I'm a child of the late 80's and early 90's. Inspirations for the Prof are drawn from the media that was prevalent at the time, yes we had inspiration before the wide-spread installation of cable modems.
From the Curiosity show through to "Why is it so?" when an egg gets pulled into a milk bottle (from Cadbury ads rather than the original), I loved watching the science shows growing up. I can still recall snippets of the shows, the presenters and the voices, and the little catch phrases. I don't know how much of the shows' messages sunk in versus how much was just watched over in the glory of enjoying science on TV. While they didn't have the budget of Mythbusters, nor the international penetration, they still shared Science. This also helped my dad find presents for me, solar kits and other hands-on buildy stuff were always good gifts. I kept the solar powered 'stuff' kit for ages, and I didn't even have someone cut the speakers into tiny pieces from making the light-sensitive-noise-squarker too often.
Doctor Emmett Brown, Back to the Future
Yes, I'm one of those kids in high school who mimed looking at a watch and their wrist while saying "Damn, damn!" Even though he had enough money to buy a DeLorean and make a time-machine, he's definitely SteamPulp over SteamPunk. To break it down:
- Hair: Completely manic, white, barely managable.
- Outfits: Fashion victim of the worst kind, EXCEPT when he was dressed in wild-west finery. Victorian era... coincidence? I think not.
- Science: Flux capacitor. 1.21 Gigawatts. Nuclear powered time machine using plutonium stolen from Libyans. "You disintegrated Einstien!" Plus, look at all the pretties over his SteamTrain Time Machine. Not a rust mark in sight.
- Outlook: A generally optimistic viewpoint, a bit of comic releif dusted through everything he did, a fun naivety and he gets the girl in the end.
- [Dan, 2009-07-14 08:02:20] Oh, so THAT'S were the idea came from. I thought it was somewhere different, but I was not going to say anything until you had blackmail money handy. :p