Follow TV Tropes

Following

Literature / Space Pirate Captain MacTaggart

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/space_pirate_captain_mactaggart_logo.png
She's the famous space pirate!
Advertisement:

Space Pirate Captain MacTaggart is a Scottish-American Web Serial Novel series created by Craig Black with Jacob Elmer. It forms the basis of the Tails From The Federation collection of Space Opera and Science Fantasy titles, set in the Color World Universe.

This page focuses on the original story, which takes place in the early 31st century, a time when man has virtually ceased to exist. In his place, this universe is populated by a mixed bag of anthropomorphic animals, who have taken to the stars and populated much of the known Galaxy.

This particular series focuses on the misadventures of a space pirate raccoon, Captain Jaws MacTaggart, a former soldier in the Stellar Federation, who has now turned her back on her masters, and now fights against them in her spaceship, the Stellar Typhoon.

Assisting Jaws in her quest against the Federation are a crew of unorthodox misfits: Leslie Kennedy, a tough squirrel with a dark past; a cat known only as Blackmask, a lazy yet streetwise hood-cat; and Kyoko Mori, the Typhoon's shy and softly spoken Chief Engineer.

Advertisement:

Fighting against Jaws and her crew are the forces of the Stellar Federation, led by Commander Barratt, a grey wolf who was Jaws' former superior, and his meek vulpine subordinate, Captain Mandarin. They fight against Jaws in their battlecruiser, the Oshan Akuma-and almost never win, thanks to Jaws' competence and their own lack thereof.

We are introduced to this crazy bunch of characters, and the inner workings of their universe, through the eyes of Alasdair Geddes; a young Scottish raccoon who finds himself being captured by Jaws one day, and begging to stay on the Stellar Typhoon to escape his own dreary existence.

This page focuses on the original story, which can be found on Craig Black's DeviantArt page, and on FictionPress. The series is produced by Jordann William Edwards (the creator of The Dynamite Twins and Friends), who created Tails from the Federation alongside Black and their friend Elizabeth Mogan. Much of the art was done by Edwards and Elmer.

Advertisement:

In 2016, a darker and edgier Torchwood-inspired spin-off entitled Bloody Cutlass was created by Edwards, taking place during the events of this title. Initially, a lighter and softer Prequel in the Lost Age inspired by MacTaggart, Ghosts of Earth, was in the works by Mogan, before cancelling it altogether. Edwards has since transplanted many of her concepts to MacTaggart and Cutlass.

Tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Captain Darkblade to Jaws.
    • In one or two cases, Blackmask to Alasdair.
  • Absent Aliens: Seems to be the case, as all the characters are from Earth colonies and terraforming is brought up without any regard to the potential astroecological consequences (But then again, since apparently Earth Is the Center of the Universe, even if there were, they probably would have been killed for their planet.)
  • Amazing Technicolour Wildlife: Various examples:
    • Captain Rothera is a pale blue fox.
    • Paul Cadenza is a deep blue border collie.
    • Douglas Donaldson is a blue terrier.
    • Number 105 is a blue cat (what is it with this series and blue animals?).
    • Commander Takano is a green and yellow dog.
    • Commander Cardona is a blue raccoon, while her subordinate, Lieutenant Staffell, is a red raccoon.
    • Captain Isel is a blue fox like Rothera, albeit a much deeper shade.
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: Not explicitly stated, but this is heavily implied to be the case. There's also a suggested overlap with Single-Biome Planet.
  • Artificial Limbs: Jaws has a prosthetic left arm thanks to a battle with Princess Midori. Her husband Finbar has a matching one due to Captain Darkblade (who also has one himself). A number of Captains in the Galactic Liberation Front also have one.
  • Artistic License: Let’s just say that the authors have basically made themselves permanent enemies of science and call it a day.
  • Ascended Fanfic: This story started out as a Fan Fic of the now-defunct The Space Gypsy Adventures, after which the characters that were originally created were transplanted into this story.
  • Asteroid Miners: Artimes Madryn, a friend of Jaws' runs a business dedicated to this.
  • Asteroid Thicket: In episode 4, Mystery Of The Transport Convoy, Jaws has to navigate through one of these while escorting a convoy of freighters. However, the asteroids themselves don't pose much of a problem for the Captain; the Federation destroyers hiding behind said asteroids, on the other hand...
    • Then in Supply Run To Regent's Crossing, we are introduced to the Walney Belt, a vast asteroid belt in the path of the main hyperspace route into G.L.F territory. There are a couple of large gaps in this belt, allowing limited access to spacecraft.
  • Author Appeal: Quite a bit:
    • Raccoons and foxes are among the most popular choices for character species. The former thanks to the author's love of the series The Raccoons, and the latter thanks to an interest in The Space Gypsy Adventures, whose main protagonist is a fox.
    • The presence of steam trains and railways (including one that links through different parts of the galaxy), reflects Craig Black's love of the former two, as well as the popular Thomas the Tank Engine series.
  • The Battlestar: Most capital ships in the series have both big guns and fighters.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Abundant in the series, both in ship and planet names. In most cases, it provides a Shout-Out.
  • Bi the Way: Both Leslie and Kyoko: They were romantically involved until they met their respective partners, and according to Season 3, they've restarted this affair.
  • Bottle Episode: Notwithstanding the flashback sequences, Attack Of The Traitor Kennedy takes place entirely in Leslie Kennedy's cabin, and features only Leslie and Kyoko.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Oliver Kennedy after his capture by Princess Midori in season 3.
  • The Bridge: Again, nearly all of the capital ships have one, and it's often the most we see of the interior of said ships.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Lieutenant McMurdo seems to fulfill this role on the Oshan Akuma. The bridge of the Bloody Cutlass, Captain Darkblade's ship, is populated by a number of these, though whether that is taken literally remains to be seen.
  • The Captain: Jaws, obviously. It's kind of in the title...
  • Character Blog: The Tumblr blog has been used as an ask blog for the five main characters.
  • Christmas Episode: Home For Christmas, in which Jaws makes a rare visit to Earth to visit her goddaughter, Abby Clapton, on Christmas Day, and nearly gets herself killed by Commander Barratt in the process.
  • Clip Show: At least one every season:
    • Season 1's episode, The Trial Of Commander Barratt, revolves around the Galactic President reviewing Barratt's failures from the first four episodes.
    • In Season 2, Commander Barratt's Promotion looks back on various previous events, from the perspectives of both the crew of the Stellar Typhoon and of Commander Barratt himself.
    • Season 3's Attack Of The Traitor Kennedy looks back on Oliver Kennedy's capture, brainwashing, and subsequent death, from the perspective of Leslie and Kyoko.
    • An Audience With Jaws Mac Taggart, from Season 4, sees Jaws receiving an award for her work for the Galactic Liberation Front, and during the ceremony, members of her crew share some of their favourite past accomplishments.
    • Finally, Season 5's Almost Got Her revolves around the three main villains (Captain Darkblade, Commander Barratt and Princess Midori) looking back on their past defeats at the hands of Jaws.
  • Colony Ship: The natives of Santa Granada are descended from the crew and passengers of one of these, which crash-landed on the planet over 400 years ago.
  • Cool Starship: Goes without saying in a series like this. Among the more notable examples include:
    • The Stellar Typhoon, the ship on which Jaws and her crew live and work. Built as a prototype by the Stellar Federation, it's survived the most vicious attacks that Jaws' enemies could throw at it, and even managed to survive being thrown into a black hole.
    • The Oshan Akuma (Ocean Demon), Jaws' former ship, and now the one used by Commander Barratt to try and hunt her down. It usually fails to gain the upper hand in a confrontation, but that doesn't diminish the sense of sheer power experienced whenever it's around.
    • Princess Midori's flagship. Suggested to be much, MUCH bigger than the Stellar Typhoon, it manages to pack a pretty nasty punch against anyone less prepared than Jaws.
  • Cool Train: Kumiko Mori's Minato Bonecrusher. The G.L.F supply trains ( real and fake), and the Federation-designed engine that goes after them in Night Train To Glasmuir.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Stones of the Cosmos, which also play a role in the ColorWorld Universe as a whole.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Jaws and Finbar first met.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Captain Mandarin isn't particularly bright, but Princess Midori seems to fit the bill.
  • Darker and Edgier: From the third series onwards. In the Wham Episode in particular, The Deserter, Leslie Kennedy was forced to shoot and kill her own brother to put him out of his misery and end his suffering. Things will only get darker from there.
  • Days of Future Past: Most planets in the series are phyiscally and culturally reminiscent of contemporary Earth societies:
    • The Sirius System resembles a mix of England and America, Procyon resembles a mix of Scotland and Canada, and Betelgeuse resembles a mix of Wales and Mexico.
    • The planets of the Hinode Cluster resemble the different prefectures of Japan.
    • Other individual planets follow the mould too: Eileandu resembles Central Scotland, Sheridan resembles Hawaii (according to supplementary material), Blackbrand (Captain Darkblade's home-world) resembles the Caribbean, and Jura resembles the Hebrides.
  • Drop Ship: The Stellar Typhoon is equipped with one of these, which is used when landing the Typhoon itself would be either too dangerous or totally impractical.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Sulo Kondo, the Captain of the transport cruiser Rascal Maiden first appears as an unnamed vixen in What Makes The Green Fox Green?, before being finally named in Diamonds Drive A Raccoon To Dream.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: As shown in The Trial Of Commander Barratt, Earth is the capital world of the Stellar Federation. Supplementary material also suggests that other planets in the Sol System have capital status as well.
  • The Empire: The Midori Empire is said to be the only political faction in the galaxy worse than the Stellar Federation. Fortunately they're also smaller than everyone else.
  • Enemy Mine: A minor two-part arc in Season 3 revolved around such a collaboration between Jaws and Commander Barratt:
    • In the first part, Barratt's Privateers, Commander Graf takes over Barratt's main mission to capture Jaws. Out of desperation, Barratt asks Jaws to come up with a plan to both discredit Graf and get him his old job back.
    • Then in the second part, Escape From Cobia Prime, it's revealed that Captain Mandarin was forcibly relocated to a guarding position on the titular prison colony as a punishment for her own incompetence. Commander Barratt seeks out Jaws' help again to rescue her.
  • Esperanto, the Universal Language: Spoken by the "natives" of Santa Granada in Episode 8, Alasdair knows just about enough to ask if they parolas la Anglan. Fortunately, they do.
    • Word of God says that this is also a primary language of the Midori Empire, though this has yet to be seen in the series.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Jaws and Finbar both wear patches for the look. Mandarin actually has an eye injury that she covers. Leslie may or may not wear hers for show, she doesn't like to talk about it.
  • Fake Arm Disarm: Jaws' prosthetic is damaged at the end of The Trap, and repaired at the beginning of The Dragon's Triangle Of Space. In Jaws & The Treasure Hunt, it's severed off completely in a sword fight. However, she just switches her katana to her real hand and keeps fighting.
  • The Federation: The Stellar Federation is the corrupt and imperialistic variety. The Independent Coalition of Stars is implied to be a more benign version.
  • Funetik Aksent: Alasdair has a very thick Scottish accent, and it shows: All his dialogue is written in Scots (a translator was used for the first two seasons).
  • Galactic Superpower: The Galaxy is divided up between three of these: the Stellar Federation, the Independent Coalition, and the Midori Empire.
  • Generican Empire: The Stellar Federation. The Independent Coalition of Stars, to a extent.
  • Happily Married: Finbar and Jaws, despite being on different ships most of the time and rarely seeing each other in person.
  • Human Sacrifice: Well, more or less, give or take a tail. The natives on Santa Granada try to toss Kyoko into a volcano. They fail.
  • Hyperspace Lanes: Implied, and referred to as trade routes. The planet Santa Granada is said to lie near Galactic Route 1 (which results in a bit of Fridge Logic, considering the planet's supposed isolation). Word of God admits that these routes, and the numbering systems used for them, are meant to be directly analoguous to the British road system.
  • La Résistance: The Galactic Liberation Front. There are also other smaller groups, such as the rebels on Leslie's home planet of Eileandu ( who eventually become absorbed into the G.L.F).
  • Lost Colony: Santa Granada's natives are descended from a starship that crashed on one of the islands 400 years ago and lost most of their technology.
  • Mobile Factory: The Stellar Typhoon has a full factory on board for constructing fighters. It was an experimental design that wasn't particularly cost-effective for the Federation, but for pirates and guerrillas, it is very useful.
  • The Mothership: Princess Midori's flagship.
  • Multi-Ethnic Name: Keiko "Jaws" MacTaggart, nee Kaizoku. She was born on a Japanese colony while her husband is Scottish.
  • Nerd Glasses: Both Kyoko and Alasdair.
  • Noodle Incident: Numerous prior events are referred to, but never expanded on:
    • Jaws' part in the blockade run into Nant-Coed. Even when she takes part in a similar blockade run into the Sirius System, the former run is hardly mentioned.
    • Kyoko is apparently wanted in Sector CA 15, for a crime that's never explained or expanded upon (though some have speculated that the crime could have been of a sexual nature, based on a comment in You See Your Gypsy, when Kyoko expresses apprehension about helping out some local children without first getting a criminal record check).
  • Nubile Savage: The natives of Santa Granada dress Kyoko up as such in preparation for sacrifice. After she's rescued, she keeps the outfit for some fun with Alasdair.
  • Numbered Homeworld: Quite a number of worlds, including Procyon VI, Sirius IV, Darwin IV and Sorados Beta VII.
  • Official Couple:
    • After some uneasiness, Alasdair and Kyoko get together.
    • As of Episode 22, The Air Battle Over Regent's Crossing, Leslie and Douglas Donaldson. They had already been going steady for some time previously, but this was only confirmed in this episode.
  • One-Product Planet: This seems to be the indication, given that most planets rarely get much more than a couple of paragraph's worth of exposition:
    • Capital: Earth (Stellar Federation), Luna Alba (Independent Coalition), Midori Cefurbo (Midori Empire) and Libera Volo (Galactic Liberation Front). Mention is also infrequently made of regional capitals, such as Tencho, Lave, and Regent's Crossing.
    • Factory: Arcturus V, Chuto, Gunju-Hin and Nanakamodo.
    • Farms: Jura, Alycidon VIII, Sirius IV, Aate (fish farming) and Edinso.
    • Penal: Amesoko and Cobia Prime.
    • Pleasure: New Islington.
    • Commerce: Tencho, San Cardona, and Sirius III.
    • Blockaded: Nant-Coed used to be this.
    • Unstable: Eileandu.
    • Strategic: Santa Granada technically counts as this, Lost and Primitive.
  • Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future: Averted for the most part, save for some instances here and there. For instance, The Trap has a sequence where Jaws demonstrates the Stellar Typhoon's targeting computer to Alasdair. The targeting map is said to be drawn with basic vector graphics.
  • Pleasure Planet: New Islington. Portobello is also implied to be one of these.
  • Putting on the Reich: Invoked by the Midori Empire. Averted with the Stripperiffic outfit worn by Princess Midori herself.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Both Kyoko and Alasdair.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Both Leslie and Darkblade have been known to carry revolvers as their main firearms.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Midori, aka the Green Fox, often accompanies her forces out on missions against Jaws, and always ends up taking command of the battles herself.
  • Running the Blockade: It's mentioned in a couple of episodes that at some point prior to the series, Jaws took part in supply runs through a blockade around the planet Nant-Coed. Captains Latrigg and Luna Madryn have also been implied to have taken part in the runs.
    • Another blockade around the planet Gunju-Hin has been mentioned, also run through by Captain Latrigg.
    • In the Season 4 episode Getting The Band Back Together, Jaws helps out when the systems of the Winter Hexagon Order are blockaded following a territorial dispute with the Stellar Federation.
    • Yet another is mentioned in the as-yet unseen Mogan Cluster, which has been run by Finbar MacTaggart.
  • Shout-Out:
    • References to The Space Gypsy Adventures are frequent, sometimes Breaking the Fourth Wall, as a result of many of the characters having originally been created for fan-fiction of this series. Particularly noteworthy is Jaws' line, "Some of my best friends are gypsies!", from the episode The Trap..
    • Alasdair's heart-to-heart with the park statue in The Jolly Roger Of The Stars is directly taken from Bill Forsyth's That Sinking Feeling. Likewise, Kyoko's attempted suicide by cornflakes, mentioned in Date Night On Tiree Outpost, is based on a throwaway line from that same movie.
    • Jaws' secret hideaway planet is called Santa Granada, in reference to the ITV franchise.
    • Several planets from the Elite series have been given a passing mention.
    • Captain Harlock:
      • The opening scene of The Jolly Roger Of The Stars is taken, more or less verbatim, from the opening scene of the show.
      • When this scene appeared in flashback during The Trial Of Commander Barratt, the dialogue was rewritten and substituted for that from the Harmony Gold dub of Captain Harlock, as an in-joke on the part of creator Craig Black.
      • Much of the plot and dialogue from Home For Christmas is taken from the second half of that same episode.
  • Space Pirates: In spite of the series' title, this is subverted: Jaws and Finbar are guerrilla fighters using piracy as a cover. Most of their raids are ruses pre-arranged with the freighter owners to smuggle supplies to the resistance (Though not always; we see Jaws carrying out a genuine raid on a transport cruiser in What Makes The Green Fox Green?). However there are real pirates as well, such as Darkblade and Grosvenor.
  • Space Police: As the name suggests, the Stellar Federation Military Police are halfway between space police and a Space Navy.
  • Space Station: The eponymous space station in Date Night On Tiree Outpost, which orbits a moon of the planet Jura.
  • Space Truckers: Alasdair's father Hunter used to work as one. After he died, his brother Stanley took up the position, and it is him who Alasdair worked for prior to the events of the series.
  • Steam Never Dies:
    • Implied in Slabs Of Stone With Words On Them, when Kyoko and Alasdair find the remains of an old steam engine on the outskirts of Glasmuir.
    • In The Song Of The Steam Age Hood-Cat, it is revealed that Kumiko Mori, Kyoko's mother and Jaws' sister, works as the driver of a steam shunting engine, the Minato Bonecrusher.
    • Word of God has justified this by saying that steam would be practical for worlds with large reserves of coal and few oil reserves, and also that in a theoretical nuclear strike, steam power could keep a world's society going on a planetary scale.
  • Universal Universe Time: A Galactic Standard Time is observed, seemingly based on Earth time (Greenwich Mean Time). Characters tend to give the time as, for instance, 1730 Standard.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: It seems to be a "gravity vortex" full of wrecked starships instead of a dead star, and the crew find a way out.
  • Used Future: Very much so; The Stellar Typhoon is regarded as a piece of junk by many of the antagonists, and even by Jaws herself.
  • War Is Hell: The Sorados Civil War, and that was before the Stellar Federation intervened by invading and nuking some planets.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Stellar Typhoon's Trinity Cannon. As with most examples of this trope, the Cannon uses up a considerable amount of energy, so it's only used sparingly.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: Thick-Skulled Takano introduces a supply tender named the Krakatoa. Three guesses what happens to it, and the first two don't count .
  • World of Funny Animals: The characters are all animals, mostly raccoons or foxes.
  • You Are Number 6: The Numbers, the elite staff of the Midori Empire. Numbers who have been seen thus far include Numbers 86, 87 and 88.
    • In Her Majesty's Revenge & Conquest, it's suggested that the Midori soldiers go by serial numbers, like VC-1229.
Top