The Good, the Neutral, and the Evil: Part 2 – The Neutral

For our second installment describing Mr. Malahide’s characters in terms of D&D alignments (the first one is here), Fearless Admin and I will be discussing the Neutrals.   These are characters who tend to skirt the middle ground while pursuing their own interests, although they can be law-abiding when it suits them.  They’re a little trickier to define, but despite their name, they aren’t fence-sitters – and they’re just as much fun to watch.  And now, the Neutrals!

Lawful Neutral

A lawful neutral character typically believes strongly in lawful concepts such as honor, order, rules, and tradition, and often follows a personal code.  Examples of lawful neutral characters include a soldier who always follows orders, a judge or enforcer that adheres mercilessly to the word of the law, and a disciplined monk.  [Source:  Wikipedia]

Rev. J.G. Keach: All business, no frills Patrick Malahide in The Good, the Neutral, and the Evil: Part 2

Rev. J.G. Keach: All business, no frills

RF:  When it comes to a character who adheres to the rules, sometimes mercilessly, the first one to spring to my mind is… the Reverend J.G. Keach from “A Month in the Country“.  From his seeming obsession with his fabric fund to his relentlessly picky calculation of Birkin’s (Colin Firth) salary for restoring the medieval mural in his church, everything about him suggests he’s a stickler for rules and proprieties.  He’s so inflexible that he insists Birkin stay in the church’s unheated belfry while carrying out the work, despite having a large (and extremely empty) house at his disposal.  Yet despite all of that, Keach is not entirely without feelings; he knows he’s a fish out of water in Oxgodby but doesn’t know quite what to do about it, and he seems to sense that there’s a bit of an emotional divide between himself and his much younger wife, Alice (Natasha Richardson).

Trying to be a good sport about it?

Trying to be a good sport so maybe he’s not evil.

Admin:  Poor Keach.  I felt quite sorry for him, but most of his problems were of his own doing.   He really needs to lighten up and reach out to others, but Lawful Neutrals have a hard time doing that.   I’ll choose a much lighter, funnier Lawful Neutral:  The Marine Safety agent, Mr. Lancing from “Captain Jack“.  He almost comes close to being evil since he seems to take a fiendish delight in waving his clipboard around, but he shows just enough good humor at the end to save him from that category.   Mr. Lancing’s dedication to enforcing the rules is truly remarkable, and he gets some very funny lines.  I especially love his insistence that Captain Jack (Bob Hoskins) use a “proper British whistle” rather than one those unreliable Danish models.  He’s a stickler through and through.

RF:  Yeah, Mr. Lancing certainly enjoyed being as officious as humanly possible, but I got the impression he rather liked his run-ins with Jack.  I think they made his life just that little bit more exciting.  😉  You’re right, he did seem to have a sense of humour, which is one quality that poor Rev. Keach appeared to lack.

Admin:  I agree he liked his run-ins.  Mr. Lancing seemed to enjoy having an adversary which made it all oddly rather friendly.
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Random Malahide Picture 18

I found this gem on PBS Thirteen Media.  It is from Indian Summers S02E01.  Lord Willingdon suffered a mock assassination and as a result was bed-ridden for a while.  But, he got better.  Later on he was even able to play a spot of cricket.  It is a great picture.  He looks rather nervous and stunned at having to face a crowd.  Actually, it makes me think of those nightmares where you realize you forgot to put on trousers 😀 He rallied after he got a drink down him though 😉




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The Good, the Neutral, and the Evil: Part 1 – The Good

So, Fearless Admin and I were considering D&D alignments (yes, we are occasionally hopelessly nerdy that way – perhaps even Adorkably Nerdy) the other day.  Basically, the D&D gaming system allows a player to determine his/her character’s moral and ethical profile and likely patterns of behaviour in accordance with nine pre-set categories along Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic and Good, Neutral, and Evil axes.  How, we thought, would some of Mr. Malahide’s characters fall within these categories?  Here’s our first installment of the Good, the Neutral, and the Evil, starting with the Goods.

Lawful Good

A lawful good character typically acts with compassion and always with honor and a sense of duty. Such characters include righteous knights, paladins, and most dwarves. Lawful good creatures include the noble golden dragons.  [Source: Wikipedia]

Alleyn: A Paladin of Forties crime-solving The Good, the Neutral, and the Evil characters played by Patrick Malahide

Alleyn: A Paladin of Forties crime-solving

RF:  Well, this is a no-brainer.  Our first Lawful Good character has to be… Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn of “The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries“.  He definitely always operates with honour and a sense of duty, and he’s about as close to a righteous knight as one can imagine.  He’s kind, compassionate, and chivalrous, and his calling in life is to investigate crimes, right wrongs, and see that justice is done.  (Note:  He’s not a dwarf, though.)  He even finds time in his schedule to woo a fair maiden, namely his girlfriend Agatha Troy (Belinda Lang).

Lethal combination of trenchcoat and fedora

Dashing pose by the petrol pump.

Admin:  It is kind of a shame it is his brother who has the title “Sir” because Alleyn is pretty much your ideal Knight in Shining Armour.   I think another contender could be his more provincial, but no less attractive, cousin Robert Blair of the “Franchise Affair”.   They are cousins, right?  😀  Blair proves the innocence of his fair maiden and her mother, both of whom had been wrongly accused of abduction.   He takes his task on with amazing commitment even though he is overwhelmed by it and more than proves himself.   Law and order prevail when Robert Blair is around.

D.S. Chisholm: Mostly Lawful Good, if just a bit cynical

D.S. Chisholm: Mostly Lawful Good, if just a bit cynical

RF:  Agreed that Robert Blair is another good candidate for Lawful Good.  As you say, he shares many characteristics with Alleyn.  They both want to see that justice is done, even if they don’t have the same wardrobe budget.  😉  I think we could also argue that D.S. Chisholm is mostly Lawful Good too, despite the fact that he’s quite willing to intimidate the occasional grass.

Admin:  Chisholm is perhaps a wee bit too cynical to really qualify, but I agree he is essentially Lawful Good at his core.
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Indian Summers S02E03 PBS Variation

Indian Summers PBS 02

Learning the Maharajah took *all* of the rooms.

PBS is airing Indian Summers series 2 on Masterpiece.  As mentioned earlier, it has several scenes that didn’t air in the C4 version.  Last night’s episode, White Gods (original recap here), had two deleted scenes featuring the Viceroy.

The first shows Lord Willingdon, in  a very smart dressing gown, sitting on the foot of his bed with a cup of tea.  He asks how the visiting Maharajah is settling in.  Ralph tells him that the Maharajah has taken *all* of the rooms at the club and says none of them are good enough.  The Viceroy reacts with a mixture of disgust and wry amusement.  He knows they need to get in the Maharajah’s good graces, but he doesn’t seem to approve of the degenerate prince very much at all.

Indian Summers PBS 04

Congratulating Mr. Patel and the Maharajah on their cricket skills.

The second scene takes place after the first half of the cricket match.  The players have gone to the club where we briefly see the Viceroy congratulating the Maharajah and Mr. Patel on their team’s strong showing.  Of course, that strong showing is partly because the Viceroy is trying to throw the match in their favor.    Mr. Patel (the younger bearded chap on the left)  is a staunch critic of the Maharajah and is working for Indian independence.  Putting him and the Maharajah on the same team forces them to work together while giving the Viceroy some grim satisfaction.  😉


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Analysis of a Scene XXVII: D.I. Brennan Chews Out D.C. Reid in “Amnesia”

D.I. Brennan: No-nonsense practicality personified Patrick Malahide as D.I. Brennan in "Amnesia"

D.I. Brennan: No-nonsense practicality personified

Time for an Analysis of a Scene featuring one of our favourite Malahide characters, D.I. Brennan from the 2004 miniseries, “Amnesia“.  In this scene, D.C. Ian Reid (Brendan Coyle) has begun to suspect his partner, D.S. Mackenzie Stone (John Hannah), of having something to do with the disappearance of his (Stone’s) wife, Lucia (Beatriz Batarda).  Stone’s memories of the day are muddled, but he believes that a mysterious amnesiac, John Dean (Anthony Calf), may have been responsible for Lucia’s disappearance, although his confidence is being steadily undermined by the receipt of anonymous notes accusing him of doing it.  However, Reid is convinced Stone is sending the notes to himself to throw off suspicion, and he further believes Stone might’ve killed Lucia because he found out she was having an affair – and as it turns out, the affair was with him, which impresses Brennan not at all.  As the scene opens, Brennan has had a chance to sleep on Reid’s theories and come to some conclusions himself.

[Brennan swipes himself into his office with his I.D. card]
Brennan [peremptorily]:  Reid…
Reid:  Morning, boss.
Brennan:  Door.
[Brennan hangs up his jacket.]

"Reid... Door." Patrick Malahide as D.I. Brennan in "Amnesia"

“Reid… Door.”

RF:  I love Brennan’s peremptory manner.  You just know already that it bodes no good for Reid.  I also like the way he very tidily hangs up his jacket.  This is a man who pays attention to details.

Admin: “Door” — I’m pretty certain that is code for “you are in such hot water.” Brennan’s manner is incredibly focused and determined.  His expression shows that he is steeling himself for a discussion that will leave him demoralized no matter how it goes.

Reid:  I didn’t sleep a wink last night.
Brennan [incredulously]:  Really?  Well, frankly, I don’t know how you slept for the past, uh… sorry, how long was it you were screwing your best mate’s missus?  [Paces around Reid]  So, she, um… obviously hasn’t made any contact with you, has she, otherwise you wouldn’t be standing there accusing him [Stone] of killing her.
Reid:  No.

Brennan: "Well, frankly, I don't know how you slept for the past, uh... sorry, how long was it you were screwing your best mate's missus?"

Brennan: “Well, frankly, I don’t know how you slept
for the past, uh… sorry, how long was it you were screwing
your best mate’s missus?”

RF:  Reid comes into the discussion expecting Brennan to be on his side, judging by his ever-so-slight swagger, but he’s soon disabused of that notion.  Evidently Brennan believes in a code of conduct that includes the tenet, “Don’t have an affair with your best mate’s wife”, and he’s none too impressed with Reid for having violated it.  I like the way he paces around Reid in a display of leashed intensity, while continuing to direct a hard, unblinking glare his way – it’s a calculated bit of dominance and psychological pressure that sets Reid back on his heels.  For his part, Reid now looks rather glum.

Doing a bit of pacing

Doing a bit of pacing

Admin: Yeah, I think Reid thought they were going to have some shared commiseration over lack of sleep, but there was none to be had.  Brennan’s pacing demonstrates a lot of pent up energy which shows how heavily this has weighed on his conscience.  His disgust with Reid is palpable.
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Patrick Malahide as George Wilkins

Patrick Malahide

Not George Wilkins, but this guy from Sahara will do instead.

So, I saw Bridget Jones’s Baby.  It is cute and funny and pretty much what you expect of Bridget.   Patrick Malahide appears at the beginning as the foreign secretary (or something like that) George Wilkins.  He’s a lot cuter than Boris Johnson. 😉  I noticed that Wilkins has a thing for very brightly colored socks.  He wore a very conservative suit with incredibly loud socks. Awwww 🙂

I don’t have any pictures of him, (you’re not allowed to snap pics of the movie screen), but he looked incredibly fetching and official.  No surprise there, right?

Anyway, his scene is hilarious.  Wilkins appears on the news program Bridget directs to talk about the death of some mad despot with a funny name.  But, it all goes haywire because newscaster Miranda (Sarah Solemani) confuses Bridget’s private phone conversation (which Miranda is hearing in her earpiece) for the questions she should be asking Mr. Wilkins.   Yes, they are inappropriate.  Patrick Malahide’s expressions are epic.

It is a good movie with lots of laughs, and it is lovely to see Patrick Malahide on the big screen.  🙂



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Random Malahide Picture 17 and Indian Summers PBS Info

Indian Summers series 2 began airing on PBS stations last night (Sunday 10pm).  As was the case last year, the PBS version contains scenes that were cut from Channel 4.  PBS has uploaded some photos including one of Patrick Malahide and Art Malik which seems to have been cut from C4.

The Viceroy and the Maharajah. Source: PBS Masterpiece

The Viceroy and the Maharajah. Source: PBS Masterpiece

This is a lovely photo, and I’m looking forward to seeing this scene presuming it airs.   Patrick Malahide looks so effortlessly elegant in his lounge chair.

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Patrick Malahide as DS Chisholm in A Nice Little Wine

A Nice Little Wine

In Minder S02E07, A Nice Little Wine, Arthur Daley tries to get into the wine business by buying a large £900 lot from dodgy wine merchant Clive Stannard (Peter Jeffrey) .  Later Clive is drugged and robbed, the £900 and all, by a call girl.  He thinks Daley is behind it. Clive threatens to get a thug,”Big” Billy Gresham, to deal with the matter unless Daley gets the dough back.

With stellar (nah) detective work, Arthur and Terry get the money back from Bettina the bent call girl (Rachel Davies).  They even recompense Burt Kwouk who cameos as a Japanese businessman Bettina robbed.

Finally Some Chisholm

My old friend Detective Sergeant Chisholm.

My old friend Detective Sergeant Chisholm.

Daley goes to the Winchester to give Clive the £900 back.  Luckily, Chisholm got there first.  By orders from the division inspector Chisholm is bringing Clive in for a “little chat” over a consignment of wine “purchased” in Dover.  Arthur is uncharacteristically glad to see his “old friend Detective Sergeant Chisholm”.  The always suspicious Chisholm isn’t surprised that Clive and Arthur know each other.  Daley valiantly tries to  assure Chisholm that he is only recently acquainted with slippery Clive.

Daley tests waters and asks Clive about that other acquaintance…Billy Gresham.

Daley: "How's your other friend...Billy Gresham?"

Daley: “How’s your other friend…Billy Gresham?”

Chisholm:  “Big Billy Gresham. He’s just gone inside…no bail granted…protective custody.” I love it. Chisholm’s smug expression and tone show that he knows he is delivering very bad news for Clive.  Arthur reaches into his pocket as though to retrieve the money, but Clive quickly puts a stop to that.  He doesn’t want to get in any more trouble. Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide In New Bridget Jones Film

bridgetI just found this on Patrick Malahide’s IMDB.  He is appearing in the upcoming release “Bridget Jones’s Baby”.  He will be playing a character named “George Wilkins”.   It will be in theatres September 16.


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

Best Rom-Com ever! 😉

Of course, the film also stars Colin Firth (Mark Darcy).  It would be cool if he and Mr. Malahide get a scene together.  Maybe a scene that is a bit less frosty than the ones they had in “A Month in the Country“. 😉


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Patrick Malahide as Cardinal Wolsey – BBC Radio 3

Henry's daughter had better taste in associates.

Henry’s daughter had better taste in associates. Source: IMDB

You can hear Patrick Malahide appear as Cardinal Wolsey in a re-broadcast of William Shakespeare’s and John Fletcher’s  “Henry VIII”.  Listen here.  The link is good until about September 28th.

From the BBC 3 Radio page:

In 1509, the 17-year-old Henry acceded to the throne of England. Shakespeare’s play, co-authored with John Fletcher, opens with the arrest for treason of the Duke of Buckingham 12 years later, and tells the story of Henry’s struggle to divorce Katherine of Aragon, and the catastrophic fall of the all-powerful Cardinal Wolsey.

Patrick Malahide is wonderful as Wolsey.  He is confident, greedy, full of false modesty and even shows a bit of charm which he levels at the ladies while throwing his lavish parties.   But, his downfall quickly makes him a far more humble man.  His final scene with Thomas Cromwell (Paul Rider) is actually very pitiable.  As Wosley, Patrick Malahide’s voice is full of intrigue, gusto, sweetness, and pathos depending on the scene.  He really gets those emotions across and makes it all very accessible to modern listeners.

Mr. Malahide uses a very attractive country sounding accent.  His Wolsey clearly comes from a different sort of background than the king and his court.  I looked on Wikipedia and learned that he was widely thought to have been the son of a butcher and cattle dealer.  I think that aspect really comes across in Mr. Malahide’s performance and also helps illustrate Wolsey’s ambitious nature.

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