Seems appropriate for this time of year.
Admin: There is a fascinating blog about a very impressive VHS collection called VHistory. Tape #1660 covers the 1994 Bafta Production Awards and features a very sharp looking Patrick Malahide who is presenting “Best Television Drama Serial”. Prime Suspect 3 won and Helen Mirren fans rejoiced! You can read about the other awards and their winners here. He looks great in his tux!
RF: Coincidentally, at around the same time, I happened across this rather nice “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries” publicity still of Mr. Malahide as Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn on the TV24.co.uk site. The original had been flipped horizontally (his pocket handkerchief was on the wrong side), so we’ve flipped it back to its proper orientation. Not a tux, but he’s still unquestionably sharp-dressed. 😉
While Mr. Malahide has played a number of interestingly flawed characters, Admin and I have also noticed that he frequently plays very confident ones – perhaps too confident for their own good in some cases. And his Confident Blokes can come from either the good or bad side of the aisle, but that just makes then even more interesting. Here are a few of our favourite Confident Blokes played by Patrick Malahide.
RF: My choices are…
Dr. Michael Harrison
(“Boon: In it for the Monet“, 1989)
A rather caddish one, I’m afraid. Dr. Harrison is utterly confident when it comes to his ability to charm his art students, especially the female ones. He’s utterly self-assured when it comes to his ability to dazzle them with all sorts of deeply meaningful, esoteric art history talk, and he backs that up by helping them – the attractive ones, anyway – get ahead in their studies. That he also combines it with a personal, romantic relationship never seems to enter his mind as inappropriate. Dr. Harrison probably thinks he’s just being very efficient by combining work with play.
Very cultivated, I think. You get the impression Harrison has had a long time to perfect his techniques and Isobel Sheridan (Clare Holman) is probably far from the only student he’s had success with. You also get the impression that he’s lining up Dominique Taylor (Pippa Haywood) as Isobel’s replacement when Isobel finally moves on to greater things. But I’d also have to say that Harrison’s confidence is so cultivated that it appears natural. He certainly doesn’t seem to be working all that hard at it.
Here are a pair of scenes from the excellent Inspector Morse episode “Driven to Distraction” (recapped here). Patrick Malahide plays bad boy car salesman and murder suspect Jeremy Boynton. Despite being a married man, Jeremy is a serial philanderer. Things start getting awkward for him when one of his lovers, Jackie Thorn, is found murdered in her apartment. In these two scenes he bullies Jackie’s friend Angie (Tessa Wojtczak) into keeping the affair from the police.
[Jeremy slides rather suspiciously into the bookshop where Angie works. A customer has just purchased a book.]
Admin: I love the way he slithers in. They have it filmed so that the remnants of the previous scene, a stick figure illustration drawn by police of the imagined assailant, is fading from the screen. Jeremy is slap bang in the middle of the chalk head, clearly suggesting he is a suspect. His slippery and suspicious demeanor certainly support that theory.
RF: Yeah, there’s a pretty direct implication that Boynton is the murderer right off the bat. He doesn’t help things by being his generally creepy self. He certainly looks furtive and suspicious as he makes his way over to Angie, darting glances this way and that. Continue reading
Back in March, Fearless Admin wrote about a Guardian article announcing that a “new” Inspector Alleyn novel, Money in the Morgue (I keep wanting to type Murder in the Morgue), was shortly to be released. The book is based on notes and a partial draft left by Dame Ngaio Marsh and was completed by mystery author Stella Duffy. Recently, I was able to get the book from the library and I eagerly read it, wanting to see how much of Marsh’s original voice and flavour would be retained, and if Alleyn would be recognizable as Alleyn. Oh, and I was also very curious if I could imagine Mr. Malahide’s Alleyn dealing with the events of the book. 😉
The book plays a bit fast and loose with timing, as Marsh’s novels usually do. World War II is on and we’re dropped into the action at a military hospital on Mount Seager, New Zealand. The hospital is small and isolated – it can only be reached by a single road and a somewhat unreliable bridge over a raging river – and it’s populated with a diverse cast of characters. The patients are a combination of convalescing soldiers and civilians under the care of the no-nonsense Matron and her nursing staff. There’s the rather starchy Sister Comfort (who is anything but), good-time-girl-with-a-heart-of-gold Rosamund Farquharson, steady and reliable Sarah Warne, the good-looking but troubled Dr. Luke Hughes, the rather obsequious Father O’Sullivan, the dying, elderly Mr. Brown and his sullen grandson Sydney, obnoxious payroll officer Mr. Glossop, helpful Sergeant Bix, and Privates Sanders and Pawcett and Sergeant Brayling. As might be expected with a Marsh novel, each of them have their own tangled personal relationships and secrets that they’re reluctant to share with the others.
There’s also a mysterious, unseen patient in the private room of the military convalescent ward. No one knows much about him, except that he’s rumoured to be a writer who’s been covering the war and had a breakdown as a result. We find out soon enough that it’s actually Alleyn, pretending to be an invalid as a cover story. He’s on some top secret business in New Zealand and has been asked to look into some strange radio signals that seem to coincide with the appearance of a Japanese submarine off the New Zealand coast. His wife Agatha Troy is back in England but never far from his thoughts, though he finds himself inexplicably stricken with writer’s block whenever he tries to write to her. He has a much easier time writing to Inspector Br’er Fox, although he can’t tell him much about exactly what he’s doing.
Admin: Happy Anniversary from the Appreciation. We’re six!
Summer is (finally) upon us, so it’s time once again for another edition of our favouritest grabs. As always, these are grabs featuring Mr. Malahide’s characters that Fearless Admin and I found appealing, amusing, or entertaining, and the reasons why.
It’s from the S04E03 episode of “Minder“, titled “High Drains Pilferer” (reviewed by Admin here) from 1984. Chisholm (Mr. Malahide) and Jones (Meic Povey) are on the trail of some loot stolen from Susie, girlfriend of notorious gangster Mickey “The Fish” Metcalfe (David Calder) while she was having a shower in her flat, By a curious coincidence, Terry McCann (Dennis Waterman) is currently on loan from Arthur Daley (George Cole) to Mickey as a driver. That alone is enough to arouse Chisholm’s suspicions, but his problems are compounded when he finds that the insurers have an ex-policeman named Harbot (nicknamed “Horrible Harbot” by Chisholm and Jones) on the case as well. You get the impression that there’s no love lost between Chisholm and Horrible Harbot, and that they were likely very unfriendly rivals. Anyway, in this grab, Chisholm is pausing for a brief but intense refuelling just before Harbot visits and ruins his day a little bit.
It’s even better when you see him in motion. Admin has made a marvelous gif of it (see left), showing Chisholm applying an intense amount of attention to munching that biscuit. Admin and I have speculated that Chisholm mostly runs on his nerves, but when he does fuel up he needs his carbs and lots of hot tea, so I think we’re seeing Chisholm consuming two of his favourite food groups here. I also like the detail of his homely little chickie mug. 😀 I doubt it’s something he’d pick out for himself, so Admin and I have come to the conclusion that Chisholm’s nan probably gave it to him. He’s probably the only DS with one in the entire Metropolitan Police force, and no one would dare laugh at it. I have no idea if the “Minder” set dressers intended it that way (probably not!), but it’s a nice little glimpse at Chisholm having some rare downtime.
Admin: Those jaws are so hard at work. 🙂 Yeah, it was probably just a random utilitarian mug as far as the set designers were concerned, but its simple nature fits Chisholm to a tee.
In 1997 Patrick Malahide played Bailie Creech in the television-movie “Deacon Brodie“. Loosely based on the real life anti-hero of the same name, it tells the story of Deacon William Brodie (Billy Connolly) cabinet maker, deacon of a trades guild and Edinburgh city councilor who led a secret life as a rogue. Having access to his customers’ keys, he and his gang would burgle their houses. You can read about the real Deacon Brodie and the legend of how he supposedly faked his own execution on Wikipedia.
It doesn’t take long to establish that Bailie Creech hates Deacon Brodie. At first it seems like Creech is obsessed with Brodie’s lover, a prostitute named Annie (Catherine McCormack) with whom Brodie has fathered a child. Philip, their child, is five years old. Annie wants to marry Brodie, so they become an official family. However, he is reluctant to marry a prostitute, knowing it would hurt his position in the community. So he strings her along. Charming.
Creech makes his first appearance shortly after Brodie has crept away from Annie and Philip for the night. Bailie Creech enters her room without so much as a knock. Annie is half dressed and Creech notices, “you’re expecting me,” he says quietly with a smug leer. It is really creepy. She asks about Brodie who Bailie angrily refers to as a “feckless shite.”
Creech offers to move Annie into his household to work in his kitchen. At first it seems like he is interested in her, but his attention quickly goes to Philip who Creech describes as a “wee red haired angel” promising to give the boy a “thorough education.” The way Creech looms over the sleeping Philip is very disturbing to say the least. Continue reading