Storytelling Geekery

What’s In a Name?

Lately I’ve been putting a bit of thought into the role names serve in fiction, about how they give a first impression of a character, place or culture.

One of the Star Trek franchise’s major alien races are the Ferengi, who began as accidentally comical characters in The Next Generation, developing into overtly comic characters who played a major part in Deep Space Nine. I was surprised to encounter a variation of the word ‘feringhee’ several years after first hearing it in Star Trek, in George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman, set in 19th century India. The alien species’ name came from a derogatory word used by Indians for foreigners, apparently particularly directed at white foreigners.
Production staff on the show have confirmed that this was the genesis of the word, with producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe stating that “Ferengi is, after all, the Persian word for foreigner, particularly for European.”
It’s difficult to work out the reasoning behind making this choice (particularly as not many of the target audience, in 1980s America, probably would have been aware of the meaning of the word) but it was a conscious choice to reference this meaning.

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Film & Television Opinion

Spoiler Alert

The following contains spoilers for The Walking Dead up until episode 2.07.

The Walking Dead has just reached it’s mid-season finale here in the UK. Like many people who want to enjoy the visceral thrills of seeing a man beat another man to a pulp while remaining in denial about the serial killer within, I’m a fan.
The adverts in the week leading up have shown bits from the upcoming episode. Where The Walking Dead is different from many other programmes, is that rather than showing action shots from a variety of scenes, that look exciting but are difficult to gain any meaning from, The Walking Dead adverts on the FX channel have been an extended scene, taken, I think, from the preview at the end of the previous episode.

He’s going to be so embarassed when he looks down

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