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|“||ARE RUNAWAY DOGS CARRYING BUBONIC PLAGUE?||„|
|~ Digby Driver posting a headline about Rowf and Snitter carrying the plague.|
Digby Driver (real name: Kevin Gumm) is the central antagonist turned anti-hero of Richard Adams' 1978 novel The Plague Dogs, and the secondary antagonist of its 1982 animated film adaptation, where he is a female reporter named Lynn Driver. He is an unscrupulous journalist who works at a tabloid known as the London Orator and is responsible for publishing articles about Rowf and Snitter carrying the bubonic plague. However, he eventually redeems himself and helped rescue the dogs when he learned the truth about Alan Wood being the owner of Snitter and how Ann Moss sold him to ARSE.
She was voiced by Penelope Lee in the film.
|“||If anyone is being irresponsible, it is popular newspapers who alarm the public with totally unfounded tales about bubonic plague.||„|
|~ Dr. Boycott arguing with Digby Driver about his irresponsibility.|
When he was a kid, Kevin wasn't raised properly by his parents and he would often misbehave, even going as far as to break into an old widow's shop and threaten her with violence. Instead of learning from his mistakes, he only wanted to avoid getting caught by the police. As he grew up, he learned of a terrible incident that recently happened and decided to become a journalist as he adopted the name of Digby Driver.
Digby Driver is presented as a greedy and self-centered man who only posts headlines to advance his career, rather than telling the truth. When he met with Stephen Powell and learned about Rowf and Snitter's escape as well as Dr. Goodner's defense work on bubonic plague, he decided to come up with a plan to write an interesting story. When he blackmailed Dr. Goodner to reveal his details about his defense work, the ex-Nazi scientist informed him that his area is secured and that there is no way the dogs could have contracted the plague.
However, despite Goodner's advice, he went on to lie to the public by publishing an article about the two dogs carrying the plague, causing mass hysteria in the public and make everyone want to kill the dogs. As he meets with Dr. Boycott and learns his motives for trying to ignore the fact that the dogs have escaped from their research station, he lashes out at him for being grossly irresponsible and reminds Stephen about what he told him about Goodner's work.
After receiving a letter from Alan Wood about his loss of Snitter, he redeems himself and confronts Ann Moss for selling the dog to the research station. He then shows Wood a photograph of Snitter and he helps him try to rescue Snitter as well as Rowf. After the two dogs were rescued, William Harbottle and the Under Secretary try to have the dogs killed, but he threatens to give them a bad reputation if they do so, showing how much he cares about the dogs.
His female counterpart in the film is more affable and polite as she seems to care about other people as well as take more responsibility in her job. However, she still went on to carry out false rumors about the two dogs carrying the plague, despite being told by Harry Tyson that Dr. Goodner's area was secured.
He was born in the late 1940s after World War II and was named Kevin by his mother Mavis Gumm. Despite his name not being christened as Kevin, he grew up with that name. Shortly after birth, his mother left him in care of his grandmother. Unfortunately, he never knew respect or fear for his parents or the school authorities. One day, he was sentenced to juvenile court at the age of 10 for breaking and entering an old widow's shop and threatening her with violence. This only taught him to avoid the police in order to avoid trouble, though. His parents have eventually decided to give up teaching him.
As he grew older, he became a dread against university authorities and eventually departed from his university to get a small job in journalism at the London Orator. After returning home, he heard about a Pakistani criminal who was arrested for violence and rape. This incident is what made him into the journalist he is known. He got material for special features on pornography and sexual night clubs, that he was given the new name of Digby Driver by the Orator's readers.
The Plague Dogs
After Snitter accidentally kills David Ephraim, the Government Department learn about the incident and argue over the situation. They suggest on sending Digby Driver to investigate and one of the civil servants named Desmond Simpson contacts him about the incident.
After Stephen Powell failed to retrieve Snitter from the Dawsons when the Tod helped him escape, Driver comes to their house and they explain the whole story to him. Driver and Powell then head to Gerald's bar and Powell explains the experiments that were performed on Rowf and Snitter. Powell chats with him about Dr. Goodner's history and defense work on bubonic plague.
After publishing an article about the incident at Dawson's, the barman at The Crown directs him to the Research Station and he heads over there. He meets up with Tyson and he directs him to Dr. Goodner's place. He comes across Goodner and asks him about his defense work. Goodner explains the work on the plague and Driver claims that he won't publish any articles about the plague.
Later, he is called by Bob Taylor, who has spotted Snitter crossing the Duddon valley recently. Taylor informs Driver about the abandoned coppermine and he leaves. He comes back with a torch and arrives at the mine. Two days later, he publishes a headline about the dogs carrying the plague, causing the public to go into a massive panic mode.
Later, he has a conversation with farmer Dennis Williamson and he explains that the Research Station wouldn't tell him anything about the lost dogs. He calls Mary Longmire and decides to head to the Research Station. He then posts another news article about the A.R.S.E. keeping a secret about their dogs.
Later, he meets up with Ann Moss, the same woman who sold Snitter to the Research Station. He asks her about Snitter and she denies it. She then reveals Snitter's name, who was owned by her brother and claims that he had an aggressive nature. He asks her why she sold him to the A.R.S.E. and she claims that it was her brother-in-law's idea. The next day, he posts an article about Moss and how she sold Snitter to the Research Station.
After the two dogs raided Geoffrey Westcott's car, he calls Driver and reports about the incident. Westcott took photographs of the dogs and Driver agrees to meet him. He then posts an article about the dogs robbing Westcott's groceries with the photographs Westcott took as he does an interview with him. He then learns that Stephen Powell fell ill and is upset to learn about it. He eventually pays a visit to the Research Station and learns from Boycott that Stephen is still sick and leaves.
Stephen recovers and goes back to work. The next day, Driver comes to the Research Station and chats with Boycott about his experiments and the missing dogs wreaking havoc across the Lake District. He then lashes out at Boycott for being grossly irresponsible and Boycott and Stephen confront him for posting false information about the dogs. Driver reminds Stephen that he told him about Dr. Goodner's defense work and Stephen denies it. Boycott receives a call and Stephen picks up the phone. Stephen learns about the incident of Geoffrey Westcott's death and puts down the receiver. He then convinces Boycott that they should have a talk outside after Rowf's shot-off collar confirmed that the dogs were indeed from the Research Station and they leave the room. Driver then leaves the laboratory and heads to the police station. He eventually posts a news article about Westcott's death and how Boycott refused to comment about the dogs.
He receives a call from a civil servant named Quilliam Skillicorn and learns that William Harbottle sent the military of the 3rd Battalion to hunt down and kill the dogs. While the two dogs are being hunted by the army, Driver receives a call from Ted Springer and tells him to come to Eskdale. Driver gets up and heads over to Eskdale. Upon arrival, he meets up with William Williamson and he tells him that Major Awdry and his army are on the fells.
Driver notices a letter that was written six days ago and reads it. He is shocked to see that it was written by Alan Wood, the man who adopted Snitter and that he didn't die in the accident. He then heads over to Ann Moss' house and confronts her for her deceitful actions. He interrogates her about why she sold Snitter to the Research Station and she explains that she hated the dog. He leaves the house and heads to the hospital where Wood is. He sees Wood and hands him the photograph of Snitter. Wood recognizes him and Driver agrees to help him find Snitter. They head out of the hospital and they come across the warden of the Drigg nature reserve, Major Rose. He directs them to Ravenglass and they head over there. However, upon arrival, Major Awdry tells them that the dogs are swimming out to sea and they spot them with his binoculars and he can do nothing, but watch the dogs drown.
However, two naturalists named Peter Scott and Ronald Lockley rescue the two dogs and haul them on the boat. They head over to the Drigg nature reserve, where they are happily reunited with Wood. Hot Bottle Bill and the Under Secretary arrive to have the dogs shot and Major Awdry is reluctant to do so, but Major Rose confronts him and forces him to leave, telling him he has no right to be here and that it's illegal to use guns in his nature reserve. Harbottle refuses to leave, but Driver threatens to give him a bad reputation, forcing him to leave. Harbottle orders the Under Secretary to deal with the matter, but Rowf chases him away and they flee in their motorcar as Driver takes photos, while shouting with joy. Wood and the two dogs leave the beach as Driver and Rose help him on the way. He explains that he hasn't felt on anyone's side in years and that Harbottle will look sillier than Boycott as he gazes at the sea.
- It is unknown why Digby Driver was changed into a female named Lynn Driver in the film.
- Digby Driver's car in the book was green, but Lynn Driver's car in the film was changed to red.
- Unlike Digby Driver in the book, Lynn Driver didn't redeem herself and Wood was dead after the accident.
- In the book, Digby confronts Boycott for being grossly irresponsible. However, in the film, Lynn does not do that and Powell was the one who received the call about the incident of the dogs eating the corpse of the hunter who fell to his death off the Dow Crag.
- In the film, Lynn owns a dog. However, in the book, Digby never had a dog with him.
- While Dr. Boycott is the main antagonist, Digby drives much of the plot as his rumors of the plague-carrying dogs creates more misfortunes for Rowf and Snitter.