Patrick Malahide as Colin Anderson in The Standard E01

I love the red on red look.

Colin Anderson:  He’s every bit as intense as he looks.

In 1978 Patrick Malahide appeared as investigative reporter Colin Anderson in the BBC-Scotland series The Standard. I posted before about how good it sounds, which you can read here. Well, now we (RFodchuk and I) have finally watched the first episode Golden Boy. Sadly, there don’t appear to be any other episodes available and this one has a visible time stamp, but (aside from the time stamp) it looks and sounds excellent.

RF:  I was pleasantly surprised by how good the picture and colour quality was.  It looked far better than some “Minder” episodes I’ve seen!

The Standard S01E01: Golden Boy

Radio Times cover of The Standard.

Radio Times cover of The Standard.

Admin: If the first episode is anything to go by, we can safely say it is a very good series. It wastes no time in getting to the point; the acting is excellent and the story is interesting. It fully deserves a DVD release!

RF:  I totally agree.  Seeing the first episode just whetted my appetite to see the rest, especially after all those enticing episode descriptions on the Action TV page.  If they’re all as well written as the first, I’m in.

Admin: The Scottish Daily Standard is a struggling newspaper hemorrhaging money, hampered by over cautious, old fashioned editor James Kendal (Gerry Slevin) and an overzealous union head (albeit not overzealous in his reporting) Alex Forsythe (Tom Watson) who is more interested in calling mandatory chapel (union) meetings.

Clakity-clak-clak.

Clakity-clak-clak.

RF:  Our first look at The Standard shows us (1) that they still have paperboys selling them – okay, maybe that wasn’t all that uncommon at that point in time, and (2) that it’s featuring a rather staid and boring headline, which gives us most of the background we need to understand their current situation.  I’ve also never seen so many bakelite phones and manual typewriters in my life!  ;-)

Peter Dawson ruffling feathers.

Peter Dawson. Thunderbirds Are Go!

Admin: Enter Englishman “Golden Boy” Peter Dawson (Neil Stacy) who is sent from London with proposals to either close The Standard for good or to invest  £5 million for modernization. But, that will also mean changing the paper’s direction by intensifying the reporting and letting some people go.

RF:  I realize Dawson is the nominal “Golden Boy” (is there a possibility he was intended to be the series focus?), but I wonder if that title couldn’t  belong to Colin Anderson as well… foreshadowing the role he’s going to have in saving The Standard.

Admin:  Colin is the Platinum Boy.  ;-)

RF:  …which means he’ll have to invest in a silvery-white shirt and tie, unless he already has them.  ;-)

Admin: Dawson has a bit of an ally with news editor Felicity Grant (Collette O’Neil). She is a go getter and longs to give the paper bite. She was with a paper called The Newcastle Argus which Dawson was able to turn around to profit, but not without cutting a few jobs. He admires Felicity and wants her on his side.

Felicity Grant News Editor and Breck Girl.

Felicity Grant: News Editor and Breck Girl.

RF:  Felicity uses an alarming amount of hairspray, even by Rooolllahh Lenska standards!  I’m also bemused by her Seventies smock fashions.  ;-)  We’re told several times, by several characters, what an utter rarity it is that The Standard employs a female news editor (and such an attractive one!, as they take pains to point out), without the slightest hint of irony.  However, despite this one tiny smidgen of progressiveness,  The Standard appears to be well-mired in the practices of the past.  In a later scene, Felicity is in favour of “splashing” a story about an industrial fire that suggests something fishy at the company, but managing editor Kendal balks at the idea.  He really doesn’t want The Standard getting into anything sticky or being “[turned] into a campaigning paper again” because it’s not their “style” any more.

Meet Colin Anderson

Admin: As mentioned, Alex Forsythe is more interested in union matters than in reporting. He is at a press conference where industrialist Jeremy Longmuir (Jerome Willis) will be discussing plans for factory expansion. Colin Anderson, hot shot investigative reporter working for a paper called The Chronicle, is there also.

Colin spies Alex Forsythe.

Colin spies Alex Forsythe.

Admin: Clad in a bright red shirt, a necktie to match and a long blue coat, Colin stands out of the crowd. He greets Alex and is met with little enthusiasm. Colin reveals that he knows The Standard’s proprietors are ready to pull the plug being “cheesed off with disputes.” Alex plays dumb. Colin: “I thought you were the father of the chapel?” Alex reckons because of that the media company would make sure he was the last person to know. “Like me to make some inquiries for you,” asks Colin playfully. Alex calls him a “snide bastard” for his helpfulness.

Alex calls him a snide bastard.  "Only offering to help."

Alex calls him a snide bastard. “Only offering to help.”

RF:  Apparently Colin thinks you need a touch of red to go with red, sharing some sartorial sensibilities with other characters of Mr. Malahide’s.  ;-)  But hey, no one can argue that he doesn’t know how to match.  Seriously, he’s the most brightly clad person in the room (and perhaps the best dressed as well in a sea of polyester), giving us an idea of his brash nature.  And he is incredibly, delightfully brash as well as completely confident and outgoing.  He’s got his ear to the ground, knowing all the Standard dirt even before its employees do.  Like a certain other individual, he’s also good at reading people’s characters, knowing just where Alex is most vulnerable.

Admin: A young man, who Colin cheekily refers to as Andy Pandy, goes to the microphone to say that Longmuir has been delayed because of electric difficulties with his plane. We already knew that because “Golden Boy” Peter Dawson was traveling with him at the time which means he’s late for his meeting with The Standard.

RF:  The reporters – an exclusively male group, of course – are mollified by the offer of free drinks, though.  Colin’s already availing himself.  ;-) Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide as John Poole in Five Days S01E04

Five Days S01E04

It is now day 33 and the entire family is in turmoil.  Sadly, things are only going to get worse.  For the previous episode recaps, please click here.

It’s a Bank Holiday

The Pooles open the episode in crowded, holiday traffic. John: “The best place to be on a bank holiday is in your own back garden.” Barbara says that they agreed they’d try and give the children the semblance of a normal, ordinary day, but John’s derisive snort indicates he probably just agreed to go with the flow.  Typical Granddad.

We agreed we're going to give those children the semblence of an ordinary day.

We agreed we’re going to give those children the semblence of an ordinary day.

RF:  John doesn’t seem very optimistic about the day being “ordinary”, but I think he knows it’s unlikely their days will ever be “ordinary” again for a long, long time.  Also, I suspect he still doesn’t like being around lots of people after the hairdressers’ incident, even though that was five days ago.

Admin: When they get to Matt’s everything goes pear-shaped. Ethan won’t let Barbara in because Matt is talking to a television reporter. Even worse, Sarah is there and rouses Barbara’s anger by trying to hug Ethan, “You get your hands off him; he’s not yours yet.” Barbara storms out with Matt behind her trying to explain.  Poor John, who was still by the car, is completely flummoxed. “What on earth is going on?” Sarah had organized a paid interview!  John: “Us paying the mortgage not good enough for you?” Ouch! Barbara tells John to take her home and he is back in that car like a rocket.

Us paying the mortgage not enough for you?

Us paying the mortgage not enough for you?

RF:  To add insult to injury, Matt (obviously knowing they’d disapprove) didn’t tell Barbara and John about the interview beforehand, even though they’d see it on television and realize what he’d done.  Barbara’s hurt and angry at what she sees as Matt’s betrayal (compounded by jealousy when Sarah hugs Ethan, which Barbara sees as a possessive gesture), even though her sobs don’t produce any tears.  John’s also angry and uncharacteristically vocal about it; his comment about the mortgage is one I doubt he’d make under normal circumstances.  He doesn’t waste any time trying to do his usual peace-making; he just ducks back into the car straight away instead.

Admin: It is obvious John didn’t want to be there in the first place. He doesn’t feel as betrayed as Barbara, but he lets fly his feelings about what he perceives as Matt’s general incompetence.

Admin: As they return home Barbara continues her rant. She says that John never liked Matt, and now she agrees with him. “Are you satisfied now,” she asks him. Is she blaming John? Then she drops a real clanger by saying she wants to call social services.  John doesn’t like Matt, but he certainly doesn’t want to tear the kids away from him. He’s so freaked out with Barbara that he nearly hits a bunch of charity runners.

Social services?!

Social services?!

RF:  Barbara always seems to have to turn her rage outward, finding anyone else to blame but herself, hence accusing John of not liking Matt even though she now agrees with him!  It’s rather topsy-turvy logic.  John gets in an “I told you so” or two, although he may not find it very satisfying since Barbara’s somehow blaming him for Matt’s misconduct as well.  However, John seems to understand the lasting repercussions of taking the kids away from their father far better than Barbara does.  She’s treating it more as revenge than anything else, while he knows it will only cause more trauma and pain to the kids, so soon after their mother’s loss.  John does look slightly upset when Barbara says, “All we do is wait.  Wait while life moves on without us,” giving the sense he feels their life is still in limbo without knowing what happened to Leanne. Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide News: New Old Series Listings on IMDB

"I'm not sure when these listings appeared, sir.<br>I'd swear they weren't there a minute ago."

“I’m not sure when these listings appeared, sir.
I’d swear they weren’t there a minute ago.”

Or perhaps old new series listings…?  Admin and I have been intrigued lately by the recent addition of a couple of new (to us) older television series to Patrick Malahide’s IMDB page.  Not that we’re displeased to see them, far from it!  It’s great that someone’s finally gotten around to some long-overdue updating.  But we’d also like to be able to see these new old shows!

“John Macnab”

First, a three-episode series called “John Macnab” from 1976.   There’s an absolute dearth of information online about the series itself, but I’m guessing it’s based on the book by the same name by John Buchan, who also wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps  (often filmed and most recently remade in 2008 with Mr. Malahide as the delightfully evil Professor Fisher).  Wikipedia has a handy synopsis:

Three successful but bored friends in their mid-forties decide to turn to poaching. They are Sir Edward Leithen, lawyer, Tory Member of Parliament (MP), and ex-Attorney General; John Palliser-Yeates, banker and sportsman; and Charles, Earl of Lamancha, former adventurer and present Tory Cabinet Minister. Under the collective name of ‘John Macnab’, they set up in the Highland home of Sir Archie Roylance, a disabled war hero who wishes to be a Conservative MP.

They issue a challenge to three of Roylance’s neighbours: first the Radens, who are an old-established family, about to die out; next, the Bandicotts: an American archaeologist and his son, who are renting a grand estate for the summer; and lastly the Claybodys, vulgar, bekilted nouveaux riches. These neighbours are forewarned that ‘John Macnab’ will poach a salmon or a stag from their land and return it to them undetected. The outcome is that the men’s boredom is dispelled with the assistance of helpers (including a homeless waif, ‘Fish Benjie’ and an athletic journalist, Crossby), and Archie Roylance marries Janet Raden, daughter of the grandee.

Continue reading

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Random Malahide Picture 7

From the Heaven DVD.  I haven’t actually watched the film yet; I was checking to make sure the DVD functions fine. It does, so I’ll do a review soon.  One thing I’m pretty sure of is that it isn’t the sort of Paradise Lord G. would approve of.  :eek:

The Paradise :-D  From the Heaven DVD Menu

The Paradise :-D From the Heaven DVD Menu

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Wished For Roles 8: Chisholm Who?

We here at the Appreciation can’t help but think the execs might have been a bit hasty in casting Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.  Isn’t there someone else eminently qualified to step out of a police box?

chisholm who

C’mon, Chisholm would make an ideal Time Lord!  He’d have crims across the universe (universes?) on the run in no time (pun intended)!  He could even bring along Jones as his companion, assuming Jones doesn’t mind travelling by TARDIS.  After all, someone has to pay for the tea and pie.  I think it could have real possibilities.  ;-)

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Analysis of a Scene XVII: Singing Detective — Puttin’ On the Ritz

...don't you think you're a teeny bit too old.

The perfect 80s cad.

Here is the final installment of our Analyses of The Singing Detective scenes: A scene from from episode 6, Who Done It, link goes to recap,  featuring 80s cad Mark Finney.

Puttin’ On the Ritz

Marlow imagines himself at Finney’s.

Marlow, in his hospital bed, is once again having a weird fantasy about Nicola and her “paramour” Mark Finney. This time Marlow (meta)physically is a witness to the scene. He sneaks up the stairs and spies a very nifty stereo system blaring “Puttin’ on the Ritz” as Nicola and Mark, in lingerie and a robe respectively, dance while sharing a cigarette (probably not a tobacco one).

Showing her some hot moves.

Showing her some hot moves.

RF:  I couldn’t help noticing that Marlow set this particular scene after any sexual activity had already taken place.  I still think he couldn’t quite bear to imagine it, even though that didn’t stop him from envisioning similar scenes with Sonja/Mrs. Marlow/Nicola and Mark and Raymond Binney.  Also, Finney appears to have rather old-fashioned taste in music for such a modern, up-to-date guy – or is he just being fashionably retro?  ;-)

Admin:  That’s right, Finney would listen to Duran Duran or the like.  But, since we can safely guess that Marlow doesn’t know Duran Duran from The Bay City Rollers we have to make do with Irving Berlin. :-)

Admin: Finney’s carpet illustrates the monochromatic color theme that RFodchuk noticed. Even his shimmery robe is gray and black.  He looks fantastic in it, by the way. The dance, though, manages to be a wee bit creepy and sexy at the same time. It is a weird combination, but it really works for these two. I do like them. They are so entertainingly wicked that what happens next is a bit crushing. Stupid Marlow. :-/

Swank!

RF:  You’re right, it’s an oddly creepy dance.  Maybe it’s the incongruity of their attire versus the uninhibited dance they’re doing (must be some cigarette  ;-) ), or the fact they’re so nastily gleeful at having put one over on Marlow, or a combination thereof.  But yes, Finney’s love of monochromatic “nice things” does seem to extend to his bedroom apparel.  ;-)  Once again, Nicola’s necklace provides an accent of red and the only colour in the room (okay, besides the drinks), although there’s even less red than there was before.  This is also the first time we see Marlow physically present (sort of) in order to “watch” the scene he’s creating in his head.

Admin:  It is their OTT approach to evil that I like best.  :-)  I guess it stems from Marlow being a pulp writer which is a genre that often has villains openly discussing their plans.  They really are great together until it goes all wrong.

RF:  Tsk tsk, all because of different priorities!

Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide as John Poole in Five Days S01E03

For previous episodes, please click here.

Five Days S01E03

Admin: Five Days S01E03, is called Day Twenty Eight so everyone is now giving up hope that Leanne is alive.  Barbara, who is helping Matt out, blames John (and Matt also) for giving up hope.  It is clear John is starting to unravel; she mentions that he isn’t going out much and how badly he needs a haircut.  For a smartly styled, outgoing man like John that is likely sign of depression.  But, he did make a pretty spiffy birthday cake for Matt.  Ethan is impressed by it.

Clever Granddad baked a cake.

Clever Granddad baked a cake.

RF:  Unfortunately, Barbara’s still very much the same person we saw in the previous episodes.  After mentioning that John won’t even leave the house, Barbara’s dialogue to Matt is again all “me”-centric:  “Don’t.  Please don’t lose it now, I need your support.  I can’t have you caving in on me, too.”  It’s all about how John’s depression is causing her to have problems, not the fact that he’s depressed.  Maybe it’s not such a surprise that John wanted to opt out of the party.  Barbara also manages to blurt out in front of the kids that the police believe Leanne’s dead; they obviously hear her, but she tries to gloss over it as though it never happened.  Grrrr!

At the Hair Salon

She's a chatterbox.

She’s a chatterbox.

Admin: John Poole is finally getting his haircut, and Barbara wasn’t kidding; he is pretty shaggy. The hairdresser is a sweet, chatty type but not knowing who he is makes an unintentionally callous comment by laughing about how her father spends her inheritance on his holidays. John bluntly, but with some politeness, asks her not to talk to him. At that point another hairdresser calls her over and tells her who he is.

She's been called away

She’s been called away

RF:  John’s really shaggy, the poor fellow.  :-(  He’s also visibly uncomfortable sitting in the chair and barely holding it together, especially when the hairdresser mentions she’s her father’s “only daughter”.  It’s too much to take and I can’t blame him for asking her not to talk to him.   Of course, John overhears the other hairdresser revealing who he is, which just racks up his tension and discomfort.  There’s a nice bit of wordless acting by Mr. Malahide as we see him struggle with his reaction before deciding he just has to get out of there.

Admin: Absolutely, the look on his face shows that he knows exactly what is going to happen next.  Even though they mean well, he is in no state to handle them right now.

Admin: The girl is very distressed and starts crying and apologizing. He is kind and understanding, telling her she wasn’t to know, but she runs off in a state. In a resigned fashion he pays the other girl who says she is very sorry. He has a mini breakdown laughing ruefully and flinging the money down, “Oh, we’re all sorry, I mean everyone is so bloody sorry.”

"Oh we're all sorry"

“Oh we’re all sorry”

RF:  I think it’s characteristic of John that he’d first try to comfort the hairdresser even while he’s in the midst of misery himself, similar to the way he comforted Tanya in the previous episode.  Then we see an unusual flash of temper and frustration with his “everyone is so bloody sorry” line.  Or maybe it’s not so unusual if it’s been building up inside for the previous twenty-eight days, but I got the impression it was rare for him to let his feelings emerge like that.  It’s another sign of the huge amount of stress he’s under. Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide as Colin Bennett in “The Chinese Detective”

Colin Bennett: Up-and-coming villain and snappy dresser<br>(for the early Eighties)  Patrick Malahide as Colin Bennett in "The Chinese Detective"

Colin Bennett: Up-and-coming villain and snappy dresser
(for the early Eighties)

Time to get into the Wayback Machine for a trip to 1982, for Patrick Malahide’s guest-starring role as Colin Bennett, one of a gang of crims in an episode of the BBC’s “The Chinese Detective” titled “Secret State” (S02E08).  I had never heard of this series before, but it seems to have been remarkable for its time for featuring a Chinese protagonist in a leading role.  The titular detective, D.S. John Ho (David Yip), has to contend with a lot of prejudice and conflict in his job, both from his superiors as well the criminals he’s trying to apprehend.  In the process, we get a lot of the “You’re on thin ice!  Get ready to turn in your badge!” dialogue that’s so common it’s now a cliché in today’s police dramas, although it was relatively new then.  But how does Ho meet up with Bennett, who reminds me an awful lot of a young Jack Turner who’s left the docks, but hasn’t built his criminal empire yet?

Starting Off with a Murder

Inconspicuous outfit for a hit job.

Inconspicuous outfit for a hit job.

After a rather McCloud/Columbo-like opening, we get right down to things with a murder.   Three men in a red Mercedes are watching a fourth in a grey anorak.  The youngest of the four, Liam Doyle (Oengus MacNamara, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late Neil Hope from Canada’s “Degrassi High” series), hails the target with a familiar “Charlie!” while the others look on pensively.  Bennett is dressed inconspicuously for the occasion in a bright red tie and red and blue striped shirt which can surely be seen from blocks away, even in the dark.  Actually, my eyes were so riveted by the tie that I didn’t notice at first that it was Mr. Malahide wearing it!  The hit doesn’t go quite as planned, so there’s a short chase before Wheels Liam shoots Charlie Miller (Peter Spraggon) in the back.  Unbeknownst to him, the entire thing has been witnessed by a batty, budgerigar-loving old lady, Alice Walden (Anna Wing), who calls the police.

D.S. Ho is On the Case

Watching Ho investigate the body.

Watching Ho investigate the body.

D.S. Ho shows up to investigate and, after persuading Miss Walden that it might be safer to wait in her flat, calls the station to report a dead body.  Unfortunately, he’s not parked anywhere near the corpse and can’t keep an eye on it while on the radio, so Bennett, Doyle, and Pollitt (Tony Caunter) have a chance to sneak back and steal it away.  The rest of the police arrive and, finding no victim nor even a bloodstain, give Ho some static.  Perhaps the corpse was only wounded a little bit, then got better and walked away?  (I’m resisting the urge to quote Monty Python here.)  Luckily for Ho (if it’s “lucky” to be backed up by a known crazy lady), Alice and her budgies saw the whole thing, saying the body was picked up by three men in a red Mercedes (the budgies are particularly helpful when it comes to car colour).  However, the rest of the cops aren’t inclined to place much credence in either Alice’s or Ho’s testimony without some evidence.
Continue for synopsis and a gallery

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Random Malahide Picture 6

Here’s a lovely picture of Mr. Malahide as Sir Francis Walsingham that I found on HBO’s “Elizabeth I” site. Click for a larger size:

Patrick Malahide as Sir Francis Walsingham in "Elizabeth I"

Admin and I reviewed what we considered to be Walsingham’s finest Top Ten Moments in an earlier post.  He’s a fascinating character.  You can tell just by looking at him that he’s an incredibly ruthless, extremely effective spymaster, although even he can be intimidated by a shoe-throwing Queen.  But in his defense, her aim was pretty good.  ;-)  It was a really well done production, and Mr. Malahide’s Walsingham was a vital, indelible presence.

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Analysis of a Scene XVI: Singing Detective — The End (not really)

Continuing our Analyses of The Singing Detective scenes, here is another good one from episode 5, Pitter Patter, with Mark Finney and Nicola.  Our earlier analyses can found here.

Marlow: “The Singing Detective”

The action begins in the hospital ward with Nicola asking Marlow about his screenplay. He daydreams a scene set at Finney’s place where Nicola and Mark Finney are discussing their nefarious plans to steal The Singing Detective.

Nicola: (typing “The End” into Finney’s computer) That’s it. All done.

The Singing Detective, an original screenplay by Mark Finney!

Finney: ‘Bout time, too. (removes floppy disc) The Singing Detective, an original screenplay by Mark..

Nicola: Mark Finney! (cut to Marlow in the hospital bed humming a tune) (Finney nuzzles her) Ages since I did any typing and this gadget of yours, my God, you think it could pour you a drink while I sit back.

Finney: Ahhh, that’s my job. Would you like a drink?

Nicola: Why not.

Admin: About time too?  Is that a comment on the speed of her typing?   ;-)  Finney’s nuzzling is surprisingly gentle and, dare I say, cute.  Pity it is slightly ruined by Marlow’s interruption.   Finney keeps up his charming routine by offering to get her a drink while she relaxes.  Awwww.  I bet things don’t stay so sweet.

The Singing Detective. An orignal screenplay by Mark Finney.

The Singing Detective. An orignal screenplay by Mark Finney.

RF:  Maybe she was typing slowly so as not to ruin her nails.  ;-)  Ooohhh, I got such an Eighties flashback just from the sound of that keyboard, and also from that monochrome monitor and huge 5.25″ floppy disc.  Why, you can store a whole 360KB on those!  ;-)  I suppose it’s  symbolic that The Singing Detective is going from a stained, hard-copy manuscript in a ratty shoebox to a super high-tech (for the time!) computer file, and being “corrupted” in the process.  It’s the purity of art versus cold, impersonal, money-making technology.  I think Marlow’s primary concern is not necessarily Nicola’s fidelity or loyalty (he seems to fully expect that she’d gleefully betray him for enough cash), but the integrity and loss of his magnum opus.  It’s the last thing he has that’s totally his. Continue reading

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