Some people, some curious people, might be interested to know how I decide on title and chapter headings for the episodes and what they refer to.
Here’s a rundown of some of the chapter and episode names for the Batavia series on YouTube. I’m leaving the more obvious ones out, but if you have questions about other titles, do ask me.
Episode 1 – Storms and Mutiny
Storms and Mutiny
The title for the episode comes from a song of the same name by prog rock band Magellan.
The song is about Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth, which was completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano.
The Young and the Restless
This is a US soap opera series and describes the type of people who signed on for the VOC.
I initially called the chapter Creepy Apothecary, but that would be giving away too much, I think.
Old Sea Dog
It’s a term reserved for sailing veterans.
Pork and Beans and Maggots
Pork and beans is a traditional American meal. In this case, we’re adding maggots to the mix.
The Love Boat
A beloved series from the 70s, refering to the love relations on the ship.
Godless and Wicked, Creepy and Cold
A song and lyric by a progressive metal band Beyond Twilight.
Apart from being one of my favorite movies, it refers to the nightly attack and the pitch used to smear Lucretia.
Episode 2 – Flotsam and Jetsam
Herring in a Barrel
A Dutch expression ‘haringen in een ton.’ If someone says they are sitting like herring in a barrel, they mean they are packed very tightly. This was exactly how the long boat people traveled, packed very tightly.
Pray for Rain
I know this as a band name.
Sea of Troubles
Shakespeare quote from his play Hamlet. You may know the first line:
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them:
Divida et Impera
Divide and conquer in Latin. This was Jeronimus’ policy on the island, to split everyone up.
In his journal, Pelsaert called the wallabi kangaroo cats.
Don’t You Forget About Me
A song by the Simple Minds. It refers to the people on the other islands being ‘forgotten’ by Jeronimus.
Episode 3 – Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
The full saying is: between the devil and the deep blue sea.
If you say that you are between the devil and the deep blue sea, you mean that you are in a difficult situation where you have to choose between two equally unpleasant courses of action.
I think that describes everyone on the island well, figuratively, but also literally. Everyone is caught between Jeronimus, some might say the devil incarnate, and the ocean. Both can kill them.
Displacing the Law
This is a term I borrowed from the Eighty Years’ War series, which I wrote before this series. The term ‘de wet verzetten’ is something Prince Maurits of Orange did in the Netherlands during the religious troubles in the Eighty Years’ War. It means a government official geting rid of an existing government. Though technically legal, still dubious.
Join the Darkside
A Star Wars reference.
Song by Mr. Mister. It refers to the broken spirit of the Reverend when the Mutineers make fun of him for preaching that God would take the survivors under his wings.
The Beauties and the Beasts
The plural for the Disney movie: The Beauty and the Beast.
Dear Old Uncle Coen
A term of endearment, but meant in a sarcastic way.
Suffer the Child
This is a biblical reference from Matthew 19:14. The children should be protected, they obviously weren’t.
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 19:14
Heal the Sick
A biblical reference from Matthew 10:8
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, a drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
Dead Men Tell No Tales
A term used to say that someone who has been killed cannot reveal secret information. It refers to killing everyone so that they don’t give the VOC information about the mutiny plot.
Also a Pirates of Caribbean movie.
Slaves For Life
A song by prog metal group Amaseffer.
Clean Up on Isle Two
A wordplay of what one hears over the speaker system in US supermarkets.
If someone dropped something on the floor, someone should go clean it up. “Clean up in aisle [number of aisle].” This is the second island I mention. So, clean up in aisle 2, becomes ‘on isle two.’ My spell checker didn’t like me here.
Don’t You Cry No More
The Man Must Hang
A lyric from the musical Jekyll and Hyde – Murder, Murder
London has a killer on the loose!
Could be a gang!
Gotta get ‘is ‘ead inside a noose!
The man must hang!Jekyll and Hyde – Murder, Murder
Put Out the Light, Then Put Out the Light
A Shakespeare quote from the play Othello, though I know it from the movie Interview with a Vampire.
Othello is literally putting out the light of the candle and then putting out the light of Desdemona’s life. The light of Desdemona’s life, however, is also an allusion to Prometheus of mythology.
Prometheus breathed life into clay figures (giving them the light of life), and he also brought fire from the gods to man.
Thus the “light” in reference to Desdemona’s life is also an allusion to Prometheus’ light.
In the story, the mutineers first blow out the lantern, and then kill the family, putting out their light.
Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
It’s from the children’s game of Hide-and-Seek. It’s a ritual phrase spoken by the person who has to find the others.
Like a deadly game of hide-and-seek, sometimes a villain will search for a hidden protagonist. The villain will often be walking slowly, to increase dramatic tension. Like Robert DeNiro’s character in the movie Cape Fear.
This Bird Has Flown
A term said when the person you are looking for has gone away or escaped. Referring to the surgeon Aris Jansz. getting away.
A movie. It refers to the moment that drowning was no longer a method to kill, it was knives only.
No More Tears
A song by Ozzy Osbourne refering to the mutineers telling the reverend that he shouldn’t cry.
Kill ’em All
An album by Metallica.
Tie a Yellow Ribbon
A term used in the military.
The song/poem “She wore a yellow ribbon” has appeared in various forms for at least four centuries. It is based upon the same general theme: A woman of destiny is under some sort of test or trial as she waits for her beloved to return. Will she be true to him?
The symbol became widely known in civilian life in the 1970s. It was the central theme of the popular song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree“, Written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown and recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn (among many others), as the sign a released prisoner requested from his wife or lover to indicate that she would welcome him home. He would be able to see it from the bus driving by their house and would stay on the bus in the absence of the ribbon. He turned out to be very welcome: There were a hundred yellow ribbons.
We don’t know the color of the ribbon, but a hair ribbon picked up off the floor was used to kill Anneke.
The High Ground
Referring to the High Island giving the Defenders the automatic high ground, which in military and combat terms means that someone has a major tactical advantage.
It also refers to a meme/joke in the Star Wars universe. Obi-Wan Kenobi wants Annakin Skywalker to surrender, he had the high ground. Obi Wan having the high ground in that particular spot is, in fact, a victory. As good as Anakin is with his blade, attacking Obi Wan from that position is suicide.
They Are Coming
A Lord of the Rings quote from the book of Mazarbul.
” The end comes soon. We hear drums, drums in the deep. They are coming.”Ori’s last entry in the Book of Mazarbul
The Devil’s Own
It is a quote from the journal, but also a movie.
We undersigned persons being present on this island, councillors as well as soldiers, sailors, as well as our Dominij (Reverend, ed.) no one excepted, whoever it may be.
Accept as our chief, as captain general Jeronimo Cornelis, whom we with one accord, and each separately swear so help us God, to be faithful and obedient in all that he shall order us. And in so far as the contrary happens, we shall be the Devil’s own, to which we have bound ourselves with a common hand herewith destroying and casting away all previous promises, public and particular, and oaths which have been taken before this, under which are included the secret comradeship’s, tent-ships, and others.
Also that the ship’s folk amongst us will not be called sailors any more, but will be reckoned on the same footing as soldiers, under one company.
Thus done on the island Batavia’s Graveyard, 20 August anno 1629.Oath taken by Mutineers on August 20, 1629
The Deal (No Deal)
A song from musical Chess. When Jeronimus wants to make a deal, it turns out it isn’t a deal at all. So there is no deal.
This is It, the Apocalypse
A lyric from the song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. The final hour had come for the Defenders, as they were under attack from the Mutineers once last time.
The Walking Dead
Short Drop, Sudden Stop
Another way of saying a fall to one’s death by hanging.
To Hell and Back
A quote on my Supernatural TV series mug.
Also, an expression that means: going through a very difficult or unpleasant situation that often lasts for a long time. I think it applies here.
Perished by Corruption
The VOC was perished by corruption, or in Dutch ‘Vergaan Onder Corruptie’.