When does the game take place?

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When does the game take place?

The 1920's
6
46%
The 1930's
1
8%
The 1940's
4
31%
The 1950's
0
No votes
The game takes place in a made up world with archetypes from different time periods
2
15%
Other
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 13

monsieurchartreuse
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When does the game take place?

Post by monsieurchartreuse » Thu May 31, 2018 6:25 pm

I'm working on a bit of a Clue-adjacent project, and was looking up photographs from various eras to find people who look like the Cluedo characters as I might picture them in my head.

For instance, I've always pictured Scarlett as an actress (I think she was described that way in the 1996 European game I grew up with, and it's a good profession for her as the character I'm writing). I just received three miniatures from the Passport to Murder game in the mail - they're absolutely gorgeous and I love the 1920's setting of that game - 1926 specifically. But, looking up many, many, many pictures of actresses from the time, Scarlett actually strikes me as more of a 1930's actress than really a silent film star. More of a femme fatale than an ingenue.

Basically - I'm of multiple minds, and it made me wonder: what is your favourite "era" for Clue to take place in? Are the characters interbellum archetypes (either 20's or 30's), or are they post-second world war characters from the era when the board game was first released (50's)? Or is there no definitive version and to you they're just "whatever the time is when this edition of the game is released"?

Give me your thoughts!

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Post by alwaysPeacock » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:15 am

When I think of Clue/Cluedo, I immediately draw parallels to Agatha Christie. For me, Christie's best stories take place firmly in the 1920s and '30s, and I believe that general, between the wars, era suits the basic premise of Cluedo best. Any earlier or later, and there's too many other things going on in the world for the story of the game to even matter. I think the best example of this is the series of Clue/Cluedo games produced in the early 2000s.

Regarding Scarlett as an actress: you forget there's thing call theatre, where most actors earned their living before the film industry really caught on. If we assume the world of Clue/Cluedo to be set in England, she most likely would have been a stage actress, as Britain's film industry at that time was … nothing special.

All that being said, I think the original suspect art intended to set the game in contemporary England of the late 1940s. Scarlett's hair is the strongest indication for that, IMO.

But my vote ultimately goes to the game having no distinct time period. If the game is too firmly set in a bygone era, it won't sell to a contemporary shopper (legitimate board game enthusiasts aside), and if it's too modern the game quickly becomes dated (looking at you 2009-2013 editions). Modern set editions also have the problem of technology: why are these people running around the house with pen & paper, and why has nobody whipped out a mobile phone to call the police? The most current edition strikes a good balance, IMO: the characters are vaguely modern, yet retain a whiff of a time gone by, and the board shows no signs of Tudor Mansion being a fully modernized house.
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Post by CluedoKid » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:36 am

I picked 1940's for the reason you just stated. Seems like a classic era to root Clue towards.
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Post by monsieurchartreuse » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:21 am

You're absolutely right about the film industry in Britain, which sort-of slipped my mind. I was working on a cross-over idea where the film industry played a small part. I had a vivid idea about her as a silent film star who is having a hard time with the transition to talkies; that'd be a fun take on the character. But it's likely she'd be a stage star.

The concept of Cluedo is absolutely based on a nostalgia for interbellum dinner parties, it felt like to me. In any case, you're right, I feel like Scarlett is probably the character that dates it most - it's the hairstyle in many editions.

I think they're probably trying their best nowadays not to date the game specifically, but then movies like the recent adaptation of "Murder on the Orient Express" show that you really can commit to a solid historical aesthetic and find an audience. For a Cluedo film, whenever it happens, I'd love them to really commit to the 20's.

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Post by Murder by Death » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:43 am

monsieurchartreuse wrote:You're absolutely right about the film industry in Britain, which sort-of slipped my mind. I was working on a cross-over idea where the film industry played a small part. I had a vivid idea about her as a silent film star who is having a hard time with the transition to talkies; that'd be a fun take on the character. But it's likely she'd be a stage star.

The concept of Cluedo is absolutely based on a nostalgia for interbellum dinner parties, it felt like to me. In any case, you're right, I feel like Scarlett is probably the character that dates it most - it's the hairstyle in many editions.

I think they're probably trying their best nowadays not to date the game specifically, but then movies like the recent adaptation of "Murder on the Orient Express" show that you really can commit to a solid historical aesthetic and find an audience. For a Cluedo film, whenever it happens, I'd love them to really commit to the 20's.
Or Scarlett is an American movie star. I’ve forgotten the period film that depicts a gathering of just such characters, and I believe there is an American film star. They may not have had a thriving film industry of their own, but they did have American movies, and plenty of international celebrities in their midst.

The original characters are quintessential late 40s early 50s designs, but that’s to be expected for a parlor game designed post war to infiltrate the living rooms of day. But that’s a classic look. Add to that, they’re all older adults which tend to be more conservative and timeless — it’s no wonder then that Scarlett is the most stylish of them all.

One of Pratt’s primary influences in making Cluedo was Agatha Christie novels. This works for me as well, with And Then There Were None the quintissential Cluedo model. That book didn’t appear until 1939, and as in almost every case, I saw the 1940s movie before reading the book. So for me, Cluedo will always be cemented in that late 1930s pre-war through mid-40s postwar look. And this is just me, but I hate the 1920s — talk about dated looking! But that’s really a personal preference.

Obviously Cluedo works in any era, at any time. And I think you nailed it — as long as the production commits to the era, it will sell to any audience as an authentic experience. The main thing to ask about any era is why — what does it get you story wise. Interestingly, CLUE the movie answers that question very effectively: we got the McCarthy era hearings that played into the motivations of almost everyone’s story and actions, and a cast of characters that reminded us all of photos we’ve seen of our aunts and uncles at the time — a sense of relatable nostalgia, which is the key to the game in my opinion. Throwing Cluedo into any era without a specific reason is a mistake. That said, nostalgia is a reason!

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Post by CluedoKid » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:53 pm

Murder by Death wrote:You're absolutely right about the film industry in Britain, which sort-of slipped my mind. I was working on a cross-over idea where the film industry played a small part. I had a vivid idea about her as a silent film star who is having a hard time with the transition to talkies; that'd be a fun take on the character. But it's likely she'd be a stage star.

Didn't Asia also have a thriving film market relatively early? Perhaps Scarlet could have been a film star in Hong Kong. Her Asian trope could still technically work for the older setting.
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Post by cluedoking123 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:51 pm

I think it has to be the 20s because Dr. Black is essentially a country squire and those were starting to die out by that point, right?
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Post by CluedoKid » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:49 pm

I'm surprised the 1910s or earlier isn't an option. I believe the Franklin Mint was going for that period.
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Post by alwaysPeacock » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:48 pm

cluedoking123 wrote:I think it has to be the 20s because Dr. Black is essentially a country squire and those were starting to die out by that point, right?
I don't know if Black/Boddy has ever been given an official title wherever his home happens to be located. But you're pretty much right: the 1920s was when the "Downton Abbey" lifestyle was starting to die off as more people looked to live in the major cities, and subsequently find employment opportunities beyond service in a manor house/on the land owned by the local gentry.

Even so, to this day there are still plenty of wealthy people with large country homes, and surely dinner parties/weekend gatherings would remain a popular social event well beyond the era when Black/Boddy would have essentially ruled over a small village.
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Post by monsieurchartreuse » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:11 pm

CluedoKid wrote:I'm surprised the 1910s or earlier isn't an option. I believe the Franklin Mint was going for that period.
I forgot! I would've totally added it as an option if I'd been less hasty.
don't know if Black/Boddy has ever been given an official title wherever his home happens to be located. But you're pretty much right: the 1920s was when the "Downton Abbey" lifestyle was starting to die off as more people looked to live in the major cities, and subsequently find employment opportunities beyond service in a manor house/on the land owned by the local gentry.
Mrs. White used to work for Dr. Black's father in a few of the games, but has decided to keep working for the family after his death. Given that the rest of the house staff aren't suspects, she could very well be one of the only servants still working there.

I see him as more akin to the local country Doctor rather than being Lord Black. I believe he's referred to as Mr. Boddy, but I know him as Doctor Black - is that another holdover from my particular version from childhood?

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Post by Murder by Death » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:31 pm

CluedoKid wrote:I'm surprised the 1910s or earlier isn't an option. I believe the Franklin Mint was going for that period.
I don't know the era is clearly indicated for the Franklin Mint game. Scarlet is referenced as the "Essence of Victorian Charm", an era which ended in 1901. However the Kitchen is stated it had a remodel in 1910, which would be well into the Edwardian era. That suggests that it could be set even later into the teens. But the artwork suggests Victorian to me, so 1890s is where I always placed it in my mind.
monsieurchartreuse wrote:
CluedoKid wrote:I'm surprised the 1910s or earlier isn't an option. I believe the Franklin Mint was going for that period.
I forgot! I would've totally added it as an option if I'd been less hasty.
don't know if Black/Boddy has ever been given an official title wherever his home happens to be located. But you're pretty much right: the 1920s was when the "Downton Abbey" lifestyle was starting to die off as more people looked to live in the major cities, and subsequently find employment opportunities beyond service in a manor house/on the land owned by the local gentry.
Mrs. White used to work for Dr. Black's father in a few of the games, but has decided to keep working for the family after his death. Given that the rest of the house staff aren't suspects, she could very well be one of the only servants still working there.

I see him as more akin to the local country Doctor rather than being Lord Black. I believe he's referred to as Mr. Boddy, but I know him as Doctor Black - is that another holdover from my particular version from childhood?
Boddy is the North American counterpart to Black in the rest of the English speaking world. As far as I know, Black is still the appropriate way to reference him in a game of Cluedo, and Boddy for a game of Clue. There was a period where Hasbro tried to combine them, along with Reverend Green and Mr. Green, but I think we're back to the good old classic distinction.

As for 1910 and earlier, frankly that's my least favorite setting for Clue, at least as a quintessential one. It's just hard to imagine a woman wearing all those bustles and flowing dresses sneaking up on the good Doctor. Nor do I really care for the look and style. To me Clue is a bit film noir, which is more 30s-40s. Indeed, one of the aspects of Clue is that this isn't a grand house full of a thriving staff as it would have been during the Victorian and Edwardian era. It's a guy who has inherited his family house, and struggling to keep it up, reducing his staff to one poor overworked housekeeper, and blackmailing and cheating his friends to the point where they want to kill him. That's why a later era also serves the setup better as well. It's all fine and good to imagine Dr. Black's manor in its heyday, but that's not really what Clue is to me.

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Post by Sir Shamrock » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:16 pm

I like to think that it all takes place in the 1920s because it was all so nicely explained in the early 2000s games with all the dates and backstories.

But I do also think that it also takes place with modern marvels like televisions, computers, security systems, and video games like the book series, television shows, and VCR games show.

So when showing these inventions, they could take the "Murdoch Mysteries" approach and have them in a way that looks in style with everything else, like having a cell phone made out of cast iron with ornate designs on it.

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Post by monsieurchartreuse » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:24 am

Sir Shamrock wrote:I like to think that it all takes place in the 1920s because it was all so nicely explained in the early 2000s games with all the dates and backstories.

But I do also think that it also takes place with modern marvels like televisions, computers, security systems, and video games like the book series, television shows, and VCR games show.
Lemony Snicket's "Series of Unfortunate Events" book series (and Netflix adaptation) does a very similar thing. It's never explicitly stated when or where the story takes place, despite constant hints being dropped at odd, incongruous, anachronistic facts. There are telegraphs, but also computers and intercoms. The art for the books seems inspired by the 1920's, but it's only an aesthetic choice that amplifies the absurdism. The production design changes from episode to episode as well, with costumes being inspired by different time periods. It's great.

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Post by Jonathan Green » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:15 pm

monsieurchartreuse wrote:
Sir Shamrock wrote:I like to think that it all takes place in the 1920s because it was all so nicely explained in the early 2000s games with all the dates and backstories.

But I do also think that it also takes place with modern marvels like televisions, computers, security systems, and video games like the book series, television shows, and VCR games show.
Lemony Snicket's "Series of Unfortunate Events" book series (and Netflix adaptation) does a very similar thing. It's never explicitly stated when or where the story takes place, despite constant hints being dropped at odd, incongruous, anachronistic facts. There are telegraphs, but also computers and intercoms. The art for the books seems inspired by the 1920's, but it's only an aesthetic choice that amplifies the absurdism. The production design changes from episode to episode as well, with costumes being inspired by different time periods. It's great.
There's a theory that the books take place in 1999, the year the first book was released. It's just that Snicket's style in writing and tone is somewhat like 1920s-ish.

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Post by Jonathan Green » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:39 pm

It's June 4, and we all what that means...
It's Mr. Boddy's birthday! He would have been 122 years-old. It's also his 92 annverisery of his death.

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Post by Sir Shamrock » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:53 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. BODDY!!! 🎂🎉🎊

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Post by monsieurchartreuse » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:23 am

Jonathan Green wrote:It's June 4, and we all what that means...
It's Mr. Boddy's birthday! He would have been 122 years-old. It's also his 92 annverisery of his death.
From the top of my head, I know the box art for the 2000 UK game has "June 6th 1926" as the date on The Daily Echo. So, for that matter, happy Cluedo-day! Make sure to solve John Boddy's murder today.

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Post by Murder by Death » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:39 am

monsieurchartreuse wrote:
Jonathan Green wrote:It's June 4, and we all what that means...
It's Mr. Boddy's birthday! He would have been 122 years-old. It's also his 92 annverisery of his death.
From the top of my head, I know the box art for the 2000 UK game has "June 6th 1926" as the date on The Daily Echo. So, for that matter, happy Cluedo-day! Make sure to solve John Boddy's murder today.
In that case, we’d want to make sure to solve Dr. Black’s murder today!

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