Girl Genius

Heterodyne show

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This article is about an entertainment form. For other uses, see Heterodyne (disambiguation).

A popular form of entertainment in Europa, Heterodyne shows are dramatized and highly fictionalized versions of the adventures of the heroic Heterodyne Boys, Bill and Barry. Lucrezia Mongfish features prominently as Bill's scientific rival and love interest, and Klaus as the duo's disaster-prone yet unflappable ally - though after his ruthless rise to power he is increasingly portrayed as a coward or even a traitor.

Heterodyne Play

Act II: enter LUCREZIA, stage center

Other stock characters include the bumbling Punch, the "comic drag role" of Judy and "the High Priestess," who always ends up with Barry.

Not unlike the "pantos" of modern-day Britain, or Punch-and-Judy puppet shows (nothing to do with the construct couple), audience participation and response is expected and nearly required for the best effect of the performance.

Master Payne's Circus of Adventure was a successful troupe. Agatha played her mother, Lucrezia, while she was with them. Pix was grateful, as she had always wanted to play the High Priestess instead.


Curtain call at a successful performance

Heterodyne stories are non-performed print counterparts, and make up a significant chunk of Europa's popular fiction. The canon between the written stories and the performed plays probably overlaps a great deal.

See alsoEdit

List of Known Heterodyne Stories

Novelization Edit

In an extended footnote, the Professors note that the Heterodyne shows were a variation on Commedia dell’arte and that over one hundred twenty such troupes were estimated to exist at the time.[1]

Possibly relevant outside information Edit

Given the metafictional nature of the Heterodyne stories, it should be unsurprising that they are built on well-known tropes. Here are some examples.

  • The Five Man Band
    • Bill: The Hero
    • Klaus: The Lancer
    • Barry: The Schmot Smart Guy
    • Punch: The Big Guy
    • Judy: The Chick/Action Girl

Žiga is a Slovene given name, a form of Sigmund. (As in Freud?)


  1. Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess, p. 23

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