Head of Houndsditch (formerly)
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|“|| I'll set you free, Alice. Memory is a curse more often than a blessing.
Dr. Angus Bumby was Alice Liddell's manipulative psychiatrist and the head of the Houndsditch Home for Wayward Youth in London. Bumby appeared to help Alice, along with the other orphans who lived there, to forget about traumatic events in their past using hypnotherapy. However, it was revealed that he had much darker motives, and a greater role in Alice's past than she first realized.
Alice saw his image as part of the tentacle creature known as the Leviathan, but he disappeared after a while.
Meeting Lizzie Edit
In his younger years, Bumby was an undergraduate at Oxford University and was tutored by Dean Arthur Liddell. Like other undergraduates, he was a frequent guest for tea to the Liddell household, and he soon became attracted to Arthur's eldest daughter, Elizabeth, or, as many called her, Lizzie.
Lizzie had a poor opinion of all of the undergraduates and had no interest in him, as she called him and the other undergraduates a "bunch of toadies", but Bumby became completely obsessed with her, believing that Lizzie did want his advances and was being a "tease." Bumby's desire for her grew so out of hand that he would stalk and try to force her to perform sexual acts for him behind her family's back, even once entering the ladies' restroom at the London Waterloo station to follow her. However, she still denied him and threatened to tell her parents.
Assaulting Lizzie, murder and arson Edit
One night, infuriated by Lizzie's "teasing," Bumby broke into the Liddell house and raped Lizzie. Because Lizzie's body was unharmed by the fire, it is possible he killed her by strangulation, although it's also possible that Lizzie died from smoke inhalation.
Lizzie's sister, Alice, witnessed Bumby entering the house that night. However, Alice convinced herself that she saw a centaur instead, and that the sounds coming from her sister's room had been Lizzie talking in her sleep when it really was Bumby forcing himself upon her and raping her.
To cover up his crime, Bumby locked Lizzie's bedroom door, and possibly the rest of the doors, and used a lit oil-lamp to set the house on fire, with the intention of killing everyone inside. As a twisted memento, Bumby kept Lizzie's bedroom key, and would later use it as his pendant when hypnotizing his patients.
Bumby fled the house, but for a few moments, he stayed to watch the house burn in the inferno. Only the youngest Liddell, Alice, survived the blaze by jumping out a window on the second floor and cushioning herself on a pile of snow. Alice briefly saw Bumby in a nearby forest and she saw him holding Lizzie's key before he disappeared into the night. The fire resulted in Alice's fall into insanity, and she was committed into Rutledge Asylum for ten years.
Alice: Madness Returns Edit
After Alice was deemed sane enough to leave Rutledge, her former nurse Pris Witless got her a place to stay in Houndsditch Home as a maid. Bumby also treated Alice to hypnotherapy in Houndsditch, promising to help her forget the memories of the fire so she could recover the remains of her sanity. However, this would also benefit him, as the last remnants of his crime would be completely erased with no evidence remaining.
His treatment seemed in vain, however, as Alice began descending into madness again, seeing Wonderland consumed by a strange black ooze and destroyed by a twisted train. Realizing that she had to face her problems her own way, she returned to her psyche to unravel the mystery of this new corruption. Along the way, she began recollecting her lost memories, including some of her therapy sessions with Bumby. Alice's collectable memories of Bumby are represented by a pearly image of his glasses.
Bumby also appeared to Alice during her hallucination of Rutledge, in which he asked for obedience and honor on the same level as the Queen of Hearts. He tells Alice he wanted what the Queen wanted and told Alice to "trade the tentacles for the train", and "it's that or back to Rutledge."
As Alice traveled deeper into Wonderland, she came to a realization that it was Bumby who killed her family and his hypnosis sessions were really an attempt to cover his tracks. She also realized another terrible truth: Bumby had been using Houndsditch Home as a front for turning its vulnerable children into mindless sex slaves, stripping away their memories, thus making them completely forget who they were. At the end of the Dollhouse, Alice met the Dollmaker, Bumby's Wonderland incarnation. The Dollmaker viewed children solely as commodities to be used, manipulated, and exploited. He even believed that he was doing nothing wrong and that by turning otherwise worthless children into "proud products" to be sold to interested buyers, he was providing a valuable service to the public.
After regaining her memories, Alice confronted Bumby at Moorgate Station for his crimes. Bumby said that he was waiting for Alice's "replacement", suggesting that he was planning on firing Alice for a new Houndsditch maid, which Bumby likely decided due to Alice's absence for the past few days. Alice called Bumby out on his actions, and for exploiting and abusing children and destroying their innocence, memories and identities for his own monetary gain. He casually confirmed her accusations, and admitted he was trying to break down Alice herself into a mindless sex slave too, but she proved too stubborn and too powerful, even in her insanity, to allow herself to forget. He even called Alice a "beauty", implying that he may have been attracted to her as well.
As Alice's Wonderland self destroyed the Infernal Train and the Dollmaker, she threatened to tell the police and have Bumby hanged after being raped himself by "some halfwit bruiser" in prison. In spite of this, Bumby laughed at Alice, pointing out that no one would believe a former lunatic accusing a well-respected man of such a hideous crime, and he implies that he already covered up his tracks by destroying all evidence and traces of his crimes. Bumby called Alice a "psychotic silly bitch" and told her to leave. However, Alice snatched Lizzie's key from Bumby, stunning him, and after transforming into her Wonderland self, pushed him in front of an on-coming train, killing him instantly and avenging her family, as well as putting an end to his heinous crimes.
Alice: Otherlands Edit
While underwater in the miniature version of the Nautilus, one of the Leviathan's tentacles were in front of the viewing window. Alice noticed the tentacle as it shifted into the image of Bumby and reflected on her relationship with the deceased doctor to Jules Verne, stating that she had come to learn not all men of science were driven by noble pursuits. She gripped her Vorpal Blade and almost drew it out, as if ready to attack, causing the tentacle's eyes to light up. The Bumby tentacle observed the Vorpal Blade for a short while before it returned to its normal appearance, and disappeared. Despite that Bumby was deceased, his memory still faintly haunted Alice.
Bumby appeared to be slightly middle-aged, with a slim figure and broad shoulders. His face was very long and thin, with a pointy chin and defined cheekbones. His nose and hands were also very bony. His hair was dark brown, and was cut to the nape of his neck, and combed into a side parting to his right-hand side. He also had a full beard and mustache. His eyes were small and pale in color.
Bumby dressed much more professionally compared to Alice and the other children who lived with him. His outfit consisted of black trousers, a white shirt, and a gray waistcoat with a red tie. When outside, he wore a brown coat and top-hat.
In Alice's hallucination of Bumby when she and Verne were underwater, she saw him as a part of the Leviathan tentacle that was pink and red in color. His head was elongated and contain several holes representing areas of his glasses, ears, and chin. His eyes were able to glow in yellow when she drew her Vorpal Blade out before returning to the actual appearance of the Leviathan's tentacle.
To the public, Bumby was an intelligent psychiatrist and appeared to be a respectable man of society. However, he had carried out various cruel illegal acts of abuse, especially against young people and children, which included murder, rape, forced thought reform, and the commercial sexual exploitation. It is never entirely clarified what Bumby's motives were for this, but it could presumably be greed due to the monetary gain, or some "revenge against humanity" mentality that stems from possible unfortunate ordeals from his own past.
He seemed to have a poor view of children, as Alice remembered him stating that while children have purposes, "it is the beholden duty of knowing adults to fit every young person to her calling.", suggesting that children have no free-will and that children must have roles and purposes placed upon them by adults. He also told Alice that some insects eat their young and have much to teach us, implying he believes in a "dog-eat-dog" world with a "survival of the fittest" mentality.
While Bumby appeared to be pure evil in nature, it was hinted that he might be mentally unstable, which had contributed to his behavior. For example, while it was obvious that Lizzie was disgusted and possibly scared by Bumby's advances towards her, Bumby shifted the responsibility of his violent actions onto Lizzie, claiming that she was acting to be revolted by him to be a "tease" and "she got what she wanted in the end", meaning that he could be in extreme denial about the reality of their relationship. He also saw his exploitation of the orphans as a valuable service to the community, so he could have a condition similar to hero syndrome.
It is possible that Bumby has had his own share of tragic and painful experiences that shaped his pessimistic outlook of London, humanity, children, sociology, etc. Although Madness Returns does not go in-depth on this, it could be speculated that his character is a result of rejection or constant rejection by women throughout his life, and Lizzie may have been the final straw. Although this may seem nitpicky, it is worth noting that Bumby wears glasses which were seen as "unattractive" at the time instead of "stylish" and "fashionable", and insults such as "four eyes" were common for those who wore glasses. Regardless, Bumby shadowed Lizzie to the point of her fearing for her life, then later raping her in her own home and plotting to kill her and her entire family in a fire seen as a simple accident caused by the cat. It is possible Bumby may have been a misogynist, although it is just as possible he was a general misanthrope.
In his later years, he sold orphans as sex dolls for London's taking, and tried to do the same to Alice, Lizzie's little sister. He tried hypnotizing Alice, trying to break down her psyche and memories until she forgot her family and her memories.
When Alice confronted him, he showed no remorse. Instead, he was confident no one would believe her. He called her a "bitch" and told her to get lost, showing his arrogance. It is also possible Bumby was a narcissist, as he believed Lizzie wanted him, and he referred to himself as a "respectable social architect and scientist".
In spite of his own potential mental illnesses, and lack of solid evidence to support he himself being a pedophile, Bumby's mental abuse of the children and Alice, his complacency with pedophilia, and the fact that he appears to be proud of his actions - from Lizzie, to the fire, to the child trafficking business - does not excuse or explain his actions. Bumby could be interpreted as the most evil or malevolent antagonist in the series.
- Bumby is both a therapist and a rapist. In other words, Bumby could be seen as the "rapist" in "therapist".
- It is possible that Pris Witless knew what was happening, and was one of Bumby's accomplices.
- It is possible that Bumby murdered the parents of those who stayed at his orphanage in order to increase the scope of his crime ring, as he did this to Alice's parents.
- Bumby has framed portraits of George Meredith, Kate Chopin and George Washington in his office, possibly implying he admired these figures.
- The name "Angus" is anglicized form of Aonghus, which means "one strength" or "one force," and "Bumby" is a name of Middle English origin with means "fortress," a heavily guarded place. The fortress could mean Houndsditch Home, the place that Bumby hid his secrets from outsiders. His first name could be in reference to the fact he is a "one-man power" controlling the children, or that he just used one way to capture his victims: hypnotherapy.
- In Wonderland, Bumby is represented by the Dollmaker, a monstrous incarnation of himself.
- Before Alice killed Bumby, she appeared to transform into her Wonderland form (both dress and physical features) before him and he appeared shocked by her sudden change. It is unlikely that Alice literally manifested a dress. It is more likely that Bumby was shocked by her sudden confidence. However, it can be theorized that since Bumby was close to his death, he received a spiritual vision or hallucination of Alice in her Wonderland form.
- It is extremely ironic and symbolic that Bumby is killed by a train, considering his Wonderland counterpart, the Dollmaker, was the operator of the Internal Train.
- In her previous memories of the fire, Alice remembered Bumby as a centaur, a creature from Greek mythology which is part human and part horse. Although centaurs are presented as clever and honorable in modern culture, they originally symbolized chaos, unbridled passion, and lustful behavior. These descriptions fit Bumby, as he was the indirect source of Alice's insanity, and he had a lustful, uncontrollable passion for Lizzie. He was also perceived to be a great person in society.
- The drastically different appearances and mindsets of Wonderland's citizens in Madness Returns are the result of a metaphysical "hard reboot" imposed by Doctor Bumby's treatments for Alice.
- It is unknown if Alice was ever found out to be Bumby's murderer. In addition, since Alice is a freewoman in Alice: Otherlands, she likely covered up her murder of him since no one else was at the train station during his death.
- It is unknown if Bumby was a pedophile and if he ever sexually assaulted any children. He did, however, sexually assault Lizzie, and once called Alice a "beauty", so he could be considered a ephebophile.
- It is possible that Bumby's personality and his attraction for Alice's sister (and possibly Alice) were based around the rumors and controversy that surrounded Charles Dodgson, such as the suggestions of pedophilia. It was also hinted that Dodgson had a relationship with Alice's sister Lorina.