taking a right turn at the orbiting platform… heading for what they believe is Earth.
An energy burst from the alien world sees a shimmer surround Bill and Mary’s spaceship, and they find them selves back on earth. Exactly where they left from. But things have changed.
Unable to locate their village, they allow the spaceship to automatically land where it picked them up: selecting the exact coordinates of the cinema.
They land the spaceship and before they know it, they are met by a knight. He ‘politely’ invites them into his wagon, with extreme prejudice, and takes them to the castle..
It turns out that many visitors have been expected at the castle that day, for it is the day of the tournament. Lords and Ladies have arrived from around the kingdom to observe the tournament.Bill narrowly avoids getting redirected into the changing tent, to assume the role of ‘Defender of the Realm’
The king’s true champion comes forward, and the event is a great success. Bill and Mary are escorted back to their spaceship, where a readout is blinking. “Chronal return trajectory calculations complete” – the ship had worked out how to return them to their own time. So they fire up the engines and hit the button, launching into space.
Departing the surface of the planet we are left wondering whether they got home, and if so…where are they now?
Whatever happened Bill and Mary?
After I had spent a year of so following and creating their adventures, I had become became quite invested in these characters and wanted to know more. Now that I revisit the book, I want to find the answers out even more now than I did then!
Did Bill and Mary manage to return to Earth? Have they survived the intervening 40 years to continue to exist today? What happened in between? Have they had children? grandchildren? Are they still involved in our LEGO City today?
If Bill and Mary are still ‘alive’ in the LEGO CITY today, they would be certainly look different to that couple of crazy kids that we saw back in 1979. Were they human, they would probably have been in their early to mid 20’s. Forty years later, they would be amongst some of the older residents of LEGO City. Probably grey haired, and they possibly had children, and/or grandchildren. Of course their relationship may not have lasted the test of time: they may have gone their seperate ways back in the 80’s, never to talk again. And if they broke up, perhaps they reconciled. Could they be the grandparents of the first LEGO Baby seem in 60134 Fun in the park??
Perhaps we have seen them in recent years. I am left wondering if these older characters in 2017’s Fun at the Beach might in fact be an aged Bill and Mary. Sure, now he has spots – or palm trees, and she has the horizontal stripes, but they look like they are probably about the right age. But are they actually our heroes from 6000 Ideas book? It would be too easy to send an email to customer service and ask. Besides, it might be a little vague or inconclusive.
So, over the next few months we will explore the evidence together. There are specifically several questions we should look at:
- Is there evidence that the characters of NON LICENSED minifigures might exist over a number of years?
- Is it possible that characters undergo development, either in the short term, or over the longer term?
- Is it possible that characters potentially appear between different themes?
If these are true, then it is FEASIBLE that Bill and Mary might exist in contemporary LEGO City. Although, it could just as likely be the Winter Village or wherever it is that the other Creator and Creator Expert sets exist. We would then need to explore the evidence that current figures might be Bill and Mary. Along the way, we could look for evidence of Bill and/or Mary living in LEGO Town after their adventure in the 6000 Ideas Book. [And yes, will will cover that comic at some times in the next few months.]
So join me. I am sure we will find other ideas along the way to explore. After 40 years, this book can still inspire Ideas. I will aim to have the next part of this exploration ready to go on the first week of May. In the mean time, send me your fan theories, crazy or otherwise. I have some of the answers to the above questions, but I would love to hear about other evidence that I may not have yet seen. Any Ideas? Please email me at rambling brick_at_gmail_dot_com. Feel free to share this article with your friends and communities, and follow the blog if you want to keep up to date with the investigation. Until Then, Play Well!
Read on, as we go in search of Evidence of ongoing character Development within LEGO Themes, as we start The Search for Bill and Mary