About a week or so ago. We learned that the UK was producing Nautilus, a new Captain Nemo series for Disney Plus. Furthermore, the show will look at the origin story of Captain Nemo. And, it will explore the events that led to him building his legendary submarine. Even in other stories, we don’t find much of a backstory out. Now, it looks like we will . . .
The Origins of Captain Nemo
In the book ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’, we learn very little about Nemo’s origins. Though, we do know that Nemo is the Latin word for ‘No One’ or ‘Nobody’. Consequently, that feels appropriate given how little is learned in the book. All we really find out is that Nemo abhors humanity’s warring ways. But we also discover that he has a particular score to settle with The British. This score is later revealed in ‘Mysterious Island’.
It isn’t really until Nemo’s second appearance in Jules Verne’s ‘Mysterious Island’ that we get to learn more about Nemo. In that story, we find out that Nemo’s real name was Prince Dakkar, the Sikh son of the Raja of Bundelkund. Additionally, we learn that Nemo was particularly antagonistic toward the British Raj of India. This makes sense, given how much of an avenging angel he was depicted as in the book.
However, if you were to take note of the dates. ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’ starts off in the year 1866. While ‘Mysterious Island’ is set during The American Civil War, which took place between 1861 and 1865. Yet Mysterious Island is supposed to take place after this, which has always been a bit of a continuity error on the part of Jules Verne.
Either way, the new Disney Series is going to explore Prince Dakkar’s story, which will present us with all sorts of possibilities. Hopefully, it will allow for a racially diverse cast. As well as allow for some interesting dives into the history of the British Raj and how that impacted on Nemo and his family.
There’s an interesting article about another possible origin for Nemo here.
The Building Of The Nautilus
By the time we see the Nautilus in both the book and the films it’s a fully-realized submarine and the first of such ocean fairing submersibles. Back when the book was written Submarines were barely even a concept. Hence, the book held such massive appeal when it was released.
So, it goes without saying that we could see how Nemo and his people went about conceiving of and building the Nautilus on the island of Volcania. Additionally, we could even see some of the pitfalls of innovating such a vessel.
For example, how do they figure out how to avoid decompression sickness when taking the Nautilus so deep under the water. Do we see a few people tragically succumb to death while finding out how deep the Nautilus can go? If we get to see how the Nautilus is created and built. I’d love to see some of those questions get addressed.
Add to all this the fact that we might even get to see Volcania and any other ideas that Nemo and his people were developing. A question I have always pondered is Was Nautilus Nemo’s first attempt at creating a submarine or did he create several prototypes.
20,000 Leagues & Beyond
It goes without saying that ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’ is a great story and Captain Nemo is a brilliant character. So, my hope would be that this origin story for Nemo builds toward, and include the events depicted in 20,000 Leagues. Additionally, it could maybe look at a few of the adventures he no doubt had before we get to meet him.
Might Nemo have found ancient ruins under the sea of past civilizations? May he have discovered long-forgotten wreckages of ships. Might he have figured out the mystery of The Bermuda Triangle? Indeed, there is a lot of potential for some intriguing storylines should this go beyond one season. And we can’t wait to find out what the production team behind this show comes up with.
Until then. I’ll set my course for the second star to the right, and straight on till morning.