Fearless Admin and I are back with another set of our Favouritest Grabs Ever! As usual, these are grabs of Mr. Malahide’s work that we found particularly entertaining, appealing, amusing, or just plain interesting, and why.
Mark Binney lights up a cigar in the most stylish way possible
What’s Going On in This Picture?
RF: It’s from “Singing Detective’s” second episode, “Heat” (1986), and all I can say is… *whoah*! 😮 War profiteer, likely traitor and spy, and all-around Bad Dude to Know™ Mark Binney (Mr. Malahide) invites Russian prostitute Sonia (Kate McKenzie) back to his flat for sex. The encounter seems to be more about Binney’s ego and insecurity than anything else, since he watches himself in the mirror the entire time with an air of disgusted fascination. Once finished, Binney gets out of bed still mostly clothed, smooths his hair – you can see him resuming his usual personality after losing a bit of control during sex – and lights up a cigar in the most stylish, hottest way possible (no pun intended!) in front of his perfectly film-noir, venetian-blinded window.
Why Is This One a Favourite?
RF: Just look at it! 😀 Yes, Binney is mad, bad, and dangerous to know, but he’s decidedly gorgeous for all of that. I can’t remember ever seeing someone light up a cigar so attractively before. That and every thing about the scene perfectly suggests a film noir – probably a much better one than Marlow (Michael Gambon) is supposed to have written. Everything about the scene is perfect, from Binney’s clothes, to the lighting, to the glow from the flame of his match, which suggests an air of menace. I also thought that the fact Binney had sex while clothed was an interesting reference to Marlow’s severe psoriasis, since Marlow (and indeed, author Dennis Potter himself) was so concerned about his skin’s appearance he would rarely allow himself to be fully unclothed. So, the scene (and this grab) is both strikingly filmed and provides an insight into Binney’s character and the series itself.
Admin: I really like the combination of smoke and flame. Binney often has a demonic aura about him and the smoke and fire combo add to it. He looks like he’s paying a great deal of attention too, suggesting he likes the intimidating quality the flame exudes. You can certainly see him working with winning effect to regain his self-control and poise in this grab. And yes, he looks pretty darn gorgeous indeed.
RF: It’s just too bad he turns out to be such a bad ‘un. A noir/espionage caper featuring Binney as a sort of anti-hero, mostly concerned with his own profit, could’ve been very entertaining.
Admin: When watching The Singing Detective, I sometimes found myself kind of wishing the whole thing could be the pulp story. Your chosen grab encapsulates why I felt that way.