Patrick Malahide in Ten Days to War

"Before we go into informals, we have to make one last push with the undecideds"

Patrick Malahide as Sir Jeremy Greenstock.

In 2008, Patrick Malahide appeared in episode 4, “Why This Rush?” of the BBC’s Ten Days to War, an eight part series of dramatic shorts commissioned by Newsnight and broadcast on BBC Two to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. It is available for viewing via the BBC. You can watch the short here.

At just under 14 minutes, it is indeed very short as well as excellent. There is a lot of detail and intrigue packed into this episode.

Patrick Malahide plays Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who is seeking a United Nations resolution authorizing war on Iraq over Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. The Mexican UN Security Council ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zínser (Tom Conti) cannot support the resolution unless all possible avenues have been exhausted and the existence of such weapons has been properly established. Greenstock becomes concerned that someone, possibly one of the six undecided ambassadors which includes Zínser, might put up a counter resolution against war.

"You surely aren't prepared to let him use them again."

The use of close-up is very effective.

There is a load of tension built into this episode as Greenstock works to secure the resolution and Zínser seeks more time and answers. Greenstock is getting intense political pressure from Prime Minister Tony Blair’s people, while arguing for a resolution that has no consensus. The camera’s use of extreme close-up is incredibly effective, adding to the film’s intensity.

Adolfo: "Jeremy, you have four votes out of fifteen, and you are lecturing us on the importance of unanimity."

Staring intently over his specs.

Mr. Malahide’s performance is captivating.  He is definitely a man under pressure, and he uses his expressive eyes to their full effect as he stares owlishly over his glasses while arguing for the resolution.

Again, “Why This Rush?”  is available on-line.


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Favouritest Grabs Ever – Second Edition

We enjoyed it so much the first time, we’re doing another!  (Or to put it another way, we warned you we might be doing it again.)  Here’s our second set of Favouritest Grabs Ever, featuring grabs Admin and I found especially intriguing, appealing, or entertaining, and why.

RF’s Picks:

Rev. Edward Casaubon does his best Thomas Aquinas impression Favouritest Grabs Ever Second Edition

Rev. Edward Casaubon does his best Thomas Aquinas impression

What’s Going On in This Picture?

RF:  It’s from episode 2 of “Middlemarch” (1995).  The Reverend Edward Casaubon (Mr. Malahide) has brought his new (and much younger) bride, Dorothea (Juliet Aubry) to Rome,  for what would be a romantic honeymoon in anyone else’s hands.  Unfortunately for Dorothea, Casaubon has spent most of the trip holed up in the Vatican library researching for his often-discussed, never-written magnum opus, The Key to All Mythologies, ignoring her pretty thoroughly – except for occasional trips where he tiresomely lectures her on Italian art and architecture.  However, in a rare departure from form, he and Dorothea visit the studios of Naumann, an artist friend of Casaubon’s cousin (not nephew!!), Will Ladislaw (Rufus Sewell), both of whom also happen to be in Rome.  Wanting to sketch and eventually paint Dorothea, Naumann distracts Casaubon from his true purpose by asking him to pose for a portrait of Thomas Aquinas – because they’re so alike, you see – while covertly sketching Dorothea on the side.

Why is This One a Favourite?

RF:  The trip to Naumann’s studio is probably the only time during the entire honeymoon where Casaubon appears to be having something approaching a good time.  You can tell from his expression that he’s incredibly tickled to be asked to portray Aquinas, whom he  admires.  He’s willing to hold still like that for hours!  Naumann has taken exactly the right tack in appealing to Casaubon’s vanity, although in a way that emphasizes his intellectuality; it’s an offer Casaubon can’t refuse.  And he has no idea that it’s all a ruse so Naumann can sketch Dorothea, which Casaubon would likely never have given his consent to otherwise.  However, he’s about to sense a disturbance in the Force when he looks over to his right and sees Will and Dorothea quietly conversing about something, out of earshot.  Whatever can they be discussing??  Is it him??  😉

Admin: So is Casaubon a goth? 😉 That is a very cool picture, and the scene is a fantastic one because I was kind of torn between thinking it was all rather funny, but also being very worried that Casaubon’s feelings would wind up being hurt. Maybe I’m biased, but I think Naumann got it all wrong choosing to sketch Dorothea over Casaubon and poor Yorick there.

RF:  Casaubon was a goth before being a goth was cool:  “I live too much with the dead.”  No wonder Dorothea couldn’t resist him.  😉  I think his feelings were perhaps a bit hurt they were talking without him, but I’m not sure he was experienced enough with communication to exactly understand why; he seemed more puzzled and anxious than jealous about the whole thing.
Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide and Dennis Waterman

The beautiful photo of Dennis Waterman and Patrick Malahide is from The Daily Mail ‘s coverage of George Cole’s funeral.   Dennis Waterman delivered a loving eulogy which can be listened to on The Press Association’s YouTube.    It is very obvious there were a lot of good memories being shared that day.

And, a bit off topic: I can’t help but notice that Mr. Malahide has some stubble on his chin.  That makes us wonder if he is reprising his Balon Greyjoy role for series 6 of Game of Thrones which is currently filming in various locations.

Patrick Malahide and Dennis Waterman remembering George Cole.  Source: The Daily Mail

Patrick Malahide and Dennis Waterman remembering George Cole. Source: The Daily Mail

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Analysis of a Scene XXI: Chisholm and Daley Outside the Courthouse

George Cole: Film and television legend.  22 April 1925 – 5 August 2015

George Cole: Film and television legend. 22 April 1925 – 5 August 2015

RFodchuk and I were very saddened to learn of the death of one of Britain’s most beloved actors, George Cole.  He is probably best known for playing ‘spiv’ type characters such as Flash Harry and our Mr. Chisholm’s nemesis Arthur Daley, but Mr. Cole has a had a very long and varied career playing a multitude of characters.  No wonder he and Patrick Malahide were always clicking with amazing chemistry in every scene they had together in Minder.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage  Mandatory Credit: Photo by Everett/REX Shutterstock (652780a)  'Blue Murder at St Trinian's' - George Cole  'Blue Murder at St Trinian's' film - 1957

Flash Harry from Blue Murder at St Trinian’s Source: The Telegraph: George Cole: far more than just a spiv

RF:  Admin recently introduced me to “The Belles of St. Trinian’s“, and it was wonderful (and hilarious) to see a much younger George Cole as Flash Harry, who might’ve been one of Arthur’s cousins.  He had a great sense of comic timing.

Admin:  And I’m glad you enjoyed it. :-)  The St. Trinian’s films are lovely.

So, in memory to George Cole, here is one of our favorite scenes, from “Poetic Justice, Innit?” in which Daley and Chisholm meet outside the courthouse.

[Daley is chatting with fellow juror Joe (John Bardon) when Chisholm interrupts]

Daley:  I mean who would have thought for a mo….

Chisholm: Well, well…if it isn’t the bold Arthur.

Daley:  Ha! Yeah.  Mr. Chisholm. [Turns to Joe] Business acquaintance Joe, I’ll see you inside.

Joe:  Alright, Arthur, yeah.  [Nods to Chisholm.]  Nice to meet you.

Admin:  Chisholm starts off rather cheerfully here.  That rattled Daley a little bit which seems to please Chisholm.  Daley, however, is pretty quick on his feet and describes Chisholm as a business acquaintance, thus saving face (though I reckon Joe knows exactly what Chisholm is) which is also a way of getting his own back at someone who would *never* consider himself a “business acquaintance” of Arthur’s.

poetic-justice 01

Pretty sure Joe knows he’s a cop.

RF:  That’s right, Chisholm is unusually cordial when he meets Arthur.  I suppose you could say it’s technically true that Chisholm is a “business acquaintance”, although as with most of the ways Arthur describes things, it makes it sound much better than it actually is.  Agreed that Joe probably already knows exactly who Chisholm is; Chisholm has a certain attitude and presence that tend to scream “COP!” wherever he goes, anyway.

Admin: The business of old spivs and perennial cops. :)

Daley: Well, they keeping you busy Mr. Chisholm?

Chisholm:  What are you doing here, Arthur? Up on one, are you?

Daley:  Ha-ha-ha!  Me? No, no, no. You know me, Mr. Chisholm, I keep well away from villainy.  No, no, I’ve just had a lunch break; I’m doing jury service.


“What are you doing here, Arthur? Up on one, are you?”

Admin: Chisholm’s smile is so snidely amused (and tremendously cute) when he asks “up on one.”   I love Daley’s chirpy response, complete with charming smile and finger wave as he says that he keeps well away from villainy.  This is one of the reasons that George Cole’s portrayal of Daley endeared him to the hearts of millions.  Mr. Cole himself couldn’t quite understand why so many people loved Daley (cite: The Express: I Can’t Understand Why Anyone Liked Arthur Daley), but he always played him with so much natural charm that you just couldn’t help but love him.

RF:  Thinking Arthur might be up on charges (and you’re right, he is snarkily amused) makes this one of the few cheery spots in Chisholm’s day.  The poor fellow is already feeling quite paranoid; he’s currently very anxious that D.S. Larry Soames (Michael Culver), his replacement while he’s on court duty, will (1) show him up by doing a better job, and (2) end up being better liked by everybody, especially Jones!  So of course Chisholm would hope that Arthur finally got nicked for something.  And of course Arthur does his usual bit of creative rewriting when he says he “keep[s] well away from villainy”.

Admin:  At least he was fortunate in that no one liked Soames whatsoever. :-) Continue reading

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Officious Gits (Played by Patrick Malahide)

Once again, Fearless Admin and I have stumbled upon a common theme to many of Mr. Malahide’s characters… we’ve noticed that he sometimes plays a lot of Officious Gits, although we mean that in the most appealing and endearing way.  What’s an Officious Git, you may ask?  Oh, just those guys who are the rules sticklers, clipboard carriers, rules followers… because they love having their lives (and everyone else’s) well ordered.  We’ve singled out a few of our favourites for discussion, because Officious Gits need love, too.

Admin:  And, as will become apparent, it is really amazing how different each one of these officious types is from one to the other.  And, also pretty amazing, that despite their stubborn ways (or maybe because?) they manage to be very compelling.  No wonder they are our favourites!

Rev. J.G. Keach  |  Mr. Ralston  |  Inspector Carson  |  Mr. Lancing  |  Ambassador Polidori  | Who’s the Most Officious Git of All?

The Reverend J.G. Keach
(“A Month in the Country“, 1987)

What Makes Him an Officious Git?

Meeting Birkin and becoming aware of his stutter  Officious Gits Played by Patrick Malahide

Meeting Birkin and becoming aware of his stutter

RF:  It appears to be a case of Art versus Commerce.  The Reverend’s fabric fund (he seems to go through a lot of fabric!) is being held hostage by his church’s Executive Committee, effectively forcing him to employ art historian and World War I veteran, Tom Birkin (Colin Firth), to restore a 1400s religious mural.  However, just because Keach has to have Birkin there doesn’t mean Birkin has to enjoy it, so Keach extends the bare minimum of hospitality to him, along with the bare minimum amount of pay – which would likely be a lot less if Birkin had negotiated it with Keach instead of the Executive Committee.  He’s not exactly welcoming, let’s put it that way.

Admin:  Keach satisfies some of the stereotypes about Protestants.  I’m no expert, but I think he might be a “low church”, bare bones kind of guy, so no wonder he extends only the bare minimum of hospitality.  He is also very quick to explain to Brikin why he isn’t in favor of the mural’s restoration:  It would serve as a distraction to his sermon.   He really must be desperate for that fabric to tolerate this.

How Much of an Officious Git is He?

Checking up on Birkin's work

Checking up on Birkin’s work

RF:   As mentioned, Keach offers no luxuries (what others might consider “bare minimum living requirements”) during Birkin’s tenure, not even offering so much as a blanket, lamp, or mattress to ease his stay in Keach’s belfry (an actual belfry with a very loud bell in it, not a metaphorical one).  No meals, either.  And no fraternizing with Keach’s gorgeous wife!  However, he’s not officious to the point where he’s constantly checking up on Birkin’s work, either, because he shows complete disinterest – one might even say antipathy – towards the mural.  But he is extremely officious when it comes to calculating Birkin’s salary.

Admin:  And of course much of that antipathy stems from his fear of being overshadowed by the mural.  So, he’s officious, but he has his limits.  I think a lot of his officiousness also stems from a general sense of awkwardness.  Keep in mind that he was kind of left out of the decision making aspect of the committee.  He called it an oversight, but it is probably very likely that they just didn’t think to (or want to) include him.  That probably had a big effect on him.

RF:  That’s true, Keach was completely left out of the decision-making and seems to feel a bit put out by it, even though he attempts to explain it away.  So basically the committee has done an end run around him for a mural he doesn’t want, for money he’s unwilling to spend, and an art restorer he’s unwilling to host – you’re right, he must really want that fabric!  Perhaps his being officious is a means of trying to regain some control.

Admin:  It is probably is.  He’s determined to flex some authority and get his oar in somehow.
Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide as Patrick Brontë in “In Search of the Brontës”, Part 2

"Finally got around to recapping part 2, did you?"  Patrick Malahide as Patrick Brontë in "In Search of the Brontës", Part 2

“Finally got around to recapping part 2, did you?”

Okay, so… a while ago (*ahem*2013*ahem*) I reviewed Part 1 of “In Search of the Brontës” (2003), in which Patrick Malahide portrayed the Reverend Patrick Brontë, father of the famous writing siblings.  Admin, who had recently read Bertram White’s The Miracle at Haworth at the time, was kind enough to provide some of her own extremely insightful contributions to that post.  So here, now, only two years later and without further ado, is Part 2!

Haworth’s New Parson

The parson and his family arrive at Haworth

The parson and his family arrive at Haworth

Well, perhaps just a little ado first – a brief recap.  Part 1 of this excellent docudrama covered the Brontës’ lives upon their arrival in Haworth, Yorkshire, in 1820, where the Rev. Brontë assumed a post as parson.  Using a combination of personal “interviews” and reminiscences, quoted writings, and dramatic reconstructions, we become acquainted with the Brontës’ life in Yorkshire in their first real family home.  Sadly, their happiness was to be tested when Maria Brontë perished from uterine cancer only a few months later, leaving Rev. Brontë as a single father to six small children, all under seven years of age.

Educating his children using current events

Educating his children using current events

Unsuccessful in his attempts to remarry (for some reason, a penniless parson with six children wasn’t considered the best catch by the eligible local ladies), Brontë raised and educated the children on his own, employing  unconventional methods designed to enhance his children’s critical, independent thinking.  Once they’d reached an age for higher education, the two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, were eventually sent to the Cowan Bridge School, immortalized as the deplorable “Lowood School” in Jane Eyre.  Poor conditions at the school likely contributed to their deaths from consumption (tuberculosis) not long after their mother’s.  The remaining siblings – Branwell, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne – were deeply affected by these deaths, and took comfort in creating stories set in elaborate, shared fantasy worlds as a form of refuge.  Later, the girls tried to find employment as governesses or teachers while their brother Branwell, fired from his railway job, became a tutor.

The Brontës in Upheaval

As Part 2, “Gone Like Dreams”, opens, it’s now 1844.  Charlotte (Victoria Hamilton) and Emily (Elizabeth Hurran) have been studying French in Belgium under a Monsieur Héger (Ed Stoppard) in an attempt to make themselves more desirable as teachers, with the unintended consequence that Charlotte has developed an intense but unrequited crush on her teacher.  Disliking the entire experience and suffering from homesickness, Emily soon returns to Yorkshire.  Meanwhile, Anne (Alexandra Milman) has been governessing for a wealthy family, the Robinsons, while her brother Branwell (Jonathan McGuinness) tutors their children – and rashly embarks upon an affair with his employer’s wife.  Already unhappy with her job, Anne quits in disgust when she finds out what her brother’s been up to.
Continue for more synopsis and a gallery

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Random Malahide Picture 12

Found on Ebay (link goes to seller’s listings):  A really interesting photo of Patrick Malahide in front of what appears to be a pub.  I don’t know if this is from a film, television show or  even a candid.  I wondered if it might be from a 1984 series he appeared in with David Warner called Charlie, but I have no idea.


Charlie by Nigel Williams

Speaking of which, I recently acquired a copy of the novelized version of Charlie by Nigel Williams, so I’ll find out what Saul (Mr. Malahide’s character) is all about and will recap that. I think it is another series that ITV needs to get out on DVD.


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Something Neat XXVIII: “Indian Summers” Publicity Stills

You find the most interesting things when you peruse the internet late at night!  Here are four new (to me) “Indian Summers” publicity and/or behind-the-scenes stills.  I suspect they’re actually behind-the-scenes shots because they don’t look as formally posed as most publicity stills do.

First, we have a couple of glimpses of the Viceroy in episode four, from an Estonian site.  It’s a slightly different angle on the gamebird plucking scene, in which we got a sense of Lord Willingdon’s fatherly/avuncular relationship with Ralph (Henry Lloyd-Hughes).  Note the huge cleaver off to one side (eeeuuuwww…) which I’m almost certain wasn’t visible in the scene as it was broadcast, as well as the poor, teeny-weeny plucked bird!  :-(  Also note the attendant holding Lord W’s coat at the ready.  No coathangers, wire or otherwise, for the Viceroy!

Patrick Malahide in "Indian Summers" Publicity Stills

And here’s everyone at dinner that evening.  Or not quite at dinner, since all the plates are spotlessly clean, although the food (including those teeny-weeny gamebirds) is ready and waiting.  I would’ve expected more silverware, though.  Naturally, Lord W. gets the best spot at the head of the table.

Patrick Malahide in "Indian Summers" Publicity Stills2
And from the DESIblitz site, we have a couple of shots of the Viceroy’s meeting with the Nawab of Jaffran (Silas Carson) in episode nine.  I wish they’d left this rather grand-looking procession in the episode; the entire entourage is arranged strictly by hierarchy, with the Nawab and Lord W. out in front, Viceregal bodyguard Captain Percy close behind, and a rather grim-looking undersecretary following the Viceregal attendants.  Not to be outdone, the Nawab’s stalwart Pekinese bearers, with the Pekes in formal wear for the occasion, bring up the rear.

Patrick Malahide in "Indian Summers" Publicity Stills3
And finally, we have a somewhat perplexed Lord W. wondering what to make of the (very tall) Nawab, perhaps just after the latter’s remark about what Ralph (and the rest of the British) should do “once [they] are all finished here”.  Or maybe it’s after Lord W. has been abandoned by Ralph and is just realizing he’ll have to do all the negotiating on his own.

Patrick Malahide in "Indian Summers" Publicity Stills4
Well, Lord W. did say the Nawab was “an entertaining fellow”.  😉  Perhaps he would’ve had a less stressful time if he’d called in Mrs. Viceroy to handle the negotiations.  Anyway, it was very interesting to see these scenes from a slightly different vantage point; hopefully more behind-the-scenes pictures (and perhaps videos?) will pop up for series 1 and 2.

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National Theatre: On Demand. In Schools – Hamlet

"I have to write a report on Hamlet and I still haven't read it."

“Man! I have to turn in that report on Hamlet tomorrow, and I still haven’t read it.”

Found on YouTube, From the National Theatre:

From September 2015, classrooms across the UK will be able to stream the National Theatre’s smash-hit productions of Hamlet, Othello and Frankenstein, for education purposes.

Each play is curriculum-linked and will be supported by comprehensive learning resources produced by teachers and leading artists.

The streaming service for UK schools is free to use and available on demand. No special software is required to watch the streams, and streams can be viewed on multiple devices.

Productions are recorded in high definition in front of a live theatre audience by National Theatre Live. Recordings are chaptered so you can jump straight to the scene you need, and you can watch the production as many times as you wish.

This service is available exclusively to UK teachers and schools.

Cool!  Doesn’t do me much good here in the States.  That’s OK, I read Hamlet in high school any old how.  Of course, in the National Theatre adaptation, Patrick Malahide plays dear old, long suffering Uncle Claudius who has to put up with Rory Kinnear’s bratty emo kid Hamlet.  At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes. :-)

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A Month in the Country on Blu-Ray


“Oh great!  Now I suppose I have to buy a Blu-Ray player.”

Screen Archives has pre-orders available for an upcoming July 14, 2015 Blu-Ray edition of A Month in the Country.  You can read RFodchuk’s recap of this most excellent film here.

Patrick Malahide plays the seemingly morose, but rather more complex, Reverend Keach.  He gives a wonderful performance, and it is such an overall brilliant and engaging film.  I highly recommend it.

The Blu-Ray addition will have Special Features: Isolated Music & Effects Track / Audio Commentary with Film Historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman / Original Theatrical Trailer and is a limited edition of 3,000 units.

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