Created in 1929 for the Belgian weekly Le Petit vingtiéme, Tintin was the creation of Georges Rémi, alias Hergé, from his initials "R.G." (as pronounced in French), and became a cult figure around the world.
The famous cub reporter and his dog Snowy (Milou in French) made their TV debut in 1961 in a series of breathless five-minute episodes, complete with cliffhanger endings, and arrived in Britain a year later dubbed into English by Peter Hawkins, who also provided voices for Captain Pugwash and Doctor Who's Daleks.
Tintin fought his way through 50 episodes based on the original Hergé books, 5 of which were adapted for the small screen, The Crab With The Golden Claws, Star of Mystery, Red Rakham's Treasure, Black Island, Objective Moon and The Calculus Affair. Amongst Tintin's legion of fans were the U.S. artist Andy Warhol and French president Charles de Gaulle, who said of the comic strip character: "Deep down, my only international rival is Tintin! We are little fellows who won't be had by big fellows." A whole host of characters accompanied Tintin on his adventures, including the grog-swilling Captain Haddock, two inept Scotland Yard detectives -The Thompson Twins (who gave their name to a 1980's pop group), and the audibly challenged Professor Cuthbert Calculus.
In 1986 Tintin and Alpha-Art, the last and unfinished adventure of Tintin was published, three years after the death of Georges Rémi.
A feature length animated movie was released in 2011, produced by Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures and directed by Stephen Spielberg and utilising the latest in computer generated graphics, the film grossed over $75 million worldwide.
Deceptively complex in both writing and design, despite the illusion cast by the apparent simplicity of Hergé's characters, the world in which Tintin inhabits is a truly original and instantly recognisable creation that has consistently continued to capture the imagination and hearts of young and old world-wide. Although Hergé is no longer with us, the legacy of wonder, excitement and adventure embodied by his iconographic characters, remains to entertain future thrill-seekers of all ages and nationalities.
Published on December 21st, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.