Happy National Friendship Day from the Appreciation!
Admin: Happy Anniversary from the Appreciation. It is lucky number seven!
RF: I’m a wee bit late due to some technical difficulties, but Happy Seventh Anniversary from the Appreciation! 🙂
Admin and I were greatly saddened to hear of William Simons‘ recent passing at the age of 79. Mr. Simons was such an indelible part of the “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries”, playing Alleyn’s stalwart, imperturbable right-hand man, Inspector Br’er Fox. He was a constant, steady, reassuring presence, providing Alleyn with more than competent assistance and avuncular, at times even fatherly, advice. He went on to other series after “Alleyn”, but he’ll always be Br’er to us, so we thought we’d remember him by analyzing one of our favourite scenes from “Death in a White Tie” (1993), S02E01 of the “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries“.
In this scene, Alleyn is pursuing the murderer of family friend Lord Robert Gospell (Harold Innocent), fondly known as “Bunchie”. Bunchie was helping Alleyn solve a society extortion case when he got too close to the blackmailer and was killed for it. Devastated and feeling responsible for Bunchie’s death, Alleyn has been pushing himself more than usual, and dealing with suspects more emotionally than usual – even to the extent of rowing with his girlfriend, Agatha Troy (Belinda Lang), who would surely otherwise understand. It’s at about this time that Fox steps in with a little advice, gently admonishing his guv’nor to take better care of himself.
[Fox enters Alleyn’s office with a loaded tea tray.]
Fox [cheerily]: Here we are, sir. Just what the doctor ordered.
[Alleyn doesn’t respond; he’s sitting quietly, chin in hand, obviously hashing over events again and again in his mind.]
The Mirror has a little article up today (June 19, 2019) with the rather lengthy title “Luther season 6: Release date, cast, plot, trailer, Netflix availability.” Right now there is just a lot of speculation as to what is next for our rugged hero in the old coat with very little confirmation. The popular opinion is that the next venture will be a cinematic one.
Luther series 5 ended with both DCI Luther and our favorite smart phone savvy Cockney crim being arrested for various wrongdoings. Honestly, I’ve since lost count of everything they got up to, but it was a lot. Fortunately, that means the chances are good that Patrick Malahide will reprise his role.
Patrick Malahide also ended the season with his character of crime lord George Cornelius behind bars, so he could make a comeback.
Whew! Thank goodness for that because pretty much everyone else is either dead or mostly dead. They also posted this fetching photo of a rather fed-up looking George. I’m pretty sure he’s just thinking about when he will be able to get his kip. Unfortunately, it seems no one sleeps in the Luther-verse until they are ready for their final slumber, if you know what I mean. Stay tuned!
So as usual when Fearless Admin and I get to thinking, we come up with some interesting ideas. And this idea had its basis in the fact that some – more than a few, actually – of Mr. Malahide’s characters die in the course of their stories, and in many different ways. So we got to thinking about which deaths were the most interesting in various ways. As it turns out, there were a lot of deaths to think about, so this will likely run to more than one post. It sounds a bit morbid – okay, it is a bit morbid – but we did have a lot of fun thinking up the categories and which characters would fit into them. And some characters might fit into more than one.
So, let’s begin, shall we? 😉
(“Game of Thrones“, 2012 – 2016)
RF: Balon Greyjoy had a surprising amount of longevity for a “Game of Thrones” character, probably because he was way out in the Iron Islands and was mostly ignored by the heavy hitters, like the Lannisters. So while Balon was fomenting rebellion (again) and doing lots of sulking about Kids These Days, he mostly went unnoticed – except for Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), who went to all the trouble of having him cursed (note: Stannis ended up dying first anyway, HAAAA haaa!).
Despite the fact he actually came out the winner among the Five Kings, Balon is killed one very stormy evening by his brother Euron (Pilou Asbæk), who turns up at Pyke uninvited. Actually, Balon had banished Euron years before, because Euron was too sociopathic even for the Greyjoys, which says something. There’s a brief struggle (Balon certainly doesn’t go quietly; he puts up a heck of a fight and shouts in anger all the way down), but Euron manages to throw him off of one of Pyke’s very slippery, swaying bridges onto the rocks below.
Admin and I thought we’d revisit an older Alleyn episode for a change of pace, so we’re going all the way back to S01E01 of the “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries“, titled “A Man Lay Dead” (1993), based on the Ngaio Marsh novel by the same name. In this episode, Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn (Mr. Malahide) has two murders and two Maguffins to contend with, which end up being connected. The first Maguffin is a silver chalice stolen from a convent, with the would-be thief left behind, dead. The second Maguffin is an ornate reliquary dagger, used in the murder of its rather unsavory owner, Charles Rankin (Robert Reynolds). Alleyn quickly discovers that a German professor of antiquities, Dr. Hans Hoffner (Nickolas Grace), might somehow be involved in the chalice’s theft, and in turn Hoffner is working with a shady antiquities dealer named Dieter Krantz (Michael Feast). In this scene, in order to track down the missing chalice, Alleyn poses as himself – but a version who’s more than willing to participate in the antiquities black market. However, unbeknownst to Alleyn, he’s been tailed to Krantz’s flat by aspiring-to-be-intrepidish reporter Nigel Bathgate (Matthew Lloyd-Davies), who thinks he might be onto a big scoop. Complications soon ensue.
[Alleyn, looking very businesslike with a briefcase and umbrella, enters a flat. Bathgate watches from across the street in a car he’s “borrowed”, trying to be stealthy.]
RF: It definitely seems like Bathgate is very new to this whole “tailing someone for a big scoop” thing. He might as well have a “LEARNER REPORTER” sign on the back of his car.
Admin: I’m pretty sure Bathgate took a wrong turn on the way to Blandings. 🙂 I like him because he is funny, but he is a tad out of place.
RF: Yeah, I wonder if they were thinking of introducing him as a recurring character and this was his try-out.
In 2007, Patrick Malahide appeared on Channel 4 radio as Dr. Tabor in the 2007 Afternoon Play “The Invention of Dr. Cake” adapted by Jonathan Holloway from Andrew Motion’s 2003 novel. Richard McCabe portrays Dr. Cake (if indeed that is his real name…he might actually be a certain Romantic poet) and Claire Higgins is Dr. Cake’s housekeeper, the enigmatic Mrs. Reilly. Since this is a radio play illustrations are ably provided by Wikipedia and a few guest stars. 🙂
Narrated from Dr. Tabor’s perspective, it tells the story of how in the 1840s he travels to the village of Woodham in Essex to meet with Dr. Cake, a physician with considerable success in the treatment of consumption. Dr. Tabor notices how cozy the villagers’ cottages are, their windows open allowing the free flow of air. He finds little of the miserable miasma normally found in small working class villages rife with consumption. This is the work of Dr. Cake who has worked with area farmers to ensure healthy living conditions for the locals.
When he reaches his destination, Dr. Tabor finds that Dr. Cake himself is afflicted with the deadly disease and is reaching the end of his life. However, Dr. Cake is lively in his conversation, and the two men strike up an immediate bond. This is largely due to their shared love of the arts, particularly poetry. Dr. Tabor, we learn, is a huge fan of the Lake District poets, especially John Keats, who died (hmmm?) in 1821 of consumption. Dr. Cake has read and compliments Tabor’s own early efforts in poetry which Tabor humbly dismisses as the romantic fancies of a young man. Continue reading
On the previous episode of “Luther”, as recapped by Fearless Admin, absolutely everyone was in trouble. Luther’s colleague Benny Silver (Michael Smiley) survived kidnapping and torture at George Cornelius’ (Mr. Malahide) hands only to be shot dead by the fearsome Mr. Palmer (Anthony Howell), a grimly efficient hitman hired by George to kill Luther. George still believes Luther had something to do with Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) kidnapping and later killing his son Alistair (Andrew Mullan), after brazenly walking into his (George’s) house disguised as a Russian hooker. George was warned off hassling Luther by Luther’s boss, DSU Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley), in a charmingly nostalgic scene in the back of George’s Jaguar, but it’s safe to say that George doesn’t appear to have taken the warning all that seriously. And Alice is still stuck on her “Option 2”, wanting to kill George for reasons which are a little vague, if not strictly motivated by revenge. Mostly she appears to believe killing George will remove any obstacles to her and Luther running off together. Oh, and serial killer Jeremy Lake (Enzo Cilenti) is still on the loose; his wife Vivien (Hermione Norris) is now in police custody. but refusing to cooperate.
And now, on to the finale! The episode opens with Mr. Palmer giving Luther directions to an out-of-the-way spot where Luther is to exchange himself in return for Alice and Mark’s (Paul McGann) safety. Poor Mark was roped into the whole mess when Luther turned up on his doorstep with Alice and Benny in tow. Palmer is holding Alice and Mark in a warehouse freezer; he seems willing to let Mark go, but not Alice. Luther demands proof that Alice and Mark are still alive, and Palmer sends him a cell phone shot. What did all of these people do before cell phones? And where do they keep finding these abandoned warehouses?
Here is another great article from Cathode Ray’s vintage television listings Twitter feed. The first can be found here. This is from 1985 and gives some insight into Patrick Malahide’s and Meic Povey’s relationship on Minder. It is a fantastic read. You can easily see why they had such amazing on-screen chemistry.