Friday, April 23, 2010

Flaversham!: Olivia (The Great Mouse Detective)

Flaversham!: Olivia (The Great Mouse Detective)

Name meaning: Greek: “Olive.” The olive branch is a symbol of peace.
Olivia Flaversham, the adorable daughter of toymaker Hiram Flaversham, wasn’t expecting quite such an adventure for her birthday—a cake and candles, a few toys, and a rendition of ‘happy birthday’. What she got was a mystery, an encounter with the Sherlock Holmes of rodentry, a battle of wits with the ‘Napoleon of Crime’, a deranged megalomaniacal sewer rat with a grudge.
When Hiram Flaversham is mouse-napped in order to build a robot for Ratigan, Olivia bravely sets out with nothing but a crumpled newspaper clipping to find Basil of Baker Street, arguably the smartest mouse in England. Dr. David Q. Dawson, a portly, kind-hearted mouse who has just returned from a stint in Afghanistan for the Army Medical Corps, happens upon a tearful, shivering Olivia in an alley, he can’t leave her alone. Together they track down the legendary detective at 221B Baker Street (in a mouse-hole in Sherlock’s digs). They are admitted and tutted over by Mrs. Judson, Basil’s much-put-upon housekeeper, who offers them dry blankets and a pot of tea. Both are fascinated by Basil’s chemistry set, his forensics equipment, and his slapdash décor. Basil, eager to examine evidence of his latest case, startles them by appearing in a traditionally-un-P.C. Chinaman’s costume, complete with yellow-faced mask and Fu Manchu stringy mustache. He is un-interested in the Doctor’s indignant rebuttals of Olivia’s pleas, until his hunch is dashed when two bullets from a pistol fail to match, leaving the case at a dead end. Basil is despondent and proceeds to mournfully play the violin, until it comes out that Flaversham was taken, as Olivia saw by peeping from the cabinet she was hiding in, by a handicapped bat. Fired up, Basil realizes this is Fidget, the peg-legged bat lackey of Ratigan himself. They are off on the case, Basil stopping to borrow Sherlock’s faithful Basset hound of the Baskervilles, a goopy, delighted canine named Toby, colossal by mouse standards. To Basil’s resentment, Toby takes to Olivia right away with her friendliness and open-handed offer of cheese crumpets, even sitting for her while he refuses to obey Basil. Thus begins a mystery involving an avalanche of toys, impersonating sailors, the good doctor joining in a can-can kick line at a seedy pub, a Rube-Goldberg maze of murder weapons, a pedal-powered zeppelin, and a battle to the death amidst Big Ben! Heck of a birthday present!
A recurring joke involves Basil’s inability to pronounce Olivia’s name. Yet he sees to have no problem saying it to Hiram…
Dr. Dawson: Scoundrel's quite gone.
Basil: But not for long, Miss Flamhammer!
Olivia Flaversham: Flaversham!
Basil: Whatever.

Basil: Miss Flamchester!
Olivia Flaversham, Dr. Dawson: Flaversham!
Basil: Whatever.

Olivia Flaversham: Goodbye, Basil. [sniffles] I... I'll never forget you.
Basil: Nor I you, Miss... Miss Flangerhanger.
Dr. Dawson: [chuckles] Whatever.

Basil: Now, Toby, sit!
[Toby doesn't sit]
Basil: [sternly] Toby... sit!
Olivia Flaversham: Sit, Toby!
[Toby sits]
Basil: Good boy...

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