Patrick Malahide as Ned in The Secret Pilgrim

The Secret Pilgrim

The Secret Pilgrim

In 2010, Patrick Malahide portrayed the central character Ned in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of John Le Carre’s The Secret Pilgrim. The entire production is absolutely magnificent with Mr. Malahide’s moodily introspective and rueful portrayal of Ned adding intense depth and warmth. That voice of his has never sounded better; it is mesmerizing.

It is currently available on iTunes USA for $9.95 and is available on iTunes and Amazon for several other countries as well.

2012 - Sir Richard Lovell in "Endeavour"

Looking  spy-ish here.  From Endeavour.

George Smiley (Simon Russell Beale) is giving talks to Ned’s pupils at the Sarratt training school about his life in espionage.  Smiley’s words, conversational in tone, make Ned reflect on his own career in “The Circus.” His memories are dramatized as short stories.  They run the gamut from sad, to depressing, to downright horrifying, some are even at times darkly amusing.

I won’t give a full recap, but I’ll cover a few elements from some of my favorite parts.

Brief Recap:  Spoilers Below

Watching Marikka...and more eyes.

What a young Ned might look like.  From The Professionals.

The first couple of stories, prompted by Smiley’s talk on the difficulty of recognizing the truth in spies, illustrate some of Ned’s feelings of guilt, even though he isn’t to blame. A friend of his, Ben Cavendish (Dan Stevens) was accused of being a spy but was merely careless.  The big reveal is that Ben is gay and deeply in love with Ned.  Ned, who is straight, had no idea.  He remembers Ben telling him about his cousin Stephanie, and correctly guesses Ben is hiding out with her.  Ned’s guilt at inadvertently leading Smiley to Ben is genuine, but at least he learns that Ben never knowingly compromised agents.

In another, Ned is handling a sailor named Brandt while simultaneously having an affair with Brandt’s girlfriend Bella (Keeley Beresford).  Later he learns that Brandt was a double agent.  He wonders if Brandt was one from the start, fearing that meant he had helped kill agents by recruiting him.  The scenes with Ned and Bella are excellent.  It is obvious she finds him extremely attractive and actively enjoys the thought of him using Brandt’s personal belongings.

Smiley discusses the risks of being an agent.  Ned’s next memories are far more terrible and violent.  In one he is horribly tortured by Col. Jerzy (Alexander Morton), a Polish interrogator, although in excruciating pain Ned steadfastly maintains a Dutch cover identity.  The terror combined with intense stubbornness in Patrick Malahide’s performance is perfect.

Queenie asks if the Spanish might have poisoned her. Burghley: "We cannot say... with certainty." Aaaawww, those three look so cute together. :-D

The spymaster with Cyril (left), from Elizabeth

My favorite of all the stories is where Ned interrogates a cipher clerk named Cyril (Toby Jones).  Cyril is at first extremely cheerful, chirpy and very cute, until Ned reveals they know he’s been studying Russian language radio courses and working with a Russian agent.  We learn how emotionally damaged Cyril is.  He alternates between almost liking Ned, who is a very gentle and compassionate man, and hating him for what he sees as Ned’s typically mundane masculinity.

Cyril’s main fault is just being painfully lonely.  He is bullied at work and has no one to share his intellectual pursuits with.  The Russian agent gave him false friendship, but when he lost that friendship Cyril was willing to betray his country to get it back.

My favorite bit is how Ned reacts to Cyril the cipher clerk’s absolute hatred of his allegedly boorish, bullying co-workers.  Ned has definitely disliked people and can feel anger and disgust, but he has never actually truly hated anyone.  He didn’t even hate Col. Jerzy, the man who tortured him.  That tells us a lot about Ned.


Hannay [giving in]: "I tried to read it but it was in a code I couldn't understand, so I destroyed it." Fisher looks like a kindly uncle here.

At least he looks like a kindly spy.  From 39 Steps

Again, I really recommend this serial.  It is so well acted and Patrick Malahide brings Ned to life.

His voice is melancholic, but he doesn’t seem depressed so much as reflective of what he has seen, both good and bad.  The entire production is excellent.

And as you can see from the photos chosen, Patrick Malahide has played a fair number of spy types.  Hopefully, it is a theme he will soon return to because he is eminently suited for those sorts of complex and highly nuanced roles as he so adeptly proved with his portrayal of Ned.

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Patrick Malahide as Capt. Claude Howlett in All the King’s Men

All the Kings Men – The Sandringham Company

Battalion doctor Capt. Claude Howlett  Patrick Malahide in "All the King's Men"

Battalion doctor Captain Claude Howlett

Patrick Malahide played battalion doctor Capt. Claude Howlett in the 1999 television production of All the King’s Men.  It is based on the WWI tragedy of the men from the King’s estate at Sandringham House.   Back then it was common practice to keep men who knew and worked together in the same unit.  In this case, they all worked at or lived in the surrounding village at Sandringham House.  They were led by Captain Frank Beck (David Jason), who was the King’s land agent.   They suffered massive losses leading to a legend that a supernatural cloud formed and carried them away.  You can read more about the Sandringham battalion here.

Capt. Claude Howlett and Lady Frances

Patrick Malahide’s portrayal of the embittered and cynical but also brave and caring  Howlett is an emotional study of contrasts.

"Yes, sir, for my sins. I managed to help put pay to the Boer."

“Yes, sir, for my sins. I managed to help put pay to the Boer.”

Capt. Howlett is first seen at a formal dinner at the estate.  King George V (David Troughton), after noticing the doctor help himself to another drink, points out it will be his second campaign.  “Yes, Sir, for my sins. I managed to help put pay to the Boer.”  The King asks him how should they put pay to the Turks.  “Act quickly, Sir, under precise and detailed orders from a well-informed and farsighted high command, just as we did in South Africa.”  There is more than a hint of rueful sarcasm there.

Always a bit apart, but paying attention to Lady Frances and Lt. Radley

Always a bit apart, but paying attention to Lady Frances
and Lt. Radley

RF:  I think it’s worth noting that even before they’ve all gathered for drinks, Howlett is always somewhat apart from the rest of the group as they tour the grounds (in their evening wear, natch).   He also seems to be paying a tiny smidge of attention to Lady Frances and Lt. Radley, but we don’t find out why until later.  Actually, it was so subtly done I only noticed it on re-viewing.

RF:  You’re also right that Howlett’s barely masked cynicism makes him a notable exception while everyone else is expressing enthusiastic patriotism.  He seems vastly more experienced (one could even say “jaded”) about the whole thing, saying all the right words but with a distinct edge to them.  Also, Howlett is plowing through his drinks pretty quickly.

Subtle communication with Lady Frances

Subtle communication with Lady Frances

Admin: One person who takes a particular interest in Howlett is Lady Frances (Sonya Walger),  Queen Alexandria’s (Maggie Smith) Lady in Waiting.  She is engaged to 2nd Lt. Frederick Radley (Stuart Bunce).  The engaged couple look outwardly perfect, but it is very obvious that Lady Frances and Capt. Howlett are immensely attracted to one another.

RF:  I love this part of the scene.  She sidles over to Howlett and the two of them very pointedly do not make eye contact at first, making it all the more obvious they’re not making eye contact – which in turn makes it even more obvious, even to the casual observer, that there’s something going on.  There’s a ton of non-verbal communication.  Can’t say as I blame Lady Frances for preferring the doctor;  Radley’s quoting The Iliad marks him as more of the intellectual, philosophical type, whereas Howlett is more direct and down to earth.

Admin:  That’s right.  The forced way they stand slightly apart looking away from one another only heightens the attraction they clearly feel.

Howlett: "When do you marry, Lady Frances? Hmmm?" Lady Frances: "After the war." Howlett: "Howwww... sensible."

Howlett: “When do you marry, Lady Frances? Hmmm?”
Lady Frances: “After the war.”
Howlett: “Howwww… sensible.”

Admin:  She asks him why he drinks.  He asks her why is she a Lady in Waiting.  “It is my occupation.” “Ditto the drink,” he quips.  He tells her his wife Alice has left him.  His expression is sad but, again, rueful.  He seems to feel guilty.  Suddenly he turns to her, “When do you marry, Lady Frances? Hmmm?”  She tells him after the war.  His response is oddly angry, “Howwww…..sensible.”  It is a very intense moment; he’d love nothing more than to have Lady Frances for himself.

RF:  Again, this whole bit is just marvelous.  They’re having an incredibly intimate conversation while everyone around them is completely unaware, using the sort of verbal shorthand that established couples use.   In fact, Lady Frances converses far more personally and deeply with Howlett than she ever does with Radley.

 Howlett: "Alice has left me."

Howlett: “Alice has left me.”

RF:  Howlett’s referring to his wife as “Alice” again suggests their deep involvement; Frances is already well acquainted with his private life and marital troubles.  Howlett does seem genuinely regretful that his wife has left him, but resigned; it’s left to the viewer to wonder if his wife found out about Lady Frances or if it was something else.  He becomes more intense in an eyeblink, making direct eye contact with Frances, their faces inches apart as if they might kiss, when he asks when she’s to marry.  Even his little “hmm?” adds a bit of an extra push.  Obviously this is something he cares about a great deal;  he’s telling her without telling her what he really thinks, calling it “sensible” when he really means it’s the worst possible thing.  Or perhaps he’s obliquely suggesting she has less desire for Radley (if she has any; I rather doubt it) than she does for him.  Radley is a “good” catch on paper and Howlett simply is not.  But I completely agree:  he’d far rather be with Frances himself than see her married to Radley. Continue reading

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Analysis of a Scene XVIII: Minder – The Balance of Power

"And in order to show how reasonably I am, going to take you down to the station in one of our nice big cars with the flashing blue lights." Sugar makes him friendly!

He really is cheerful for  once.

The Balance of Power (click link for episode recap) is one of our favorite Minder episodes because it actually turns out rather well for Chisholm.  Every scene he is in is pure gold, but the chocolates raid swoop is a great favorite.  So lets analyze it:

Arthur, who is running for political office,  enters his lockup and sees police carrying boxes away and Chisholm at the desk.

Shopping.  Wife instructed me to look for some chocolates.

Daley: Mr. Chisholm! What are you doing here?
Chisholm: Shopping. Wife instructed me to look for some chocolates.

Admin:  Chisholm isn’t ordinarily this cheerful.  Is he looking looking forward to sampling the chocolates?  And what is the deal with a wife.  I was under the impression he was single, but it seems he might not be.  Minder wasn’t always consistent in such matters.  But, his chipper, amused attitude is fetching beyond belief.

Singleton scene from Orient Express

RF:  I refuse to believe that anyone who occupies this bedroom actually has a wife, but I’m sure you’re right that it was a continuity thing.  Or maybe Mrs. Chisholm didn’t stick around too long because her Significant Other was married to his job.  ;-)  In any case, Chisholm is certainly looking uncharacteristically happy and pleased with himself, which should be Arthur’s first sign of serious trouble.

Admin:  Oh, he was certainly single on Orient Express:-)  Continuity issue or secret backstory?  The world may never know. :-)

RF:  Chisholm would have to get *reeeeeeaallly* drunk again before he’d ever spill any details.  ;-)

Ewww….so are these.

Daley: That is a diabolical liberty.
Chisholm: [Taking a bite of chocolate.] Ewww….so are these.

Admin:  That’s what you get for picking a soft one.  Of course the chocolates turn out to be a big plot point for the episode.  I love how witty and fresh Chisholm is being here.  He’s certainly fresher than the chocolates.

RF:  Given the disgusted face Chisholm’s making, one can only imagine how horrible those chocolates must taste; maybe Arthur got them from the Wizzo Chocolate Company (of Monty Python fame).  But note that  Chisholm doesn’t actually stop eating it or anything.  He must’ve not had his tea break before coming over. Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide as The Viceroy – First Glimpse

Channel 4 have finally put up the first glimpses of Indian Summers and with it we get our first look at the Viceroy.  It looks like Olivia Grant’s character is being introduced to him.  Lucky lady. ;-)

Meeting the Viceroy

Meeting a charming Viceroy.

And here is a little animated gif of it.




And below is the clip itself.  Patrick Malahide appears around the 10 second mark.  Note:  While there is nothing particularly graphic, some elements of the programs highlighted are adult themed.  Just thought I’d mention it :-)

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Patrick Malahide as Crossby in John Macnab (Novel)

John Macnab novel cover artSince there seems to be a very small likelihood of ever getting to see “John Macnab” the 1976 miniseries unless/until the BBC relents and puts it on DVD, I  recently read John Buchan’s 1925 novel to find out as much as I could about Mr. Malahide’s journalist character, Crossby.

The novel itself is a light, enjoyable, tightly written adventure tale.  Three aristocratic gentlemen, Sir Edward Leithen, John Palliser-Yeates, and Charles, Earl of Lamancha, are (as many of Buchan’s protagonists) bored, bored, bored with their lives.  Mid-life crises, perhaps? They range in age from their thirties to fifties (Leithen is the oldest) and are all badly in need of some excitement.  Leithen even visits his doctor to find out what’s wrong, and the doctor half-jokingly  suggests that perhaps he should take up horse-stealing.  But a visit with another friend, Sir Archie Roylance (who happens to have an estate in the Scottish Highlands), gives them the germ of an idea.

The Creation of John Macnab

Sir Archie tells our trio of an old friend named Jim Tarras who, also longing for some action, invented his own form of sport.  He sent notes to local landowners telling them  he’d be poaching a deer from their property between a certain set of dates and inviting them to do their best to stop him.  If he succeeded in taking a deer undetected, he’d “win”.  However, because Tarras was an honourable poacher only in it for the thrill, he’d return the animal’s carcass to the landowner as their property even if he wasn’t caught.  This strikes the other three as something exciting they could do but, in the interest of preserving their reputations, they decide it would be safer to use a collective pseudonym to carry it out. They adopt the name “John Macnab” and decide the object of their game will be to poach either a stag or salmon from three of Roylance’s neighbours, paying the landowners £500 if they can return it undetected (as a show of goodwill) or £1,000 if they’re caught.  The latter means they’d face legal consequences as well as a certain amount of public embarrassment, so they know they’re taking some tangible risks.

Put him in some tweeds and a kilt and Lord G. is a dead ringer for Colonel Raden.

Put him in some tweeds and a kilt and Lord G. is a dead ringer
for Colonel Raden.

“John Macnab” then proceeds  to issue  challenges to three of Sir Archie’s neighbours:  Colonel Raden and his daughters Janet and Agatha (the oldest, most established family in the area, yet they’re dying out); the Bandicotts (my brain persists in rendering this as “Bandicoot“), American father and son archaeologists  renting an estate while they explore the tomb of ancient Celtic hero Harald Blacktooth (they believe in old-style archaeology, the kind that uses dynamite); and the Claybodys, a somewhat snooty nouveaux riche family whom no one seems to like much.  And while Mr. Malahide played Crossby in 1976, both Admin and I could easily see him playing Colonel Raden now.  He’s described as follows:

Colonel Alastair Raden, having read prayers to a row of servants from a chair in the window–there was a family tradition that he once broke off in a petition to call excitedly his Maker’s attention to a capercailzie on the lawn–and having finished his porridge, which he ate standing, with bulletins interjected about the weather, was doing good work on bacon and eggs.  Breakfast, he used to declare, should consist of no kickshaws like kidneys and omelettes; only bacon and eggs, and plenty of ‘em.  The master of the house was a lean old gentleman dressed in an ancient loud-patterned tweed jacket and a very faded kilt.  Still erect as a post, he had a barrack-square voice, and high-boned, aquiline face, and a kindly but irritable blue eye.

Everything from his devotion to hearty breakfasts to his lean, erect, tweed- and kilt-clad physique, high cheekbones, and “kindly but irritable” (not too irritable, we trust) blue eyes perfectly suggests Lord Glendenning;-)
Continue reading

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Something Neat XXIII: So What is Jones Up To?

Meic Povey played DC “Taff” Jones alongside Patrick Malahide’s DS Chisholm in eighteen Minder episodes.  He only appeared in three post-Chisholm episodes before leaving the series to pursue other interests.   BBC Wales has a Welsh language article on his post-Minder career as a successful playwright.  He has just had his first commission for BBC Radio Wales.  Here is the Google Translated version.

He speaks fondly of Minder, saying how proud he is of his association with a program which boasted 18 million viewers.  He also says that English was actually a second language to him as he’s more comfortable speaking in Welsh.

Of course, Patrick Malahide has also penned radio plays such as Pleas and Direction so it is hardly surprising he and Meic Povey got on well while filming Minder. :-)

I couldn’t help but notice the picture the BBC used looked a little familiar.  I am quite certain they used our grab from The Balance of Power. BBC added an ITV logo and cropped it a bit, but it is the same.  Gosh! :)

Here is the Beeb’s

BBC's Balance of Power image

BBC’s Balance of Power image

and here is The Appreciation’s

Chisholm & Jones: Best team ever.

Chisholm & Jones: Best team ever.

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Patrick Malahide’s Musical Choices on Private Passions

Isolated and alone together Patrick Malahide in A Month In the Country

Music recital time, everybody! Hooray!

Patrick Malahide appeared on the June 4, 2006 edition of BBC Radio 3’s Private Passions.  The program is hosted by composer Michael Berkeley who speaks with notable personalities about their favorite pieces of music.

Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be an archive of past episodes available, so we can’t hear Mr. Malahide’s thoughts on each piece, but his selections are noted on an archived page from the BBC.

And here they are (note: the pieces we listen too are not necessarily performed by the musicians mentioned):

Anon: Veni Creator Spiritus
Monks of Downside Abbey

Performing the Sunday service...

Maybe Keach should try singing.

Admin:  I like this piece. It is very soothing and the Gregorian chanting style is lovely. It is the first time I’ve heard it as I’m not at all familiar with church music. I mostly know of the Gregorian monks songs from their pop covers which are really good.   But, this one is purely hymnal. It is so meditative. There is no music, but the blending of voices and acoustics make instruments unnecessary.

RF:  Agreed, very soothing and relaxing.  I like the acoustical echoing effect; you can almost imagine yourself sitting in a vaulted cathedral.  I’m also far more familiar with Gregorian chant through the musical group “Enigma“, but the two formats are so vastly different that there really isn’t any comparison.  I also liked that we got some female voices for contrast (in the version I listened to) at around the 5:23 mark.  Side note:  I originally read “Downside Abbey” as “Downton Abbey”, which was a wee bit amusing.  ;-)

Admin:  Downton Abbey. :-)  I hear Mr. Carson can carry a nice tune. :-)

casaubon as aquinas middlemarch

Their favorite tune.

Bach: Toccata in D minor, BWV 565
Fernando Germani (organ of the Royal Festival Hall)

Admin:  I think almost everyone has heard this piece of music, especially the opening which is now something of a gothic horror soundtrack. As the piece continues, however, it is amazing how delicate and precise the sounds become. It is a very intricate piece of music and is energetically surprising with all its twists and turns when listened to in its entirety.

RF:  I’ve only heard this performed live once, on a full-sized pipe organ, and it was absolutely spine-tingling.  You could almost feel the bass notes rumbling through the floor into your feet and vibrating your clothing.  The opening bars are the most familiar, but you’re right that it becomes extremely intricate and complex with a lot of contrast between the higher and lower registers as they trade and build up the melody between them.

Liam O’Flynn: An Droichead
Liam O’Flynn (Uileann pipes)

Alan asks Colin if Maddie ever loved him ("Sure she did. She told me one time. She was drunk.") and where he was at the time ("You were telling Fiona [Colin's wife] you loved her, in the kitchen. You were drunk, too.")

“Could you play the Sultans of Swing?”

Admin:  The version I listened to on Spotify features Mark Knopfler on guitar. It is another very mellow piece of music.   An Droichead translates from Irish to English as “the bridge” and that makes sense. The music is very evocative of that sort of country environment. The instruments blend together beautifully.  I fully expect Mr. Malahide likes this piece because of his Irish roots.  I especially like the Mark Knopfler element and we know he provided the music for Comfort and Joy.

RF:  This track strongly reminds me of Mark Knopfler’s latest album, “Privateering” (I swear this is not a plug!), which is an extremely good thing.  Both “Privateering” and this track – and indeed a lot of Knopfler’s work, including when he was still with Dire Straits – have a strong Celtic influence, where he either reworks existing Irish folk melodies or incorporates them into his own music while adding his own distinct touch, giving them just a wee bit of an edge.  Love the blending of Knopfler’s guitar with the distinct sound of the uilleann pipes.  Knopfler’s one of my favourites (does it show? ;-) ) and I think I may just have to go out and get the rest of the album this track came from.

Admin:  For those interested it is from Liam O’Flynn’s album The Piper’s Call.

RF:  Thanks!  :-)

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Patrick Malahide as Dr. Melrose in Heaven

Dr. Melrose: A Study in Evil

Evil yet fetching.

Pure evil.

Patrick Malahide played the villainous Dr. Melrose in Heaven, a 1998 New Zealand / USA co-production.   And I do mean villainous.  He isn’t at all sympathetic.  I often sympathize a bit with Patrick Malahide’s villainous characters, but this one is dreadful.  He is, however, very well played.  Mr. Malahide’s execution is perfect and Dr. Melrose is every bit as evil as he needs to be.

Quick Plot Overview

Long lashes for a villain.

Long lashes for a villain.

Robert Marling (Martin Donavon) is a gambling addicted architect going through a custody battle with his ex-wife Jennifer (Joanna Going).  She is having an affair with his psychiatrist Dr. Melrose.  Marling is hired by his friend Stanner (Richard Schiff) to renovate his strip club The Paradise which  features transgender dancers.  One of the dancers, Heaven (Danny Edwards), strikes up a rapport with Marling.  She is able to see the future which comes to her in the form of incredibly painful migraine-like attacks and helps him win money with her foresight.  Heaven is also a patient of Dr. Melrose’s, and he uses her prophesies for his own gain.  Specifically, he learns that Marling will win a huge amount of money, and Dr. Melrose uses that  knowledge to manipulate Jennifer.

Not a Doting Dad

I have my son with me until 6, then he goes back to his mother..

“I have my son with me until 6, then he goes back to his mother at 7.”  Classy way to set a date.

Dr. Melrose makes his first appearance when he picks up his son after school.  Jennifer Marling is there also picking up her son Sean.  Dr. Melrose greets her saying that his son goes back to his mother at seven.  That is his not-so-subtle way of telling Jennifer they can be together after that time.  She repeats seven and it would seem a date is set, “seven it is,” says Melrose.  Sean is a better judge of character than his mother; when Dr. Melrose greets him, Sean just ignores him sitting silently despite being friends with Melrose’s son.

Look at me...Classy way to set a date.

“Look at me.”

Dr. Melrose and Jennifer are on their date in a fancy restaurant where a small group plays Bach chamber music.  Melrose isn’t a fan, “I hate this place, I don’t know why we come here.”  He is given a plate with a cornish hen which he tears apart and eats with his fingers.  I think that is meant to tell us something about his personality, actually.   Jennifer thinks she is pushing to hard on the terms of the divorce settlement.  Robert is broke, so it seems rather pointless to try and get money he doesn’t have.

"How?" Heaven: "Because I will help him."

“How?” Heaven: “Because I will help him.”

But, Dr. Melrose knows better.  “Look at me, soon he will be getting a huge windfall.  You’ll thank me.”  Jennifer: “How do you know this?”

He knows because Heaven tells him during one of her sessions.   She also reveals that Robert will win because she helps him.  “Why?”  “Because he saved me.”

Not a Good Friend Either

"Why don't you tell me what it is first?"

“Why don’t you tell me what it is first?”

Robert doesn’t know about the affair and thinks he can trust the doctor.  He calls him asking for a favor.  Melrose is so smooth, “well of course, but why don’t you tell me what it is first.”   The scene alternates between Robert asking Dr. Melrose to write a letter saying that he no longer has a gambling problem and Melrose telling Jennifer all about the conversation.  “You, my dear, are going to love this,” he tells her.  He is enjoying himself.

Plans on taking advantage of his pain.

Plans on taking advantage of his pain.

Robert tells Melrose that Jennifer is trying to get money he doesn’t have and that she wants sole custody of Sean.  She is claiming that Robert is an unfit parent because of his gambling.  Robert asks Melrose to write a letter telling them that he no longer gambles and to tell them how she slept around during their marriage, “Christ, we both came to you for counseling when we were together, you know her.”  He knows her a lot better than Robert realizes.  And it is clear from his facial expressions that Melrose is rather amused by Robert’s plight but promises to help Robert.

"Have some faith, I got him on tape."

“Have some faith, I got him on tape.”

Jennifer is angry about that last bit, but Melrose has a plan.  He tells her that he taped Robert’s phone call.  He tapes all his phone calls.  Jennifer is worried that he’s taping her.  “Well, of course not,” he says while looking at the active recording tape, “you think I want a record of me talking to a patient’s wife, especially one who has multiple orgasms.”  Yeah, he taped that.

Robert goes to Sean’s school and picks him up during class.  The teacher is reluctant and would like to call Jennifer first, but Robert says that Jennifer has been in an accident.  So, the teacher lets Sean go. Continue for more spoilers and gallery

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Halloween What Ifs: Tales of Mystery and Imagination*

Is it Halloween again already? Oh, goody!

Is it Halloween again already? Oh, goody!

*Apologies in advance to Edgar Allan Poe.

It’s almost Halloween and as usual when Fearless Admin and I start tossing ideas around, things can get a little weird and spooky (and very silly).  So, we began wondering… what would happen if various Malahide characters were caught in various typically Halloweeny situations?  It might go something like this…


Okay, you'll have to imagine a <I>much</I> better werewolf.  Halloween What Ifs

Okay, you’ll have to imagine a much better werewolf
than Loopy.

The full moon rises one night and from deep in the woods, eerie, tormented howling rends the skies…  Sheep begin disappearing only to reappear as bloody, torn-up  carcasses…  Travelers report strange growling noises and the feeling of being tracked by a deadly predator…  Suddenly a huge, hairy, wolflike creature that walks on two legs like a human leaps from the undergrowth, eyes glowing red and jaws slavering!

Lord Glendenning (RF):  “…Well, I thought that was rather impolite, letting one’s dogs run wild like that.  Next thing you know they’re after the livestock, running them around and bringing their value down.   Badly trained cur leapt at me, so I rapped him smartly on the nose with my rolled-up Telegraph and told him to go on home and behave.  Slunk away with his tail between his legs and I haven’t seen him since.”

"What??" Somewhat disbelieving that the tape will clear everything up, because...

Not very welcoming to werewolves in need.

Berkshire Sergeant (Admin):  “Oh, so because you come over all furry like when the moon is full, I should let you spend the night in a cell, sir? I suppose you think this is a hotel then?  Did you see a vacancies sign posted when you came in? Oh no, sir, of course you mustn’t worry if I would be in the least bit put out by the sound of you howlin’ your head off all night long. You were warned about going on that moor, sir, but of course you had to go stomping through it like you owned the place, leaving litter and bits of your friend strewn about for us lot to pick up the next morning.”
Continue reading

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Random Malahide Picture 8: Lachaise in “The World Is Not Enough”

Here’s a look at Lachaise, the Swiss banker Patrick Malahide played all too briefly in 1999’s “The World Is Not Enough“:

Patrick Malahide as Lachaise in "The World Is Not Enough"

Lachaise enjoys a cigar before the mayhem starts.

Alas, poor Lachaise was destined to be killed off before the opening credits.  :-(  James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) meets Lachaise in Bilbao, Spain, in order to retrieve some money recovered from a murdered MI-6 agent. Bond is acting as the go-between for Sir Robert King (David Calder, who appeared with Mr. Malahide in both “Minder” and “The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries“), a friend of M (Judi Dench) whose daughter Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) has been kidnapped  (of course, naming your daughter “Elektra” in any kind of movie ‘verse guarantees you’re going to end up dead and your daughter will seek revenge at some point).  King paid the MI-6 agent a substantial sum for a report on his daughter’s whereabouts, but the agent was killed before he could deliver.  Lachaise won’t reveal how he got the money, although he’s very happy to return it – minus a few incidentals and service charges, naturally.  Tailored suits and cigars are expensive.

Not enough henchmen.

Not enough henchmen.

Bond’s less interested in the money than in the identity of the person who betrayed the agent.  A smug Lachaise, who has taken the precaution of disarming Bond and having a few henchmen present, refuses to say, pointing out that “the numbers are not on [Bond’s] side” (see, banker humour!).  Unfortunately, he barely gets a chance to light his cigar before Bond uses his remote-controlled Walther PPK (I’m assuming it’s Bond’s famous Walther) – carelessly left out on Lachaise’s desk and conveniently pointing in the right direction, tsk tsk! – to rapidly kill off the henchmen.  Hmm, a slight miscalculation on Lachaise’s part.

Bond then proceeds to threaten Lachaise for the betrayer’s name, grabbing him by the tie and pressing his gun to Lachaise’s throat to encourage a quick answer (the resulting publicity photo seems to be awfully popular on Google searches).  Lachaise resists for a second or two, but then, because he’s evil (small “e”, no plans for world domination and dies before the opening credits) and therefore cowardly, he offers to reveal the name if he’s given protection.  However, before Bond can reply, Lachaise takes a dagger to the back of the neck (eeeuuww…), thrown by his Beautiful Yet Treacherous™ Assistant (Maria Grazia Cucinotta, who deserves a better billing than “Cigar Girl”), whom everyone forgot all about in the scrum.  She runs off and Bond unceremoniously drops Lachaise’s body on the floor, more mayhem ensuing as he makes his escape – with the money, of course – into the rest of the movie.  Moral of the story:  Don’t do banking with James Bond.

It seems a rather ignominious and unsatisfying end for a small “e” evil yet clever banker.  Admin and I are sure that Lachaise would have actually planned the whole thing much more carefully than it appeared, keeping back a portion of the cash and getting his assistant to help him fake his own death so he could escape without being pursued by Bond.  Surely silly mistakes like leaving Bond’s gun out on his desk and only having three henchmen around are a dead giveaway the whole thing was on purpose!  Anyway, it’s too bad Lachaise was done so quickly.  He was so delightfully smug and sarcastic (and stylish) that it would’ve been fun to see him tormenting Bond for a lot longer.

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