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<   No. 1077   2006-01-07   >

Comic #1077

1 {scene: The compartment on the train to Moscow}
1 Monty: I don't trust Dr Smith. How could she have sent the orichalcum to Moscow? I'm checking her suitcase. {reaches for her suitcase}
2 Monty: {opening case to reveal chunks of a bluish metallic material} Aha!
3 Minnesota Jones: That's not orichalcum. It's lithium.
4 Monty: You don't know what lithium looks like, grandad! How could you possibly make that deduction?
4 Minnesota Jones: Element three, my dear boy.

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Sherlock Holmes never once uttered the phrase, "Elementary, my dear Watson," in any of the works written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The phrase first appeared in film, and has been popularised in film and radio ever since.

Alternate panel art Holmes never encountered lithium in his many adventures, but if he had, he may well have been inspired to declare it, "Element three, my dear Watson."

Astute readers will note that the material in Ginny's suitcase indeed is not the same as the orichalcum we saw back in #769.

It's tricky shooting a scene in such a confined space as a train compartment. The image at right was another attempt I made at capturing what I wanted with this scene. My original script had Minnesota Jones saying his first line in panel 2, after Monty says, "Aha!" and splitting the last panel dialogue across panels 3 and 4. I was going to use this photo for panel 2, but it didn't show the contents of the suitcase very well. So I shuffled things around to produce what you see above.

2015-04-08 Rerun commentary: In reality, lithium is highly reactive and wouldn't just be sitting there in lumps of bare metal like that. The surface would quickly oxidise and any moisture in the air would produce highly caustic lithium hydroxide. You wouldn't want to carry around a bunch of it like that, as it'd probably do quite nasty things to you.

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