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The Adventures of Tintin: Land of Black Gold (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of the nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

Land of Black Gold feels like a rather conscious throwback to the earlier adventures in the series, stories like King Ottokar’s Sceptre or The Black Island or Cigars of the Pharaoh, dealing with relatively grounded political concepts and economic realities, rather than hidden treasure or lost civilisation or trips to the moon itself. Of course, there’s a very good reason – Land of Black Goldwas started before the outbreak of the Second World War, and Hergé put it on hold to write about more abstract and less political concerns. That’s why Haddock only appears in this episode five minutes from the end, because he hadn’t been created when the original story was told. I don’t dislike the adventure, but it does feel rather strange, situated where it is in the Tintin canon.

Petrol was always an explosive topic...

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