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Beauty and the Beast: The First Time I Loved Forever


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#1

marxfan

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Posted Feb 6, 2008 @ 7:24 PM

I couldn't fine a topic for this beloved cult TV series (the final season of which was released yesterday), so I decided to start one. Hopefully it's not just hiding somewhere. So feel free to discuss the immortal love between Catherine and Vincent! Debate whether Diana was a worthy replacement or not! Grumble about what a controlling, short-sighted jerk Father was (well, I thought so)! Find out who else has the soundtrack (I do, and it's fantastic)! Ask head-scratching questions, like why does Mouse spoke pidgin English when he was taught to speak by the ridiculously eloquent Vincent? And on and on! Enjoy!

Edited by marxfan, Feb 7, 2008 @ 12:19 AM.


#2

never enoughjam

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Posted Feb 6, 2008 @ 8:14 PM

I've got the soundtrack and the first season DVD set. Is the second season worth it? I don't know that I would bother with any DVDs that include the Diana storyline. As far as I am concerned, the series ended when Catherine died.

#3

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Posted Feb 6, 2008 @ 8:55 PM

Season 2 is still Catherine and definitely worth it. Though Lovers Be Lost is the beginning of the third season. Or as I call it, the two hour series finale before the really bad spin-off of which we do not speak.

I just finished Netflixing the first two seasons and remembering how much I loved this show. Even if Catherine and Vincent got to kiss less than Nuke on As The World Turns.

#4

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Posted Feb 6, 2008 @ 11:24 PM

I only have vague memories of this show being fantastic. And kind of grandly, old school, romantic.

I almost don't want to watch again for fear it won't live up to my memories. I had no idea it was on DVD.

Does it pass the test of time?

#5

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Posted Feb 6, 2008 @ 11:58 PM

I think it holds up well. I love Catherine and Vincent together and the supporting characters (especially Below) are great. Though I'd forgotten their tendency to kill off recurring characters in the second season.

Some of the standalone eps are a little weak and you could make a drinking game from their use of stock shots like Vincent on top of the subway car.

Rewatching, I think I might have gotten all my knowledge of poetry and classical music when I was younger from this show.

#6

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Posted Feb 7, 2008 @ 1:23 AM

When the show was originally broadcast, I was working nights and didn't get to see it--this was before the great innovation of VCR, of course. I've got season 1 and 2 on DVD now, and really enjoyed it. I love Linda Hamilton as Catherine and love Ron Perlman as Vincent. I'm a little hesitant to get season 3 but what the heck. The third season of the original Star Trek was totally awful, I mean laughably awful, but it's still a classic show. So mostly out of curiosity I'm going to order the third season of BatB.

#7

PhantomChic

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Posted Feb 7, 2008 @ 7:31 PM

Ask head-scratching questions, like why does Mouse spoke pidgin English when he was taught to speak by the ridiculously eloquent Vincent?

I've tried to figure out how old Mouse was when Vincent found him. They said he'd been stealing from the community below and living by himself in the tunnels for awhile.

Did he ever have any education other than from Vincent? He seems to have a natural aptitude for mechanics, but his verbal skills are limited. And the "Wonderful Life" episode showed that without Vincent he'd have no language at all.

#8

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Posted Feb 7, 2008 @ 8:29 PM

Rewatching, I think I might have gotten all my knowledge of poetry and classical music when I was younger from this show.


It's sad really, I did get Shakespeare in high school, but Rilke, Byron, Blake, even any American poets like Frost or Dickinson, I can't recall being exposed to. Or if I did, it didn't stick, until B&B. I really wish that Perlman would do another poetry recording, with that gorgeous honey voice of his.

I owned two tie-in books "Song of Orpheus" and "Masques" as well as the soundtrack, and even bought a graphic novel.

Just don't make me relive "though lovers be lost" and "the rest is silence." Because I am Still! Bitter! <mutters>fairy tales are meant to have HAPPY endings</mutters>

#9

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Posted Feb 12, 2008 @ 2:42 PM

I thought it was strange how the show tries to paint the world Below as this paradise while the world Above is filled with crime, greed, and violence. I thought the citizens of Below were the most narrow-minded, hypocritical, prejudiced, clingy and selfish bunch I've ever seen! Father was the worst one. He treated Vincent like his property instead of his stepson, and treated poor Catherine with suspicion and indifference. The episode that made me hate Father was Remember Love, where Catherine suggests taking Vincent to a lake she used to visit as a girl. She also knows no one will vacationing there and offers to take Vincent in a van as an extra safety precaution.
Now, if Father had said to Vincent, "I'm afraid someone will see you and try to kill you", I'd give him a pass. Instead, Father rips Vincent a new one and lectures him about how selfish and stupid he's being (speak for yourself, old man) and then plays the guilt card by telling him the world Below would crumble without Vincent. It's all about the damn community, and Vincent's not allowed to take a risk and go after what he wants. Several guilt trips later, Vincent tells Catherine no, leaving them both disheartened. God, that episode pisses me off.

#10

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Posted Feb 13, 2008 @ 6:09 PM

Loved the show till the cataclysmic changes of Season 3. To me, it was such high romance, done with such dignity and elegance. I loved Vincent and Catherine, of course, and was thrilled with John McMartin's occasional appearances as Catherine's father. But count me in what may be a minority of those who didn't hate Father. Part of it is that I think Roy Dotrice is a totally awesome actor [his wry skating coach is one of the highlights of "Cutting Edge" for me], and part of it was that, while I thought he made huge mistakes, Father also held together that community Below and protected his charges with a fierce, if sometimes misguided love.

One of my favorite episodes was when they realized that on Halloween Vincent and Catherine could spend time above ground together, and did so. It was all rather bittersweet, because the next morning everything had to return to 'normal', but for those precious hours, they could revel in their love.

#11

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Posted Feb 14, 2008 @ 4:17 PM

They did something similar with a Halloween ep on Gargoyles with Elisa and Goliath. One of the Ninja Turtles cartoons may've done it as well. It makes sense for genre shows involving non-human-looking characters to go there.

It's awesome tha Ron Perlman is still big in films. I wish Linda Hamilton had gotten more out of her career. Between this and the two Terminator, I had a mad crush. Before Nikita, before Buffy and other strong female character on TV and in film, I think Hamilton may've embodied the first (okay maybe She-Ra came first).

I really need to buy this series.

#12

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 7:37 AM

It is really odd that there is basically no thread for this show! I know it was popular. I loved it, with Catherine and Vincent. After Catherine allegedly died, but never did, in my mind, there was no show. I wasn't really big on the deconstruction of Vincent toward the end of the run either. After all the wonderful romantic loving scenes Vincent and Catherine had had, they finally make love in a subterreanean cave while Vincent is chained to the wall and trying not to kill Catherine? I also adored Father. I didn't see him the way others are describing him, I saw him as fiercely loving and protective, of all the community, and especially of Vincent. Catherine was included in time. Remember when Vincent was talking, when she was below after her father died, that while everyone in the community was behind him, no one was watching out for Catherine, in her relationship with Vincent, and praying for her safe passage, and Father said, 'then I shall watch and pray for you both."

I don't know the titles of the episodes, except for the one about the bluebird...was that the one with the artist faking his death.. i loved that one, it had alot of humor in it, as well as tenderness. :Don't worry, we're having him committed! Soon!" I liked also the one where Catherine remembers her mother, and the one where she loses her father was so poignant. The death of Ellie..so sad....I did not like the one where Cain was hiding in the tunnels to escape prosecution for the hit and run death of a child, and when the mother of the child saw him above, nobody below thought he should turn himself in. But the bedroom with all the candles lit was beautiful. I didn't like the ones where Vincent attacked people, I liked the romantic and loving and funny aspects of the show.

I thought Mouse was challenged in some way, whichis why he talked like that. Was it Mouse or Pascal that was always banging on the pipes?

#13

PhantomChic

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 2:26 PM

Pascal (Armin Shimmerman) ran the pipe chamber. He was a fun supporting character.

After Catherine allegedly died, but never did, in my mind, there was no show.

Word. And since it was the season/series finale, it's so easy to explain. The doctor (who had been fairly pitying to Catherine during her captivity) just pulled a Juliet and gave her a drug that made it looked like she died. Or Vincent used their restored bond to call her back from death a la The Sentinel.

#14

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Posted May 7, 2008 @ 5:37 PM

I absolutely love B&B. When it was first on I was living in Germany (military brat), and I watched it with German dubbing. I understood German decently well, so it was no problem. But once I returned to the states, I found I didn't like the sound of Linda Hamilton's voice!

I own the first two seasons and have absolutely no plans on getting the third. There's just no point, in my opinion. I also received two of the novelizations as gifts when I was a teen, but I'm not sure where they are now.

I still think it's a beautiful show, but I'm not entirely sure they ever gave a reason why the two never really kissed. Was it just that Vincent was reluctant to loose control or that he was never fully convinced that Catherine wanted him that way? I know that on their 2-year anniversary he was going to go inside her apartment for the first time, but that got interrupted. He didn't go in again until he became sick at the end of season 2.

#15

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Posted May 7, 2008 @ 6:23 PM

Well, I did finally buy Season 3, and I've now had to stop the DVD twice in the middle of the very first episode because I can see the heartbreak on the horizon and don't want to watch it unfold. Catherine has had several chances to tell Vincent that she's pregnant and hasn't done so, which is obviously a terrible mistake. And I have to say that I'm looking at this show with a 21st century backward lens, but come on, we get no indication at all, so far, of how or when she and Vincent made this baby. Nada. Is this 1980s prudery or what? So I'm already not liking season 3.

#16

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Posted May 7, 2008 @ 7:29 PM

They were never allowed to kiss (or do more than imply how the baby was made) because the network executives were afraid of Rev. Wildmon and his Television watchdogs accusing them of promoting bestiality. That Vincent was more human than most network executives (or Reverend Wildmon) doesn't seem to have occurred to them.

Also, 8 p.m. time slot.

Edited by Fabrisse, May 7, 2008 @ 7:30 PM.


#17

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Posted May 7, 2008 @ 7:48 PM

I know when they made the baby, it was when Vincent was chained in a far below cave cos he had become a raving animal..it had something to do with Paracelsus. Catherine went into the cave and he is snarling and roaring, and she screams Vincent! and that is it for the season. Next show has a flower opening, which is supposed to indicate they are making love. why couldn't they have done it in a romantic setting? I think they always knew they both wanted to, but I don't know what held them back. Catherine knew that Vincent had injured that dancer he was attracted to, so maybe that was it. It did show her giving V a brief kiss as she went back above one time.

A box of rocks is more human than Reverend Wildmon and his ilk. As far as the 8 pm timeslot, was not Melrose Place on at 8 pm? There was good wholesome fare for the kids all right!

Edited by susannah2000, May 7, 2008 @ 7:48 PM.


#18

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Posted May 8, 2008 @ 12:21 PM

What I saw at the beginning of the first episode of Season 3 is that Vincent is snarling out of his mind, Catherine cautiously approaches him and he almost attacks her, but then realizes somehow who she is, and they both collapse to the ground. Father finally enters and Vincent gets to his feet. Father helps Vincent walk out of the caves, with Catherine and the rest of the people following behind. Then Vincent is back in his own bed, being treated, but he's still kind of out of it. It seems very implausible to me that Vincent and Catherine had sex in the cave, and much more likely that she spent time with him in his bed as he was recuperating. Either way, it just seems very out of character to me that these two, who are so deeply in love, would consummate this two-year build-up with a quickie on a cave floor while he's semi-insane and anyone could walk in on them.

I would have loved to have heard the discussions that must have gone on with the writers and producers about how to show (or rather avoid showing) the event that led to Catherine's pregnancy, but the way it ended up onscreen--if in fact it was supposed to have occurred at that moment in the cave--seems to contribute to the show's 'bestiality' criticisms (which I think are absurd to begin with but okay, the times were different) rather than sideswipe or assuage them. Any fan of the show knows that Vincent is not a beast, but quite the opposite--this cultured, sensitive creature, especially if he were dazed and confused, would not be screwing his own true love in filthy ripped clothes on a gravelly bed of dirt.

I was also very disappointed for several other reasons, and here are two of them:

1) When the "Six Months Later" caption came up onscreen. That was so clearly just a device to advance Catherine's pregnancy while keeping everything else about her situation the same. Made no sense that after all that time Vincent could suddenly commune with the fetus, but not before, and that she was kept in an office building on Sixth Avenue in the middle of the city but nobody, not Elliot, not the Helpers, and not Vincent, and not Joe (despite the obvious machinations of his boss) had a clue about it. I just didn't buy that at all.

2) That Vincent was shown so busy chasing the helicopter that the dying, drugged up Catherine has to stagger up to the roof in her nightie to find him, rather than him finding her first. I knew they were going to kill her off, but I thought the tragedy of the moment was muted by the absurdity of her climbing up the stairs to the high-rise rooftop that way just moments after she'd given birth, not even knowing that Vincent was up there growling at Gabriel.

So far I'm liking Diana as a character, though how she's managed to be employed by the police while lounging around in her apartment all day tacking up photos and reading poetry and musing upon crime 'puzzles'--well, that's quite a trick. The scene where she rescues Vincent and brings him to her apartment was cool, but then it was endless shots of her sitting around her apartment for three days while he's mostly unconscious. I get that they were trying to establish her growing feelings for him, but it got so boring I went and made a sandwich, and she was still staring at him from her chair with a determined look when I got back.

All in all, so far Season 3 is not as bad as I was led to believe, but I was prepared for Catherine's death before I saw it. I bet that if I was watching the series as it was being aired on television, I would have given up on the show in disgust after Catherine's death, because it really gutted the emotional power of the series when the point of it became not Vincent and Catherine's star-crossed love but rather Vincent looking for his son in the midst of his grief.

Edited by Lesbonaut, May 8, 2008 @ 12:35 PM.


#19

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Posted May 8, 2008 @ 9:37 PM

Lesbonaut..cool name...I don't remember this part, but if it was not showing that they did the deed on a cold damp cave floor, while he was insane, what was the whole deal with the flower? Also, was it Catherine that brought Vincent back to his senses completely? I so want the DVD's on Seasons 1 and 2....I want to see this all again.

#20

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Posted May 8, 2008 @ 10:17 PM

I remember being ticked off that they had them consumate thier love while Vincent was wacked out (I think on drugs that Paracelsus had dosed him with) and violent. It went totally against the romance that the show stood for. Since they hadn't gone thier in the two years they'd known each other I kind of assumed that they just "couldn't." We never did find out what Vincent was exactly but an alien was certainly a possibility, and I just thought that maybe his biology was different enough that intercourse with a human might not be possible. Somebody told me about some Science Fiction book where the male and female protagonists loved each other very much but they were two different species and to put it bluntly the parts didn't fit. Other than this and the white hot hatred that I have for them killing off Catherine, however, I really liked this show.

BTW when they sent the blood to the lab it came back as not human. There is no way something with blood THAT different would be able to breed with a human and you would think if somehow they had made a child it would not look totally human.

I had no problem with Jo Anderson who IIRC is Gillian X-Files Anderson's sister, but of course I just didn't want Catherine gone. I don't think they went as far as to mean to have her "replace" Catherine and even if the show had continued I would have hoped that her interest in Vincent would have remained unrequited. Sure in real life you SHOULD get over loss and find somebody else, but this was a romantic fantasy so it wouldn't have been right for him to ever have another romantic love.

#21

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Posted May 9, 2008 @ 12:42 PM

Man, I loved this show as a kid, but I haven't thought of it in ages. It's probably what prepped me to love Angel so much years later.

They put out an album of Vincent reading poetry, right? I vaguely remember a cousin having it.

#22

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Posted May 10, 2008 @ 11:11 AM

I looked it up on IMDB and there isn't any record of Gillian Anderson being related to Jo Anderson. Gillian has a younger sister name Zoe, but no older sister.

I liked the way the men who loved Catherine worked together in Season 3. Eliot Burch, Vincent, and Joe Malone all found ways to honor her.

#23

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Posted May 10, 2008 @ 12:28 PM

if it was not showing that they did the deed on a cold damp cave floor, while he was insane, what was the whole deal with the flower

I watched it again, and you're right, susannah2000, that there's a flower opening, and a slow-mo scene of Catherine's and Vincent's hands entwining, and flashbacks to some of their most romantic moments, with goopy music throughout. I think I suppressed it because I thought it was cheesy. (He wasn't chained up at all, he's just standing there in a rage growling, then comes toward her and collapses.) She thinks he's dead, and she leans over him and kisses him, and that's when they fade to the flower opening. I guess you can interpret that as something sexual taking place, but it seems very inappropriate at that point. I interpreted it, and still do, as Catherine bringing Vincent back to life, kind of calling him back from the dead, with a kiss--kind of a variation on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. The flower symbolizes Vincent's return to life, and his mind remembering who she is and what they are to each other.

When Catherine leans over to kiss Vincent on the mouth (and they do show this--though it's muted by the darkness), he's conked out on the ground; when Father enters and discovers them there, they are basically in the same position, and Vincent's still on the ground, dazed but awake. The only difference is that Catherine no longer has her coat on. Otherwise still fully dressed, no mussed up hair, and Vincent is still weak and out-of-it. As we grownups know, you don't get pregnant by taking your coat off. Unless Vincent is such a strange, alien creature that he can inseminate someone by kissing them--an adolescent girl's nightmare.

As I said, I think a quickie on the cave floor while he's semi-insane or even just semi-conscious, is totally out of character with all that has gone on in the previous two years and makes no sense in terms of the story. I agree with you entirely about that, MDKNIGHT. When it's revealed that Catherine is pregnant, we have to go scrambling back to try to figure out when that might have happened. I much prefer to think that they consummated their eternal love in his comfy bed with a fluffy coverlet, the stained glass lighting behind them and his pretty knick-knacks all around, a time and place with no "beastly" connotations. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

In rewatching these shows, I am continually impressed with the clothing of the people who live below, especially Vincent. You couldn't imagine a better "legendary fantasy" look to his outfits. The costume designer was brilliant.

Edited by Lesbonaut, May 10, 2008 @ 12:48 PM.


#24

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Posted May 11, 2008 @ 12:34 AM

Lesbonaut, you gotta tell me how you came up with that name! I gather you have the DVD's? I actually just thought I would see if the library had them, and they do, though out..the Vincent and Catherine love lives on! Now, I saw the episode in question just one time, all those years ago, and all I remember is Father trying to talk Catherine out of going into the cave where Vincent is snarling, she says she has to, he's snarling, she screams Vincent, the flower thing, and then Catherine is pregnant. I just assumed that the flower represented sex, though I never liked that, and felt ripped off. It would have been a total disservice to the actors who portrayed romantic love, what the whole show was about,and that was never what would be essentially, rape. I will be able to see it soon but I think your interpretation makes so much more sense, that Catherine brought Vincent back to life, and love, with a kiss, exactly like in the fairy tale, and that they made love in his bed, with candles and flowers around the room, a beautiful place. I know the show was trying to slide past the conservatives but I don't think it would have been horrible to show Catherine walking toward his bed or something. There had already been a couple of scenes in which they were asleep together in her bed, right, once below and once above? What bestiality..Vincent wasn't a beast..he wore clothes!!! I loved the old fashioned clothes they wore, with the white ruffly tunic shirts and the leather vests and all.

In regard to Vincent's origins, I was under the impression that Paracelsus had inseminated Vincent's mother with some kind of experimental something, just to see what would happen, I guess?

#25

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Posted May 11, 2008 @ 6:09 PM

That's what Paracelsus said, but Father made it clear that no one actually knows how Vincent came to be.

#26

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Posted May 11, 2008 @ 9:50 PM

Oh, God, Paracelsus scared the living shit out of me as a kid. I was terrified. Tom Jay was so tall and imposing. His voice was so deep it made Farscape's Ka'Dargo sound a like a prepubescent boy by comparisson. I thought that that must be what the devil sounds like. He didn't waste time talking to people, he just whipped out the knife and stabbed people.
He was batshit crazy, belivably a genius and thoroughly vicious.

As Fabrisse said, Paracelsus lied to Vincent but he didn't just do that. His wife was the one who found him outside St Vincent's Hospital and named him. He constructed an elaborate fantasy where he experimented on his pregnant wife and Vincent ripped his way out of her belly. In reality Paracelsus poisoned his wife leading to his exile by Father.

He essentially caused Vincent's breakdown disguising himself as Father and telling him the lie described above. When Vincent (who I think was drugged) killed him he pulled off his mask whispering "Now you are my son" as his death rattle. At this point Vincent simply lost it and to this day the memory of Paracelsus makes me jump at shadows.

#27

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Posted May 11, 2008 @ 11:33 PM

I didn't know this, or if I did hear it, not remember. How did Vincent get into Father's care if paracelsus and his wife found him? Also, does any historian recall if the below community was made to shelter Vincent or if it was there already? Was Father ever married? Did he have any biological children?

#28

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Posted May 11, 2008 @ 11:50 PM

I didn't know this, or if I did hear it, not remember. How did Vincent get into Father's care if paracelsus and his wife found him? Also, does any historian recall if the below community was made to shelter Vincent or if it was there already? Was Father ever married? Did he have any biological children?


According to the show, Paracelsus started to go a little mad and became obsessed with Vincent - as a result, Paracelsus' wife became afraid for Vincent and gave him to Father to care for, which really sent Paracelsus over the edge. In Ceremony of Innocence in S2, we learn that Paracelsus has confused everything in his head and thinks that Vincent is his biological child (as opposed to his real biological child who died at birth I think). The community was very young but already in existence when Vincent was found and brought to live there. I think they said on the show several times that Vincent became a unifying symbol that the new community was able to rally around.

Father was married - I forget her name, but she appears in Song of Orpheus in S1. She contacts Father because she's dying and wants to make amends for having abandoned him right after their marriage when he was accused of un-American activities by the McCarthy committee for, I think, expressing concerns about atomic energy, etc. She was socially prominent and her father had the marriage with Father (Jacob Wells) annulled.

Father had a biological child by a woman who lived in the tunnels. I think she died in childbirth. The son is Devin (played by Linda Hamilton's then-husband, Bruce Campbell), who was Vincent's best friend growing up and doesn't find out that he's Father's biological son until he returns as an adult in Promises of Someday.

#29

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Posted May 12, 2008 @ 1:07 AM

Thank you, thank you, firemountain! It seems to me that I thought Paracelsus had a bone to pick with Father all along, but that was probably because he had Vincent, as you said. The other question I have, if the show ever said, was how/why the community got started?

#30

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Posted May 12, 2008 @ 9:30 AM

Well, various people who were disatissfied with the 'World above' found and explored the network of tunnels
seeking to create an ideal society. John Pater(Paracelsus) and Jacob Wells(Father) were the leaders and innovators of this community. Paracelsus actually developed the system of communication through pipes.