[Warning: Tabooseason one spoilers ahead.]
Mobile phone reception must have been brilliant back in 1814 on the decks of The Good Hope because a no-nonsense former officer of the East India Company, James Delaney has been tweeting up a storm from his account @SonOfHorace1814 (Bio: “I witnessed and participated in darkness you cannot conceive.”)
The gruff antihero in black from Taboo pings updates to his current-era fans on how the journey from London to The Azores is going.
It’s not just him tweeting, either: his crew of misfits is also getting in on the action. There’s Delaney’s step-mum and potential object of affection, Lorna Bow-Delaney @horaces3rd (Bio: “Horace's 3rd Wife~Actress~Terrible Cook.” Location: “Lost in the Atlantic”), his right-hand-man Atticus @atticus_taboo (Bio: “Human Compass. Victualler. Vagabond.” Location: “The League of The Damned”), and chemist/explosive extraordinaire George Cholmondeley @GCholms (Bio: “BOOM.” Location: “No f****** idea, at sea...somewhere.”)
Who's really the brains behind the Twitter account?
Well, it could well be an elaborate work of fan fiction but the sheer scale of the effort (multiple character accounts, characters engaging in long threads with each other and fans, regular #AskJamesDelaney Q&A sessions and the pitch-perfect dialogue of the characters), suggests a connection with someone from the show.
The Twitter account also shares the same handle of an Instagram account that has regularly posted artwork and hints about Taboo’s mythology. Intriguingly, star and creator Tom Hardy directed fans there from his own Instagram so they could have their say on what they’d like to see happen next in season two.
But Delaney tweeted in no uncertain terms that he and Hardy are not one and the same:
As Delaney himself would say, “Hm.”
But whoever’s pulling the strings behind-the-scenes is having a lot of fun doing it, and fans are enthusiastically engaging as if the characters are real. I got in on the action, too, receiving a serious burn from Delaney when I shot off a cheeky tweet (more on that below).
The Twitter account happened to go live in January last year when Taboo first aired in the UK and the USA, with the first tweet going out just days before the finale in February. From more serious, philosophical beginnings, @SonOfHorace1814 has increasingly become quite the bawdy, madcap romp, as you’ll witness in these tweets we’ve collected.
Things aren’t exactly harmonious on The Good Hope…
Delaney is not happy with his motley crew, tweeting (in order) about Cholmondeley, who has a penchant for pigeon poo (a key ingredient for his explosives); Lorna and the sex worker Pearl also on board; and Atticus. That’s accompanied by a GIF (he doesn’t do emojis, mind) of Delaney swigging brandy to ease the pain.
Lorna is exasperated with Delaney’s bizarre behaviour.
The weather has been a major pain in Delaney’s frequently naked bottom.
(Godfrey was Delaney’s cross-dressing informant who worked with his enemies, the East India Company, and is now part of the crew)
And the climate can be akin to the devil’s own posterior, says Atticus.
Meanwhile, Pearl, who clearly can’t wait to see American shores, is sorely testing Lorna’s patience, most likely magnified by the fact she was terribly wounded in the finale.
And the menfolk are seriously having some issues adjusting to having womenfolk on board the ship.
But Lorna sees the menfolk for who they are...
And will damn well buck up at the expectation of domestic duties.
But there’s merriment nonetheless…
Believe it or not, Delaney likes to have a warble:
Cholmondeley is up to some explosive hijinks and clearly hasn’t learnt his lesson after being horrifically burnt in the season finale. This time, it appears he’s singed poor Godfrey’s wig.
And the Delaney Company brandy is flowing.
And it’s getting quite smutty…
There are euphemisms aplenty as things get quite “Fifty Shades of Taboo”, as follower Carol Davis puts it, in the downstairs department of The Good Hope.
And the dirty talk is quite literally, full of dirt, as Lorna offers the putrid Delaney a sponge bath:
But maybe Delaney will take him up on the offer next time he “accidentally” ends up in Godfrey’s bunk?
But some of the fan-lust for Delaney could set a horse a-galloping, with the earnest one not quite grasping the language of lust some 200 years away.
But beware if you engage, you may experience James Delaney’s wicked burns. Delaney was not impressed when a fan enquired about his common nakedness, often during shamanistic rituals.
Another fan received a roasting after sending Delaney a happy snap of herself outside the location of his offices, formerly a brothel. And don’t be making marriage proposals to the man.
Or be objectifying Mr Delaney, even if he is a big ol' surly stud muffin.
And don’t you dare correct his spelling, or threaten to spank his tattooed legs, as actor Alexis Tuttle did. You may receive a GIF with the Delaney death stare and this rebuke:
You have been warned. It’s just like tweeting with the real thing, no? What say you #MrHardy?
Season 1 of Taboo is streaming at SBS on Demand: