The names of the main characters are puns. Alan Smythee is a play on the name Alan Smithee, which is the official pseudonym used by film directors who wish to disown a project. Angela Pandorus is inspired by Pandora from the Greek myth about Pandora's Box. According to the myth, Pandora was the first human created by the Greek Gods. Out of curiosity, she opened a forbidden box that contained evil, inadvertently unleashing it upon the world.