Happy National Sock Day from the Appreciation!
Admin: Happy Birthday to “Minder”. It debuted October 29, 1979 and went strong until March 1994. We here at the Appreciation are pretty much only concerned with the Chisholm episodes which ran sporadically from ’79 to ’88, but those 24 episodes give us a very good idea of what it is about “Minder” that made it last so long and have allowed it to remain popular 26 years after its finale.
“Minder” has a timelessness about. While it is in many ways of its time, the central idea of a small man (Arthur Daley) trying to to make a successful living in a big city while avoiding all the pitfalls of bureaucracy (actually, avoiding bureaucracy itself) is a theme that will likely never die. His mild disdain for the rule of law never goes into outright horrible criminality, so we wind up with a character who is easy to relate to. Basically, wheelers and dealers will always be with us.
RF: Daley is that rarity, a “lovable scamp” that actually manages to be lovable – or if not lovable, at least highly entertaining. He’s the one who’s always trying to find a shortcut to vast wealth, except he isn’t totally clear on what an effective shortcut should be – goldfish being exchanged for clothes out of the back of a dodgy van? Cleated football shoes being sold as stylish trainers? Musical monkeys playing “Scotland the Brave”? His schemes were always unique head-scratchers. And yeah, his willingness to flout the law ensured that he’d always be under Chisholm’s watchful eye.
Admin: The musical monkeys really should have hit off big. 🙂 And, yes, Daley is a very entertaining character. You just can’t help but like the ol’ spiv.
RF: It helped that Arthur never broke any heavy-duty laws and had no ambitions towards higher profile illegal activities. A criminal mastermind, he wasn’t. When someone once tried to suggest Arthur was fencing stolen jewelry, Chisholm knew that was far beyond his scope.
Admin: One of my favorite episodes, “What Makes Shamy Run“, deals with pirating VHS tapes of popular Bollywood movies. Yeah, VHS is dead as the dodo, but piracy continues to be a burning issue, and Bollywood has only become increasingly popular, garnering followers from all over. The details may have altered, but the general concept is daisy fresh.
RF: True, and Daley’s scheme involving bootleg mobile phones was a form of piracy, too. Only nowadays I suppose he would be stealing wifi, selling dodgy burner phones, and/or hacking into people’s Cloud accounts. Mind you, Arthur would have to get a talented nephew (or great-nephew) to help him with the latter. Continue reading
It is time for another Favouritest Grabs Ever…and this time it is lucky number 13. Just in time for Halloween. As we did last time, we’re going to mull over grabs that have a spooky vibe, be it obvious or slight.
Whyyy it is that old chestnut from Luther S04E01 where our adorable Cockney crim George has been chained to a radiator. The reason for that is because Luther (Idris Elba) wants to question him about Crazy Alice and a gem stone scam. The easiest way to get a straight answer out of George is taking him by force to some run down old gaff and cuffing him to the nearest cruddy radiator you can find. Quite sensible really.
Well, it has George Cornelius and a pair of cuffs, so there is always the ooh-la-la factor, but, c’mon, it is suitably creepy. It could easily be a scene from a horror movie. In many ways, “Luther” is horror with all its brutal serial killers. The dingy damaged walls and the chipped paint on the radiator all suggest neglect and secrecy, key components of a horror hideout. But, don’t worry. George survives to fight another day and sets up his own chamber of horrors in series five. Hooray!
RF: Oh, it could’ve definitely been a horror movie, especially since Luther seemingly forgot about leaving George there! I think George was quite justified in feeling a wee bit peeved after that. If George hadn’t decided to take matters into his own hands and pull the radiator out of the wall, he might still be there. 😮 Agreed that the overall dinginess and disrepair of the flat just adds to the atmosphere.
This is from December Bride. The Reverend Sorleyson is leading a funeral. The young woman behind him with closed arms is Sarah Gomartin (Saskia Reeves). Her employer has just passed away, but she is remaining on the farm with his two sons in what can only be described as a polyamory. Sorleyson doesn’t know how unconventional things will become just yet, but he has a pretty good idea that Sarah has a mind of her own. He doesn’t approve of her peculiar ways, but he also finds himself fascinated by her.
It looks incredibly gothic, so it is perfect for Halloween. Sorleyson is very attractive in his clerical finery. He also looks a little out of place. Perhaps he’s a little too dapper. I love the contrast of him with the grim faced dour black-clad women behind him. Everything around him is very bleak and barren and earthy while he looks elegant and more depressed than dour. There is a difference between those two sad qualities, and he nails it.
RF: It does look like the opening set-up to a vampire movie, where it turns out that the corpse they’ve buried isn’t quite dead yet. All those villagers in black look like they’d be the ones warning the newcomers in town (whose coach has broken down, of course) that they shouldn’t be in the village after sunset. Sorleyson does look suitably melancholy, but then again, he pretty much always looked melancholy. As I recall, he was a winner as far as his Misery Level, compared with Mr. Malahide’s other clergymen characters.
It’s from the S06E02 episode of “Game of Thrones“, titled “Home“. Balon Greyjoy is crossing a windswept, rain-slicked bridge between the towers of Pyke during a heavy storm when he sees a mysterious, hooded figure at the other end of the bridge. There isn’t exactly room for the two of them to squeeze past each other, so Balon peremptorily orders the inconsiderate boob to “Move aside for your king!” Unfortunately for Balon, it turns out that the boob in question is his estranged brother Euron (Pilou Asbæk), who was exiled from Pyke for conduct that not even the Ironborn could countenance. Euron has returned to usurp the throne of Pyke by getting rid of Balon by any means necessary.
It’s just so gosh-darned atmospheric. The bridge, the lighting, and the pouring rain and wind, and the precariousness of the situation all contribute to the feeling of anxiety and dread that the showdown between Balon and Euron is finally happening. It’s also our first glimpse of Euron and he did a good job of looking all mysterious and foreboding with his hood hiding his features. Of course, the situation doesn’t frighten Balon at all; he’s probably used to standing on slippery ship decks in driving rainstorms in high seas, so he’s mostly irritated that someone’s blocking his way. I do have to give Mr. Malahide and Mr. Asbæk credit for filming under such difficult conditions, and for producing such a great scene as a result. It’s just too bad that Euron turned out to be something of a bust as a villain as the series moved towards its conclusion.
Admin: You can practically feel the wet and the cold just by looking at that photo, and it does give one a strange sense of vertigo to boot. It is definitively not a night to be out crossing rickety, old rope bridges. If only a giant kraken had emerged from the depths and took Euron up in its tentacles dragging him to a terrible death. That would have been so much better.
It’s from S01E07 of “Hunted“, titled “Khyber”. Sam Hunter (Melissa George), an operative for the shadowy Byzantium organization, has been working undercover as a nanny for crimelord Jack Turner’s (Mr. Malahide) grandson, Eddie. Her real purpose is to gather information on Jack and a deal he’s finalizing to buy a dam in Pakistan (long story). Sam thinks she’s successfully kept her true identity under wraps, using the alias “Alex Kent”, but it turns out that Jack has known she’s been up to something the entire time. Jack has just invited her into his office for a nice, friendly cup of tea to discuss things. Just prior to Jack making the tea, we got an underlined-twice glimpse of a drug bottle in his desk. What could possibly happen next??
I like this picture because it’s just about the most sinister tea service one could ever imagine. 😀 Everything from Jack’s “friendly” smile to the slight underlighting screams “GET OUT!!” but Sam, as “Miss Kent”, is blissfully unaware that anything could be wrong – which really makes me doubt her skills as a supposed espionage operative. I mean, just look at him! Would you take a cup of tea from that man?? All it really needs is a vapour-y skull and crossbones rising from the teacup to complete the picture. So, I have to give the “Hunted” cinematographer credit for making Mr. Malahide look incredibly creepy here – perhaps a little too creepy. Showing the bottle of drugs in his desk was a bit on the nose. But still, like George Cornelius above, Jack lends himself extremely well to Halloween themes. 😉
Admin: Yep, that just screams poison. That’s right, some skull and crossbones vapor or a disintegrating teaspoon would be about the only ways to hit the point home any more clearly. I’m surprised there isn’t a can of Rat-away on his desk 😀 And I love his expression of gentle tolerance. It reminds us that Jack is a patient one.
It has been a while, hasn’t it? But here is a nice little Something Neat We’ve Found. Berkshire Live has compiled a list of 22 movie and television stars from Berkshire. Patrick Malahide is a star of both (and radio too). He’s listed at number 5.
Patrick was born in 1945 in Berkshire and his film credits include the likes of The World Is Not Enough, The Singing Detective, and The Long Kiss Goodnight.
More recently, he’s played George Wilkins in Bridget Jones’ Baby and Balon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones.
Hey! He’s also played George Cornelius in “Luther.” They have a lovely photo of Jack Turner of “Hunted” to go with the article.
Admin: Happy Anniversary from the Appreciation. It is lucky number seven!
RF: I’m a wee bit late due to some technical difficulties, but Happy Seventh Anniversary from the Appreciation! 🙂
Admin and I were greatly saddened to hear of William Simons‘ recent passing at the age of 79. Mr. Simons was such an indelible part of the “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries”, playing Alleyn’s stalwart, imperturbable right-hand man, Inspector Br’er Fox. He was a constant, steady, reassuring presence, providing Alleyn with more than competent assistance and avuncular, at times even fatherly, advice. He went on to other series after “Alleyn”, but he’ll always be Br’er to us, so we thought we’d remember him by analyzing one of our favourite scenes from “Death in a White Tie” (1993), S02E01 of the “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries“.
In this scene, Alleyn is pursuing the murderer of family friend Lord Robert Gospell (Harold Innocent), fondly known as “Bunchie”. Bunchie was helping Alleyn solve a society extortion case when he got too close to the blackmailer and was killed for it. Devastated and feeling responsible for Bunchie’s death, Alleyn has been pushing himself more than usual, and dealing with suspects more emotionally than usual – even to the extent of rowing with his girlfriend, Agatha Troy (Belinda Lang), who would surely otherwise understand. It’s at about this time that Fox steps in with a little advice, gently admonishing his guv’nor to take better care of himself.
[Fox enters Alleyn’s office with a loaded tea tray.]
Fox [cheerily]: Here we are, sir. Just what the doctor ordered.
[Alleyn doesn’t respond; he’s sitting quietly, chin in hand, obviously hashing over events again and again in his mind.]
The Mirror has a little article up today (June 19, 2019) with the rather lengthy title “Luther season 6: Release date, cast, plot, trailer, Netflix availability.” Right now there is just a lot of speculation as to what is next for our rugged hero in the old coat with very little confirmation. The popular opinion is that the next venture will be a cinematic one.
Luther series 5 ended with both DCI Luther and our favorite smart phone savvy Cockney crim being arrested for various wrongdoings. Honestly, I’ve since lost count of everything they got up to, but it was a lot. Fortunately, that means the chances are good that Patrick Malahide will reprise his role.
Patrick Malahide also ended the season with his character of crime lord George Cornelius behind bars, so he could make a comeback.
Whew! Thank goodness for that because pretty much everyone else is either dead or mostly dead. They also posted this fetching photo of a rather fed-up looking George. I’m pretty sure he’s just thinking about when he will be able to get his kip. Unfortunately, it seems no one sleeps in the Luther-verse until they are ready for their final slumber, if you know what I mean. Stay tuned!
So as usual when Fearless Admin and I get to thinking, we come up with some interesting ideas. And this idea had its basis in the fact that some – more than a few, actually – of Mr. Malahide’s characters die in the course of their stories, and in many different ways. So we got to thinking about which deaths were the most interesting in various ways. As it turns out, there were a lot of deaths to think about, so this will likely run to more than one post. It sounds a bit morbid – okay, it is a bit morbid – but we did have a lot of fun thinking up the categories and which characters would fit into them. And some characters might fit into more than one.
So, let’s begin, shall we? 😉
(“Game of Thrones“, 2012 – 2016)
RF: Balon Greyjoy had a surprising amount of longevity for a “Game of Thrones” character, probably because he was way out in the Iron Islands and was mostly ignored by the heavy hitters, like the Lannisters. So while Balon was fomenting rebellion (again) and doing lots of sulking about Kids These Days, he mostly went unnoticed – except for Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), who went to all the trouble of having him cursed (note: Stannis ended up dying first anyway, HAAAA haaa!).
Despite the fact he actually came out the winner among the Five Kings, Balon is killed one very stormy evening by his brother Euron (Pilou Asbæk), who turns up at Pyke uninvited. Actually, Balon had banished Euron years before, because Euron was too sociopathic even for the Greyjoys, which says something. There’s a brief struggle (Balon certainly doesn’t go quietly; he puts up a heck of a fight and shouts in anger all the way down), but Euron manages to throw him off of one of Pyke’s very slippery, swaying bridges onto the rocks below.