Happy National Toast Day!

Happy National Toast Day from the Appreciation!

"Toast is bread cooked. This is bread... threatened with a flame."<br /> Lord Glendenning is most insistent upon properly prepared toast.

“Toast is bread cooked. This is bread… threatened with a flame.”
Lord Glendenning is most insistent upon properly prepared toast.

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Analysis of a Scene XXXVII: A Blackheath Vinegar Valentine

A Vinegar Valentine, Blackheath Style

A Vinegar Valentine for Robert Dangerfield.

For Valentine’s, RFodchuk and I thought it would be fun to do a slightly different spin for the special day. Taking inspiration from the less-than-romantic Victorian “vinegar Valentine” we’ve chosen to celebrate that conniving courting couple Robert Dangerfield and Charlotte Collard of “The Blackheath Poisonings“.

No, they aren’t nearly as vindictive as the portrayals shown in genuine vinegar Valentines of the time, but certain aspects of their personality are certainly ripe for satire. On first glance it looks like a known cad and adventurer is wooing a soppy spinster (both prime subjects for vinegar Valentines) for her money. But is she as soppy as he thinks?   In this post we look at three scenes from episode one chronicling their courtship.

Scene One: Dangerfield Reappears.

Robert Dangerfield, Charlotte’s former lover, had disappeared to India for several years, leaving her heartbroken. Suddenly he is back on the scene in England ready to pounce back into her life and rekindle…something.

He leaps out and grab her by the arm.

Dangerfield: [grabbing Charlotte by her arm as she walks by a tree he was loitering under] Good evening, Miss Collard.
Charlotte: [shocked] Mr. Dangerfield. Robert.
Dangerfield: Calm yourself, Charlotte. I’m not a demon or even a ghost.


“I’m not a demon or even a ghost.”

Admin: The way he suddenly springs on her very nearly scares her to death. That is most certainly not the best way to regain someone’s trust, but I think Robert has somehow decided shock and awe is the way to go. I like the way he immediately alludes to demons and ghosts. That is not terribly romantic, but it is very fitting.

RF:  We also see Robert lurking outside the Vandervent-Collard house before waiting for Charlotte, so he’s evidently put at least some planning into it.  And just springing out at her like that doesn’t give her much chance to react, so he seems to have been relying on an element of surprise, though she knows him well enough recognize him on sight.  As for “I’m not a demon or even a ghost”, there’s already a hint that they might not have parted on the best of terms.

A rather shabby lurker.

RF:  I also think it’s worth noting that while we already know Charlotte comes from a well-to-do family (the Vandervent – Collard mansion is huge), you can see by Robert’s clothes that he’s down on his luck.  His hat brim is worn, his jacket is a bit too small,  his suit has seen better days, and he needs a haircut.  What could it mean??  😉

Admin:  He does look decidedly worn.  Lucky for him it is still a rather a fetching look nonetheless. Continue reading

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It’s a Meme! 50 – Valentine’s Day Edition

Admin:  Happy Valentine’s Day from the Appreciation.  Enjoy those chocolates!

RF: Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! 🙂

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“About” Page Update (again)!








At long last, the “About Patrick Malahide” page has been updated with links to new reviews, upcoming projects, and some new grabs.  Go take a look!  🙂

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The Writing on the Wall by Patrick Malahide

Twinges of doubt

He’s a writer too!

In 1996 a four part series titled “The Writing on the Wall” aired on BBC1 written by a certain P. G. Duggan. Of course, P. G. Duggan is in fact Patrick Malahide writing under his real name of P(atrick) G(erald) Duggan.  Not only that, but he helped produce the series as well.  RFodchuk and I were delighted to have a chance to watch this intense and captivating thriller.

Set in the 1990s after the days of the Cold War, “The Writing on the Wall” explores themes of terrorism, precarious international relations, the NATO alliance, and the US’s role within that organization verses the other member nations. I found much of it particularly prescient considering current events concerning President Donald Trump’s comments regarding NATO.

An Unlikely Terrorist

Martina. She looks so nice.

The story is about what at first seems an unlikely terrorist. Martina (Lena Stolze) is the very pretty and petite wife of a US Army sergeant.  On the surface she appears completely sweet and unassuming, but she is very dangerous indeed.  Trained years ago by a former Russian operative named Lopahkin (Herbert Knaup) she is reactivated into setting off a car bomb at an RAF base in Germany. Things escalate rapidly and dangerously from there.

MI5 terror specialist Bull (Bill Paterson) is called in to investigate. With his skills honed from years of dealing with the IRA and his

Bill Paterson as Bull.

difficulty in coming to terms with the recent suicide of his son, he throws himself headfirst (as his name might suggest) into the case.

The Russian Lopahkin makes it looks like neo-nazis were responsible for the bombing which enrages the devoted communist Martina.  She goes completely off the rails and begins acting on her own volition. She bombs a US Army football match injuring and killing innocent military dependents. This case is turning out to be unlike any other. Continue reading

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Analysis of a Scene XXXVI: Cooking with George Cornelius in “Luther”

How not to make friends with a mobster Patrick Malahide as George Cornelius in "Luther"

How not to make friends with a mobster

With the very welcome news that Mr. Malahide will be returning as genial gangster George Cornelius in the new series of “Luther“, Admin and I thought we should revisit one of our favourite George C. scenes.  In S04E02, DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) – who is searching for answers as to who might have killed his paramour/muse/homicidal-maniac-on-call Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) – realizes, after a somewhat clumsy attempt on his life, that he’s on someone’s kill list.  He also realizes that the likely culprit is George Cornelius (Mr. Malahide), whom he kidnapped and handcuffed to a radiator for questioning in S04E01, in the mistaken belief that George C. had something to do with Alice’s murder.   George C. is actually innocent of that deed, but he is in a rather bad mood after being kidnapped, handcuffed to a radiator, and left for hours with no food, water, or bathroom facilities.  So in retaliation, George C. has “greenlit” Luther for elimination by any hitman in the area who can get him.  In this scene, Luther phones up George C. to talk things over, and hopefully get the hitmen called off.

Getting ready to do some cooking

Getting ready to do some cooking

[George C. is getting ready to cook something in his brightly lit, well-appointed kitchen when his mobile goes off.  He’s immaculately dressed in an expensive-looking white shirt and dark trousers, looking fresh as a daisy after his ordeal with the radiator, although one wrist is heavily bandaged.]

George C. [picking up his phone]:  Wotcher?
Luther:  George?
George C.:  All right, John?  You still with us, then?  [He puts the phone on speaker and continues cooking preparations.]
Luther:  Eh, just about.  One of your boys just had a pop at me.
George C.:  Well, obviously I don’t know what you’re talking about, officer.  But if I did, I’d probably say, “They wouldn’t be my boys, specifically.”  See, if you’ve been greenlit, allegedly [he chuckles], every would-be hitman in London  would be after you.  How was he, by the way?
Luther:  Rubbish.



RF:  I like George C’s casual “Wotcher?” and the way he shows only a little amused surprise that Luther is calling him:  “You still with us, then?”.  I also like how he puts the phone on speaker and continues with his cooking preparations, as if he isn’t discussing a hit contract on a cop.  Of course, he takes care to deny everything – albeit not very convincingly – while at the same time letting Luther know exactly who “greenlit” him, and what’s going to happen.  And he even asks for Luther’s review of the hitmen, like he’s compiling something for Yelp.

"...every would-be hitman in London would be after you."

“…every would-be hitman in London would be after you.”

Admin:  That has to be the world’s most charmingly roguish way for a gangster to answer his phone.  Notice how it all conveys a sense of easy confidence too.  George’s amusement over Luther’s predicament is fun.  Little wonder they are bringing him back for a return visit in series 5.  I like how he wasn’t at all surprised that the would-be hitmen were rubbish.  No wonder he went to the trouble of letting Luther know they weren’t likely to be on his regular pay roll.  He doesn’t want anyone thinking that is the level of help he has. The whole thing seems rather amusing to him.  That said, there is a definite hint of steely menace when he said “every would-be hitman in London”.  That is a very dangerous and determined look he has glinting in his eyes.
Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide to Return as George Cornelius

George and Luther: Best friends forever.

Excellent news!  Patrick Malahide will return to a new series of “Luther” as that charming gangster George Cornelius.  From the BBC website:

The Golden Globe and SAG Award-winner actor Idris Elba returns to his iconic role as DCI John Luther, for the fifth series created by Emmy-nominated writer Neil Cross and produced by BBC Studios.

Dermot Crowley, Michael Smiley and Patrick Malahide will return for the four-part series as DSU Martin Schenk, Benny Silver and George Cornelius; and Wunmi Mosaku, who won a Bafta for her performance in BBC One’s Damilola, Our Loved Boy in 2017, will join as new recruit D.S. Catherine Halliday.

George is such a wonderful and fun character.  His gleefully dark sense of humour makes him a true joy to watch.  I can’t wait to see him back in action.

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Wished for Roles 14: Historical Figures

Lord Willingdon: A wonderful portrayal of an historical figure.

Having had fun covering our favorite Historical Figures played by Patrick Malahide, RFodchuk and I thought we’d have a go discussing some other real life historical characters that we’d love to see Mr. Malahide portray.  He gives a lot to his non-fiction roles by bringing his own experiences as well as by researching their real lives and finding ways to relate to them, such as his connection with Rev. Patrick Bronte as a father and Lord Willingdon’s love of sailing.

Admin:  My choice is….

Lord Palmerston

Who Was He?

Lord Palmerston.

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice from 6 February 1855 – 19 February 1858 and 12 June 1859 – 18 October 1865.   He also served as Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary.

What Makes Him so Interesting?

Well, his legacy is certainly a massive one as he governed throughout the reign of Queen Victoria, clearly one of the most profoundly significant times in world history.  But, my interest in  him actually stems from his appearances in some highly enjoyable works of fiction.

An Opium Eater thriller.

He is a very important character in David Morrell’s  “Opium Eater” series of mystery thrillers featuring Thomas De Quincey (the “opium eater”) and his daughter Emily.  Emily is such a fun character.  She is an early champion of women’s rights and flouts convention by eschewing the popular (and deadly) hoop-skirt in favor of the radical (but more practical) “bloomer-skirt” preferred by the American women’s rights activist Amelia Bloomer.  With their Scotland Yard friends Ryan and Becker they solve crimes in what are some of the most adventurous, page turning books I have ever read. (Spoilers ahoy)

Lord Palmerston, essentially by order of the Queen, has Thomas and Emily living under his roof as semi-permanent guests.  He doesn’t especially like them, though he does develop a healthy respect and genuine friendship with them by the end of the series.  Initially he finds Thomas De Quincey’s bizarre fidgets which are brought on by his opium addiction to be extremely irritating.  I can’t blame him there. Continue reading

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It’s a Meme! 49 – New Year’s Edition

Admin:  Happy 2018 from the Appreciation!

RF: Happy New Year, everyone!  🙂

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Patrick Malahide Talks About Ghosts!

Patrick Malahide being suitably spooky as George III.

On the BBC Radio 4 Podcast “Front Row” (episode link here) they talked a bit about the fascinating subject of theatre ghosts.  Patrick Malahide described a weird and possibly supernatural encounter he had 25 years ago at the Bristol Old Vic  while performing Garrick’s and Colman’s “The Clandestine Marriage“.

At that time I was personally in a very dark place. On this night, I froze. I mean not just dried, I actually was completely incapable of speech, and now I’m on stage, and I stare at the audience, and the audience stares back expectantly. So, you just think to yourself, “Well, this is it. This is the night I get found out.  I’m not really an actor; I’ve just gotten away with it so far.”

In the middle of that existential terror, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I turned, and I couldn’t see anybody, but I could clearly hear the voice of David Garrick. And he said to me very gently, he said “You are among friends.” And I turned back to the audience, and I looked at them again, and I thought ‘hmmmm’. “50,000, yes.” And I got this huge laugh because it had been the most daring pause ever. So what was that? Is that the survival instinct of a terrified actor, or is it the ghost of David Garrick casting a watchful and benevolent eye on a performance of a play which he himself had written 250 years ago.

David Garrick. Source: Wikipedia.

According to Wikipedia,  David Garrick was the proverbial renaissance man when it came to the theatre:  “David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century, and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson.”  It is hardly surprising then that his ghost might take such a paternal interest as described above.

I’m also intrigued by Mr. Malahide’s description of his gentle, affable voice.  David Garrick was noted for his “easy, natural manner” which fits well with Mr. Malahide’s genial description.  I also notice on Wikipedia that some of Garrick’s critics did not care for his fondness of pauses.  He must have been delighted with Mr. Malahide being well rewarded for his “daring pause”.

Dr. Aofie Monks, a theatre historian who has written about theatre hauntings,  offered her opinion on why so many theatres are said to have ghosts.  She speculates actors may be accessing their own acting traditions while also reacting to the terror and delight of being on  stage.  The stage, being a historically rich place, revolves around themes of repetition and remembrance which themselves are very spectral.

Mr. Malahide concludes

Oh sure, *now* she can do portraits that actually look like who they're supposed to look like. :-/

Another possible theatre ghost.  The painting, not Troy.

We continue to be our real selves on stage.  Well, I do, certainly. But you are giving yourself up to a character in the moment, so that you are in a way working on two levels: The level of the character that you sort of give yourself up to in the moment, but you’re also extremely aware that an actor is off, they’re a bit late. What are we going to do now? So you are aware of levels of existence, I suppose. So what matter if there’s yet another level with a ghost there. Why not?

Why not, indeed.  For the record, I personally do believe in ghosts and hauntings and feel that theatres are prime locations for such activity.  I mean when you think about it, the idea of an actor who never wants to leave the stage is a pretty common image.  I reckon the theatre set would be among the most likely to stick around after life keeping an eye on things.

It was lovely to hear of Patrick Malahide’s possibly supernatural experience in his own words.  Patrick Malahide and ghosts just happen to be two of my favorite interests.  Talk about being right up my alley.

“You’d like Uncle Hastymite to read you a story, hey?  Well, gather round.”

Mr. Malahide has narrated several ghosts stories which have been recapped on this blog.  And there are several more I would specifically love to hear him narrate.  Listening to this podcast reminds me yet again why he is the perfect narrator.  His delightfully raspy and adroit voice can effortlessly move from gentleness to blinding terror with such grace that you barely know it is happening as you are fully engrossed in an increasingly terrifying tale.  I’d love to hear more horror and ghost stories, be they truth or fiction, as narrated by him.

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