H. Rider Haggard created the prototype for Indiana Jones: Alan Quartermain. Haggard was a British writer, born in 1856, died in 1925, two of the Alan Quartermain novels he wrote are The Lost City of Gold and King Solomon's Mines, which was made into a film with Richard Chamberlain. Haggard was the son of a barrister, educated at Ipswich Grammar School in my old home town. He served in southern Africa as a secretary to the governor of Natal.
Alan Quartermain is one of the characters in the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, released today. The movie assembles a cast of heroes from literature. On the radio this morning, the presenters were talking about the film, and one said "I know Alan Quartermain, he was on [insert name of hospital drama here]!" The same presenter also thought the Invisible Man was just a TV series, not knowing that H G Wells created him in 1897.
Does no-one read anything more than a year old ? How many people are going to know the back story for these characters? Other characters are Dr Jeykll (from Robert Louis Stevenson), Dorian Grey (created by Oscar Wilde), the vampire Mina Harker (from Bram Stoker's novel Dracula), Agent Sawyer (probably Tom Sawyer, courtesy of Mark Twain), and Captain Nemo (Jules Verne). These characters have history! Dorian Grey was a pretty nasty piece of work too.