I’m very amused by the Wikipedia summaries for Cabin Pressure episodes.
It might just be me
But do some of these
Make Cabin Pressure seem a lot more vivacious
And a bit more racy
Than it actually
(Except this one)
SNOOPADOOP THE COCKAPOO, NOBLEST OF HOUNDS
Yes, I do, actually!
- Carolyn bought her shortly after the divorce. (She’d always wanted a dog, but Gordon wouldn’t allow it.) She’s a pure crossbreed bought from a breeder, not a rescue.
- Yes, Arthur named her, as we know. Arthur was also probably like 21 or 22 when he named her. Not like, 6. Oh, Arthur.
- Carolyn is so soppy with her because honestly, she loves the little pup. Like, remember all the way back in Abu Dhabi when she’s giving her a bath? Totally one of those people who baby talks their pets.
- Snoopadoop and Arthur get along brilliantly.
- Carolyn used to board her when she was away for a long time on trips, but now she has one of Arthur’s ex-girlfriends (Minty or Lippit or Pops) look after her when they’re away.
So, in my head, Arthur is super excited to go into school but is held back a year for cognitive and speech delays (though imo his physical development was right on time), and so he’s extra super excited when he finally gets into school, to spend all day with other kids, to play and run around and make macaroni collages and dress up.
Though it might seem strange, I think Arthur was actually pretty popular from like, Year One through maybe Year Six. Arthur is incredibly friendly, silly, happy, cheerful, thoughtful, and loves to play games. It doesn’t matter what—he’ll play games for the sake of playing, doesn’t care when he loses, can find fun in anything, doesn’t complain, doesn’t get into fights. I don’t think EVERYONE loved him—there are kids who can’t get along with the nicest of their own—but I think he had lots of friends and especially befriended people who were also a bit weird, a little shy, a little behind, whatever. Not consciously, but let’s remember we’re talking about the guy who hands out bear facts like hellos. He just loves people. Lonely kids, I think, would be instantly able to bond with Arthur. And yeah, maybe there were kids who thought he was weird, and maybe he got picked on a little bit from time to time, but who DIDN’T get picked on a little as a kid?
On the topic of Arthur and education: he’s not completely stupid, seriously. It seems he can memorize information about a topic fairly easily (like bears in Qik, or Timbuktu in Timbuktu), but he learns and retains information topically, not sequentially, so learning in school was difficult for him. He excelled in arts, gym, and, actually, history, I’d wager. (History is often taught topically!) He might have done okay in applied science (and duh, LOVED science experiments). He probably struggled very much in English and literature (these are often conceptual and theoretical, and I think Arthur can’t read very quickly so he lagged behind where he was supposed to follow and felt discouraged), but really amazingly awesome at writing and composing poems (just think of his incredibly wordy and crazy cabin addresses/speeches!!) and was absolutely terrible in maths. I imagine he was probably in remedial maths and English/literature for the whole of school. (Despite the “first in my class” line from Edinburgh.)
Outside of school: I think Carolyn was probably a stay-at-home mom, because Gordon was constantly gone for chunks at a time on flights and couldn’t be counted on to take care of him. As we know, Carolyn’s family is out of the picture, and if Gordon is anything like the Shappeys we can count them out too. So Carolyn probably raised Arthur pretty much alone; this is, of course, why Arthur says they’re “best friends.” His dad was probably the only source of stress in young Arthur’s life; always berating him and belittling him, not even bothering to send him to a decent school (why waste the money on such a stupid boy), and generally ignoring him.
Let’s remember—it wasn’t Gordon, the pilot, who got Arthur an interview at the flight school for his 17th birthday. It was Carolyn.
Oh man, this is a tough one.
In my mind, Douglas at a wedding is the center of attention, the life of the party, mingling and charming everyone within 100 feet. On the other hand, though, he’s had a horrible track record with his own marriages (one of which was very recent), weddings are usually filled with alcohol (though the evidence suggests he’s very good at being surrounded by alcohol without breaking his sobriety), and well—it’s Martin.
Martin, luckless, hapless, ridiculous Martin, marrying a princess. A princess. While Douglas is a thrice-divorced former alcoholic First Officer with two daughters he never sees (and he’s drinking sodding pineapple juice), and Martin is getting married to a princess, for heaven’s sake. Like, he’d be jealous. So jealous. He wouldn’t want to show it, but Douglas actually isn’t very good at hiding his jealousy. (Douglas—when you think about it—isn’t actually very good at hiding his emotions at all. He’s good at teasing, and tricking, and swindling, and stealing, even at lying, but not at forcing his emotions.)
He’d be happy for them, really, but when he sees Herc and Carolyn dancing together, and Arthur somehow charming every person he forces to dance with him, and The Princess and Her Captain all in love (disgusting, he thinks), he’s… alone.
goddammit Cabin Pressure was supposed to be a comedy but now it’s tearing me apart and at least 20% of it is probably Megan’s fault.
Zurich is coming! Just realised today I never posted this, my cover for the Cabin Pressure artbook Alpha Romeo Tango. Heres the blog for more info :D
can we talk about how gorgeous Arthur Shappey is in xinzhou??
he was willing to stay out at night in the snowy blizzard of a chinese winter to periodically clear a hole at the back of the aeroplane so that Douglas, Carolyn and Martin could sleep
NEURODIVERGENT ARTHUR. POSSIBLY AUTISTIC ARTHUR. ARTHUR. ARTHUR. ALL THE ARTHUR.
A sudden flood of sunshine spilled into the portakabin as Carolyn marched through the open door, clipboard in hand.
"Up, my boys, up! We’ve got a last-minute booking to Ipswich in two hours. Martin, flight plan, go, yes, your crossword can wait." Martin set his paper and pencil down and grumbled his way out the door. "Arthur, stop fiddling with that and get the cabin ready—make sure you stock those less horrible biscuits we save for the less terrible customers, we’re making actual money on this trip. Douglas," she raised her voice, "go do whatever it is I pay you to do for being a pilot."
"Ooooh, Ipswich! Where I learned how to understand people!" Arthur exclaimed, springing out of his swivel chair and seeking out the higher-grade snacks stacked somewhere on the other side of the portakabin, while Douglas continued to read the hardback resting on his crossed legs.
"If we’ve got two hours, there’s no rush to do the walk-round. Martin’s got the fun bits to finish first, and we’ve still plenty of time to waste til he gets back," Douglas answered, without looking up from his book.
"Douglas," Carolyn warned, "walk-round, fuel, now." Her eyes didn’t budge from Douglas’ until he begrudged to meet her stare.
A stage-worthy sigh. “Fine,” he conceded, slipping a bookmark between the pages, picking up the keys to the plane, and heading out onto the tarmac. As he slowly approached G-ERTI, the rustle of plastic and hurried footsteps followed from behind.
"Yes, Arthur?" he asked, turning to look at the steward, whose arms were full of individually-wrapped specialty biscuits and mini fruit-and-cheese platters.
"Oh, sorry, it’s just that Mum told me after you left that I should have gone with you to put the snacks in the galley before I do the pre-flight extra-cleaning and you’ve got the keys to the plane and she said sometimes you take forever and so maybe could you open the door for me?" Arthur explained, a few packs of biscuits falling onto the pavement.
Douglas shook his head and unlocked the door, extending its staircase so that Arthur could deliver his payload.
"Thanks Douglas!" Arthur cheered, as the first officer picked up the lost snacks and threw them into the empty cabin.
He was three minutes into his walk-round, or rather, three minutes into his impromptu tanning session, when the cabin door closed and Arthur came around to join him.
"We didn’t do a lot of understanding people the last time we were in Ipswich, did we, Douglas?" Arthur chimed in, freed of his burden at last. "I mean, there was sort of understanding planes and blow-up rafts a bit which was excellent, especially the swimming part, but not really people, which is what my other class in Ipswich was—"
"Yes, Arthur, I know. You’ve told us half a dozen times," Douglas interrupted, "Where does one even find such a class, anyway? The Ignoramus Anonymous postings in the Times?"
"Oh no, Mum found it for me! It’s just like the classes you take when you’re in school, Douglas, don’t you remember? ‘What does this face say?’ ‘Oh, that’s a sad face!’ Or, ‘Ooohh, maybe that’s an angry face?’"
Douglas frowned. “No, Arthur, I didn’t take such classes in school. There’s no class in school about how to read faces.”
"The social skills classes! They’re brilliant. You get to try and figure out what people are thinking based on what their face or body is saying, like a secret code! You know?" Arthur tilted his head to the side and studied Douglas carefully. "Like right now… I think… you… are… hmmm… maybe… confused?"
Douglas gave him an exasperated sigh. “That’s not something they teach in school, Arthur, you just… know it. Well, maybe you don’t know it, but let’s just add it to the ever-expanding and likely infinite list.” He looked up to inspect the starboard engine.
"Oh, well," he began, following Douglas’ eyes up to the engine, "I used to go to them every day and all the teachers were brilliant! They taught us how to do stuff like talking to people in shops and following directions and we used to dress up sometimes in costumes! Once I got to be a cab driver, which was BRILLIANT, and I had to take someone out for a drive—a fake drive, not really in a car, you know—and ask them where they were going and it’s just like acting!" His hands waved excitedly as the pair walked slowly around G-ERTI.
Douglas was silent, absently examining the plane, a sudden thoughtfulness holding him back from his usual words. “And did you enjoy your class in Ipswich like those classes, Arthur?”
"It was brilliant! Everyone was kind of older, not like old-old, like you or mum," Douglas huffed at him, "but like me-old. And there were less games. And I made friends with another bloke there… but, um, I can’t remember his name. He was nice though!"
Douglas smiled. “Well, Arthur, perhaps we’ll run into your nice bloke when we’re waiting in Ipswich, hm?”
Arthur’s face lit up. “Really?! You think so, Douglas?”
"Ipswich isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis, and besides, we’ll probably be there for several hours. The chances might be in your favor." He clapped Arthur on the shoulder.
"Gosh. That would be BRILLIANT!"
G-ERTI sits at her hanger, just having landed from a long flight from Finland. Her engines are powering down and tension hangs in the air.
Carolyn: “Don’t be ridiculous, Arthur, I don’t have time for your Wellsian attempts at sparking terror into all our oblivious and feeble hearts!”
Arthur: “No, but Mum, look at those people! It’s definitely exactly like how zombies act with the slow-walky bits and rotting flesh stuff. Eugh.”
Carolyn: “Arthur, enough, now please—”
Douglas: “Carolyn, you know how I hate to be the cloud on your sunshine-filled days, but might I remind you that we did have to land without any ATC clearance whatsoever, seeing as every channel we tried was completely silent.”
Martin: “Well with a piece of G-ERTI falling off every time we open a cupboard, I really don’t think—”
Douglas: “And the strange intermittent static from Stockholm until we cruised over the North Sea? I’m sorry Carolyn, but this is seeming rather suspicious and those scraggling groups of people do look rather…”
Carolyn: “Oh, don’t you dare say it!”
Arthur: “Guys, listen! This is exactly what happens in that one movie with that guy in it who wakes up from a coma and everyone’s already zombies! We absolutely cannot go outside.”
Martin and Carolyn groan.
Carolyn: “Dear heart—”
Douglas: “Uh, Carolyn, I did just pull up the news on my phone.” (shows the crew the screen)
(moments of silence)
Arthur: “Well, since we might be here a while. Shall I put the kettle on?”
Racebent Cabin Pressure! Blame icarusing for this.
I was going for something like Inuit!Martin, Asian!Douglas, African!Carolyn, Hispanic!Herc, and Mixed race!Arthur (African and Indigenous Aussie).
AHHH YOU DID THE THING
so this is pretty old at this point, but i’m finally able to post my piece from the cabin pressure artbook!
Has anybody else noticed that Benedict Cumberbatch reminding everyone that he did the motion capture is starting to sound like Martin Crieff reminding everyone he’s the captain?
In the unlikely event of actor non-recognition, actor doffs cap and gestures to motion capture dots.
this is the standard amount of gold they put in a dwarf kingdom…
World’s least impressive troupe of jugglers…
I’m so upset. WIP.
CAROLYN: Ah, at last. Now then, guess who’s got a job tomorrow? I’ll give you a clue: it’s us.
DOUGLAS: And they call Hitchcock the master of suspense.
Cabin Pressure commission :)