Sweet Tooth: Was Capt. James Thacker a Real Person? Is HMS Simpson a Real Ship?

In Netflix’s ‘Sweet Tooth,’ a mysterious sickness ravages humanity, and the search for a cure leads people to do all sorts of things to each other, especially to the part-human, part-animal kids born concurrently with the arrival of the Sick. After years of trying to find the cure, it becomes clear that one must get to the root of the problem, trace its origins, and figure out the conditions under which it was brought into the world. Only then can they find a solution to it. The search for the answers leads them to Captain Thacker and the arduous journey taken by his crew aboard HMS Simpson, with no one coming back home from the voyage. Considering the importance that this historical piece of information plays in the show, one wonders if something like this has happened in real life. SPOILERS AHEAD

Capt. James Thacker and HMS Simpson are Entirely Fictional

The Netflix series about the Hybrids and the Sick is based on the DC Comics of the same name. The comic book series creates elaborate lore for its universe, stretching the story more than a hundred years in the past to explain how Gus, his friends, and the entire world ended up where they did. The TV show uses bits and pieces from the already established story to create its own version of events, which leads the audience down a different path, though they eventually end up in the same place. The character of Captain James Thacker and his ship, HMS Simpson, is one of those things.

There was a real ship named HMS Simpson, an MS Trawler commissioned in May 1942, but it has nothing to do with the ship mentioned in the series, as the events take place a few decades before the Second World War. In the same vein, while there have been several cases of ships and their crew dying under mysterious circumstances, no particular incident from history serves as the reference point for the events unfolding in the show.

The character and the ship are references to the characters in the comic books, especially the 26th issue of Sweet Tooth, which is where we get the complete story of Thacker. According to the source material, Thacker goes to Alaska in search of his future brother-in-law, Louis Simpson, where he finds out about the cave and unleashes the deadly virus.

In the show, Thacker’s motivations to visit Alaska and look for the cave are completely different. The stakes are higher and much more personal as Thacker is intent on finding a cure for his incurable disease. While there is no HMS Simpson in the comic book series, the show names Thacker’s ship as a nod to the character of Louis Simpson. Apart from the names and the mention of a voyage to the Arctic, the plots of the show and the comic series chart different paths to bring the audience to the climax, which remains fundamentally similar for the source material and the adaptation.

Read More: Is H5G9 Based on an Actual Virus? What is The Sick in Sweet Tooth?