How C.S. Lewis Avoided Jumping the Shark | Talking Beasts

It’s the season finale or Talking Beasts: The Narnia Podcast.

Worlds collide in Chapter 7 of The Magician’s Nephew! Queen Jadis begins her conquest by throwing Aunt Letty across a room and surfing atop a hijacked hansom through the streets of London! Listen to the podcasters discuss how C.S. Lewis managed to include all these shenanigans without losing the heart.

Watch this episode’s post-show chatter where the podcasters discuss their favorite Christmas movies.

Rilian, Gymfan, Glumpuddle

5 Responses

  1. Mrs. Beaver says:

    Ok, *where* did that illustration come from??? Hilarious.

  2. Glumpuddle says:

    Rilian’s idea! Haha.

  3. Col Klink says:

    This is definitely the funniest section of the book! (Or at least one of the funniest.) It’s also really suspenseful and I love what Lewis writes about “how it feels if you begin hoping for something that you want desperately badly; you almost fight against the hope because it is too good to be true; you’ve been disappointed so often before.”

    Since this is the last episode for the year, I’d like to write about something I’ve come to appreciate about this podcast. I love that Glumpuddle tries to get Narnia fans who disagree with him on the podcast or at least tries to quote them. Whether I agree with them or not, when all the people on a podcast start to agree with each other too much, it gets really boring. Even when I think the podcasters are really interesting, too little debate among them annoys me. I mean what’s the point of having more than one person if they say the same things?

    The most obvious and arguably the most annoying examples are political commentary podcasts and radio shows where they just talk about how terrible their ideological opponents are. Listening to the ones with whom I agree, actually makes me want to disagree with them because they seem so smallminded. And, I’m going to say it, I think they’re unhealthy for their fans because it encourages them to stereotype and mindlessly dismiss anyone with whom they disagree. But this can even be an issue with lighthearted podcasts and radio shows that just talk about food or clothes or sports or whatever if they don’t get enough conflicting perspectives. In a way, I’d almost say podcasts like that can be worse than the political ones. At least those podcasters care about morality (or they did at some point before they just fell in love with complaining.) The lighthearted ones encourage their fans to look down on those who disagree about inconsequential matters of personal taste.

    Glumpuddle clearly has strong opinions about Narnia and how it should be interpreted and adapted. But I can tell he wants to understand why other fans of the books disagree with him. Like on the anniversary special for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader this year. He adores the book, and he knew his cohosts do too, but instead of just indulging in a lovefest, he tried to get the opinions of people who don’t like VDT. On the episode about the LWW board book, he quoted one Narniawebber who was really excited about it (in a good way) and one who had a really negative view. He doesn’t totally buy into Planet Narnia himself, but he got a guest on his episode about it who totally does. He hates the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie with a passion but whenever he does an episode about it, he tries to get a cohost, like Gymfan or Movie Aristotle, who will say something good about it. I remember watching YouTube videos about Narnia he made when he was younger and in those, he was much more of a my-way-or-the-highway fan. (Of course, they were more like a diary, so it makes sense they’d be just his opinions.) It’s really heartwarming how he’s matured.

    Glumpuddle gives the impression that he wants to understand why the Narnia fans (or possibly people in general) with whom he disagrees feel the way they do. Even though our tastes and opinions tend to differ dramatically, I never feel snubbed or unwelcomed by him in the fan community. (Of course, he’d likely as not want to snub me in real life. 😉 ) That’s a big part of why this is my favorite podcast.

    I would totally watch a sitcom about Uncle Andrew, Aunt Letty and Jadis living together. Make it happen.

  4. Geekicheep says:

    Hands-down the coolest, goofiest Narnia pic I’ve ever seen. Rillian, good on ya!

    By the way guys, thanks for explaining “jumping the shark” – I remember that episode from Happy Days, but didn’t know they turned that into a thing. You know a show is ready to go when they jump the shark. 😀

    No, on to the question of “how much danger was the world in?” As a kid, I was excited to find out. In LWW she scared me – the only character from any work of fiction, including movies, to ever do legit scare me – and in Charn she was so OP! What? She can nuke the universe now?! Not to mention hear thoughts, see through walls, turn things (and people) to dust, and a bunch of other powers? Yikes! Aunt Lettie deserves a medal for sure (and yes, so does Chewy)! When I read LWW I always thought, what if someone from Narnia went through the wardrobe? Of course, my mind was on her. Then it happens in MN and my mind was blown!

    Now as an adult… realistically, I think the answer would have depended on how much of that power she had in our world. If she were as powerful as she was in Charn, then we’d get into the hilarious “we have nukes” situation you guys joked about. But so does she, and worse! Which is why I think Lewis did it the way she did.

    Aslan, being who he is (in all worlds), knew our world couldn’t handle her at full power. Sure, you get the thrill of that “worlds collide” feeling, the crazy thoughts and theories playing out before your eyes, but the end result was kind of a no biggy. As a kid I was expecting all kinds of outcomes that didn’t happen, because Aslan had a plan all along. He had a plan for the Witch, and for Digory… and for us, the readers. I could go on and on and on and on here… good stuff!

  5. Hiraeth says:

    I’m waiting on that Aunt Letty spin-off…

    Loved this episode!! Makes me think about Digory way differently than I used to; I always thought Polly was the more uptight of the two kids, but I can definitely see how Digory’s perspective is centered around his mother, and protecting her.