Analysis of a Scene XXXV Remembering Meic Povey

Chisholm Jones "A man's best friend is his Druid" memeRFodchuk and I were very saddened to hear that the lovely Meic Povey passed away December 5th. His portrayal of DC Jones was perfect, and his chemistry with Patrick Malahide’s DS Chisholm is always a joy to watch. After leaving Minder, Mr. Povey went on to a highly successful and acclaimed career as a playwright, often writing in his native Welsh language. He will be missed very, very much.

In honor of his contribution to Minder, we’ve decided to pick a couple of our favorite DC Jones moments. This is no easy task as Jones provided many excellent Minder moments with his guv DS Chisholm.

Admin’s choice: The Return of the Invincible Man

Chisholm and Jones doing a little stakeout behind a white van.

Admin: My choice is their closing scene in “Return of the Invincible Man” (recapped here). Chisholm is determined to nab Arthur for a robbery at tailor Solly Solomon’s business but nothing is coming together. After main witness/suspect Scotch Harry (who managed to get himself injured while blowing up Solly’s safe) has escaped from the hospital our intrepid duo are left with very little to go on.

[A white van is parked outside Solly’s. Chisholm and Jones can be seen through its windows standing on the other side.]

Admin:  I love the set up which is funny from the get go.  The sight of Chisholm and Jones loitering around that squalid place in miserable weather immediately lets you know how seriously Chisholm is taking this.  But is Jones taking it quite as seriously?

RF:  What makes it even better is knowing that Chisholm is suffering from a crashing hangover at the time (having gotten completely snockered in the Winchester the night before) and is miserably freezing his butt off, while Jones appears impervious to the weather.  I also love that Chisholm’s feet are so plainly visible behind the van.  Perhaps he needs a little help with the “hiding” thing.

Admin:  That is sweet the way the feet are showing there. 🙂 Continue reading

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The Reporter by Peter May — Review

Turns out he’s as hard as he looks.

Time to review Peter May’s “The Reporter”, the novel based on the television series “The Standard“. It is a fun, entertaining and snappy book. “The Reporter” is very much a straight up thriller which makes it a quick and enjoyable read.

Action Thriller

I wasn’t actually expecting it to be such a action-packed thriller. I thought it would be more of a newspaper/office politics drama with action taking place in the Standard’s office, but actually there was very little taking place there. Felicity and Peter Dawson, characters who have front and center roles in the first episode of “The Standard” which RFodchuk and I have been lucky enough to see and review, make only cursory appearances in the novel. Alex Forsyth, a character who is sort of Colin’s rival, figures more heavily, but even he isn’t seen or heard from much.

Peter Dawson barely figures in the novel.

Instead, Colin conducts some very intense investigative reporting which takes him and his research assistant Janis Sinclair all over Europe. He is looking into a string of North Sea disasters that have been giving the UK’s oil industry loads of grief.

I won’t go into details about the investigation since it is all very convoluted, and I’d rather focus on Colin’s character development. But, some of his discoveries remind me of the television series “Hunted“. Colin falls foul of a mysterious company ran by an even more mysterious character named Grebbs. Little is known about this shadowy German, but when he is finally revealed he is described (in my opinion) as being a dead ringer for Ronald Lacey. You know, the melting Nazi in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and a slimy crim on “Minder on the Orient Express“.

Gotta have at least a couple of henchmen around

Jack Turner could probably relate to Colin.

Well, Grebbs’ company has been subtly bought out and infiltrated by various Arab interests. They are looking to destroy British oil independence by orchestrating oil rig disasters and creating various other economic shenanigans via blackmail and deceit. It reminds me of Polyhedrus, the secretive conglomerate in “Hunted” who were doing their level best to destroy our hero (yes, our hero) Jack Turner and thwart his plan of dominating international water rights via his company Turner Holdings. Just swap oil for water and you’re there. 😉 Continue reading

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The Coppers (Played by Patrick Malahide)

Back in July we covered some of the London gangsters Patrick Malahide has played.  Well, this time around we’ll discuss the guys on the right side of the law:  The Coppers!  Mr. Malahide is just as likely to play the person making the arrests as he is to play the guy under arrest, and that is one of the many reasons we admire him so much.

D.I. Brennan | D.S. Chisholm | Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn | Assistant Commissioner Henry | An Honorable Mention | The Top Guv

Admin:  My coppers are….

D.I. Brennan
(“Amnesia“, 2004)

Style of Copper

...with the "dad" glasses on.

D.I. Brennan, hands on copper.

D.I. Brennan is a very hands on guv.  He doesn’t just sit at a desk demanding status reports from his subordinates.  Brennan is far more likely to get out there and do a bit of investigating himself.  He brilliantly defies the “your job is on the line” trope, despite the fact that some of his officers’ jobs actually are on the line, by lending massive support to those he respects and trusts.   With his compassion, daring and intuitiveness,  he’s the sort of copper who could carry his own show.  A “D.I. Brennan” spinoff would have been excellent.

What Is His Average Day Like?

Doing a little b&e... just as a sort of hobby...

Breaking and entering is just a normal part of the job, right?

His average day is…complicated.  It is awfully hard trusting your officers when you’re kind of suspecting one (or maybe even two) of them of murder.  That is why he has to be such a hands on Inspector.  He never knows when he might have to do a little breaking and entering into one of his sergeant’s homes, looking for any possible evidence that might clear him of or suggest his guilt of murdering his missing wife.  But, being evidently prepared for such uncertainties, he has the skills of a master lockpick.  If he wasn’t fighting the good fight, he’d make a stellar cat burglar.  His preparedness also comes through via his sensible pair of wellies as they search for D.S. Stone’s wife.  He’s ready for any eventuality.

Who Is His Watson?

D.C. Reid, not the most trustworthy of Watsons.

He doesn’t have the best Watson, I’m afraid.  He’s stuck with the somewhat weaselly D.C. Reid (Brendan Coyle) who suspects the emotionally shattered D.S. Mackenzie Stone (John Hannah) of having killed his wife.  Stone’s wife that is, not Reid’s.  Later we learn, much to the old-school Brennan’s disgust, that Reid had been having an affair with lady in question before her disappearance.  Brennan frowns upon blokes who sleep with their best mates’ wives.  Anyway, it all throws something of a spanner in the works when Brennan realizes his Watson might actually be closer to his Moriarty.  Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.  By the end of drama, Stone is fully exonerated (his wife wasn’t dead after all, hooray) and Reid is shown for the louse he is.

Is He a People Policeman?

...and wondering what happened to Dean/West after he jumped.

Brennan really does care about his team.

You better believe he is.  He isn’t the slightest bit afraid to get entrenched in the private lives of his officers if that is what it takes.  He isn’t nosy or controlling or anything nor does his concern stem from micro-managing.  He genuinely sees them as men and women who sometimes need his help.  It is almost a paternal type of concern but not in a condescending or sickly sweet sort of way.  That is not to say he treats everyone with kid gloves.  He has no problem grilling D.C. Reid and letting him know what he thinks about his behavior.  Again, though, unvarnished honesty is sometimes part of being a people person….or rather policeman. Continue reading

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Something Neat XXXIX: The Reporter by Peter May Pt 2


Back in 2014, RFodchuk posted (link here) a Something Neat about Peter May‘s novel “The Reporter”, based on the television series “The Standard“.  “The Standard” has been a bit of fixation around here as it is a series we both truly want to see.  We were lucky enough to watch the first episode, recapped here, but lets just say we want more!

Well, I’ve finally managed to get more.  I was able to find “The Reporter” at a reasonable price.  It is usually prohibitively expensive, so I was delighted to find a very affordable copy.

I’ve just started reading it and am enjoying it very much.  I’ll do a full recap later.  I’ve already learned some interesting things about Colin Anderson’s background, but I have no idea if these were ever detailed in the series because BBC hasn’t put it on DVD.  Tsk, tsk!

A determined investigative reporter.

Anyway, here is a nice close up of the newspaper portion of the cover, so you can enjoy a good clear look at the dashing Colin looking all intense and investigative.

And just for a taste, here is a brief description of Colin from the unpleasant vantage point of Alex Forsyth, The Standard’s industrial correspondent, a character who is jealous of the confident Colin.

He was not particularly tall.  Perhaps five feet ten or eleven, a lean figure that embodied a strange sense of power.  His dark hair was cut short, thinning on top, blown by the wind.  Lips were a little too full, and his nose a little too pointed, blue eyes set a little too deep.  Forsyth thought him ugly and wondered what Janis saw in him.”

Jealousy is even uglier, Forsyth!  Janis is Janis Sinclair, a young research assistant who likes (more like fancies) Colin quite a bit.

As I mentioned before, I’ll do a full recap later after I’ve read it.  By the way, this will actually be the second Peter May book I’ve read.  I also read his novel “Coffin Road” which I enjoyed immensely.  I really recommend it.  It draws somewhat upon the real life tragedy of the Flannan Isles Lighthouse where three keepers vanished in 1900.  “The Reporter,” with its graphic description of the dangers of oil rigging in the North Sea reminded me once again of that horrific lighthouse tragedy.

But, I’ll close on a brighter note.  I also have a 1978 issue of the Radio Times featuring “The Standard” on its front cover.  It is a very cool cover, so enjoy!


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Analysis of a Scene XXXIV: A Library Tryst in “Boon: In It for the Monet”

Enjoying a tryst between the shelves

Enjoying a tryst between the shelves

And now for something completely different!  In 1989, Patrick Malahide played the caddish Art History professor, Dr. Michael Harrison, in the S04E07 episode of “Boon”, titled “In It for the Monet“.   The eponymous Ken Boon (Michael Elphick), a retired firefighter turned private investigator, has been hired by the parents of art student Isobel Sheridan (Clare Holman) to figure out where, why, and how Isobel seems to have so much disposable cash lately.  Boon has set a couple of his associates, Rocky Cassidy (Neil Morrisey) and Laura Marsh (Elizabeth Carling), to tail Isobel around her university to find out what she does and who she meets with.  In the process, they discover that Isobel’s relationship with Dr. Harrison is rather more intimate than just that of student and teacher.

Isobel, who has been partying all night, has been in the library most of the day working on something,  By this time, both Rocky and Laura are convinced that she’s “on the game“, which is where they believe her money must be coming from, with Harrison involved as well.  However, Boon wants them to collect more conclusive evidence before he talks to Isobel’s parents, so Rocky has been staking out Isobel in the library for a few hours while trying to pass as a student.  It’s uneventful until Isobel meets Dr. Harrison between the shelves.

[Isobel is re-shelving a book when Dr. Harrison saunters up behind her.  It’s a definite saunter.  He leans over and plants a kiss on the back of her neck.  Rocky looks on with an expression of shocked horror.]

Isobel [whispering]:  Where were you until six o’clock this morning?

Sauntering up to Isobel and giving her a kiss on the back of the neck Patrick Malahide in "Boon: In It for the Monet"

Sauntering up to Isobel and giving her a kiss
on the back of the neck

RF:  Well, if we didn’t already suspect there was a lot more going on between them than met the eye, that familiar little kiss to the back of Isobel’s neck and her asking Harrison where he was until six o’clock in the morning (in a somewhat jealous and accusatory tone) would cement the deal.  😮  Hardly the usual sort of thing between a teacher and student!  But there’s a lot of familiarity to it, like they’ve done this a lot before.

Admin: Oh, I do love the way he casually saunters up.  He is so utterly confident and completely full of himself, but not in a swaggering way.  He’s like a smug cat. Isobel is very fetching with the very direct way she wonders what he has been up to.
Continue reading

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It’s a Meme! 47 – Halloween Edition

Admin:  Horrible Halloween everybody, from The Appreciation.

RF:  Happy Halloween, everyone!  🙂

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If Malahide Characters Went Halloweening…

Patrick Malahide as Uncle Ebenezer : Kidnapped

It was a dark and stormy night.

It’s almost Halloween, so Fearless Admin and I decided it was time for something a little silly:  how would various Malahide characters enjoy Halloween?  Or would they?    Or would they mostly use it as an opportunity to terrorize all the children and steal all the candy in their vicinity?  We like to think they’d approach it something like this…



Mr. Quarles  |  Mr. Hastymite  |  Robert “Limbo” Ridley  |  Ebenezer Balfour  |
Edward Casaubon  |  Best Halloweener of All

RF:  My choices are…

Mr. Quarles
(“After the War“, 1989)

Favourite Halloween Activity:

Tossing the students' dorm for contraband candy. If Malahlide Characters Went Halloweening

Tossing the students’ dorm for contraband candy.

Confiscating candy from students, natch.  It’s bad for his charges’ teeth and health, their hands get all sticky and leave smeary fingerprints everywhere, or they forget where they’ve left their chocolate bars and they melt or get sat on, or end up squished inside text books; and the wrappers turn the dormitories into a tip or make annoying rustling sounds when the little gremlins try to sneak it in class…  So on Halloween, no one gets any candy.  No exceptions.  But it wouldn’t be patriotic for all that candy to go to waste, so I think Admin is right that Mr. Quarles selflessly takes it upon himself to dispose of it in his room later, with a bottle of port and maybe a film star magazine or two (also confiscated) for entertainment.

What’s His Favourite Candy?

I suspect that Mr. Quarles is a licorice allsorts kind of guy.  They were probably a candy he grew up with, congealed into a solid lump in his nan’s candy bowl because they were rarely eaten and were mostly for show (“Those are for company!”).  But I also think he’d be equal opportunity for anything really sugary – because sugar is being rationed and shouldn’t go to waste, you know.  Plus he burns up lots of carbs supervising his charges.
Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide as Dirk-Brown in “Smack and Thistle”

Dirk-Brown, gangster turning legitimate business man.

In 1991 Patrick Malahide appeared as gangster turned business man Terrence Dirk-Brown in the TV movie “Smack and Thistle”. It is an interesting film that effectively combines crime, humour and romance.

RF:  It was a complete surprise that we actually managed to happen upon “Smack and Thistle”, since it seemed to be one of Mr. Malahide’s works that was no longer available.  I’m very glad that we got the opportunity to watch it.

Smack and Thistle: Main Plot

Admin: The basic plot centers around a young man named Abel (Charlie Caine) who is working on turning his life around. He is giving up crime to study to become a plumber. Of course, all his criminal buddies think that is ridiculous, but that seems to stem from the fact they regularly rely on his smarts and cunning.

Abel finds the papers in the briefcase.

RF:  Abel does appear to have a bit of a gambling problem, but it seems like he gambles until he simply doesn’t have any more money.  He’s friends with the local gambling hall owner and knows most of the regulars, which helps.

Admin: Abel winds up with a stolen briefcase containing documents pertaining to a deal between Dirk-Brown, an MP named Wilks (James Saxon), and the very posh Sir Horace Wimbol (Geoffrey Palmer). The contents lead Abel to Wimbol’s property for one last heist where he meets and quickly falls in love with Wimbol’s beautiful but sadly very heroin addicted daughter Elizabeth (Rosalind Bennett).

Excitement ensues as Dirk-Brown attempts to retrieve the briefcase, Abel gets wrongly caught up in a post office heist gone wrong, and Elizabeth works to come off heroin for good.

RF:  Hmmm, Jack Turner could’ve warned Dirk-Brown that Mysterious Briefcases always lead to trouble.  But the briefcase is just the maguffin that brings them all together.

Terrence Dirk-Brown, Gangster Turned Entrepreneur

Finalizing a deal.

Admin: We first see Dirk-Brown as he’s finalizing a deal with Sir Horace Wimbol, an American firm called ABA Investments and MP Wilks. Dirk-Brown’s firm Barcham Electronics will soon be expanding into Europe, and he’s super excited and pleased with himself. Dirk-Brown seems almost in awe of Sir Horace, like a kid who has finally been allowed to sit at the cool table.

He turns to Wilks, telling him “That should keep your voters happy, hey?” But, Wilks looks absolutely miserable. Dirk-Brown clearly notices, but now is not the time to ask questions. Wilks has every reason to look miserable because earlier a rent boy who had been servicing him in the men’s toilets only went and stole the briefcase containing all the pertinent details to the deal. The rent boy, a junkie named Ariel (Steve Sweeney),

Notices Wilks’ distress.

handed the briefcase over to Abel in hopes that he might be able to open it without damaging it. So, as far as Wilks is concerned it is lost, and he is in big trouble.

RF:  It’s hard to say who he’s more frightened of, Dirk-Brown or Sir Horace.   I think he has more to be worried about from the former.  Dirk-Brown does indeed look very pleased to have gotten a seat at the cool table, although Sir Horace’s lackey wastes no time subtly chasing him out of Sir Horace’s office.  It also looks as though the meeting was arranged for after-hours, when no one would see Dirk-Brown coming or going.  However, I do have to mention that Dirk-Brown is extremely well-dressed, wearing a well-tailored suit with a lovely grey overcoat to match.  He’s obviously a high-powered gangster type. Continue reading

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Historical Figures (Played by Patrick Malahide)

Admin and I realized the other day that Patrick Malahide has played a number of historical characters in his career, with quite a bit of attention paid as to portraying them as accurately as possible.  We thought it would be an interesting idea to contrast those portrayals with the real thing – or at least, as much of the real thing as we can find out, since we don’t have a TARDIS yet (nertz!).  So, here are a few of our favourite historical figures (played by Patrick Malahide).

Sir Francis Walsingham  |  Rev. Patrick Brontë  |  Lord Willingdon  |  Sir John Conroy  |  Maj.-Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery

RF:  My favourite historical figures are…

Sir Francis Walsingham
(“Elizabeth I“, 2005)

Who Was He?

Elizabeth I's favourite spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham Historical Figures (Played by Patrick Malahide)

Elizabeth I’s favourite spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham

He was Elizabeth I’s (Helen Mirren) spymaster and was largely responsible for her longevity on the English throne, along with William and Robert Cecil.  He had a network of spies stretching across Europe and made it his business to know what Elizabeth’s enemies were planning, possibly before they knew they were planning it themselves.

What Is His Motivation?

A vital part of the power behind Elizabeth's throne

A vital part of the power behind Elizabeth’s throne

He was devoted to the cause of keeping Elizabeth in power, possibly because he would’ve regarded a Catholic monarch as being much worse.  He also wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty from time to time, resorting to underhanded or deceptive methods to get things done.  Elizabeth apparently didn’t like him all that much, but she found him extremely useful.  So, his motivation is almost entirely devotion to his Queen, with a smattering of sticking it to the Earls of Leicester (Jeremy Irons) and Essex (Hugh Dancy) along the way.  Fortunately, William and Robert Cecil agree with him about how unbearable Leicester and Essex are.

Who Wore it Better?

The real Sir Francis versus the fictional Sir Francis<br>(Image source: Wikipedia)

The real Sir Francis versus the fictional Sir Francis
(Image source: Wikipedia)

We-elll, there’s a slight possibility I’m biased, but I’d have to say Mr. Malahide is an improvement on the original.  He decided to opt out of the starched ruff while keeping the goatee and the austere, imposing all-black outfit.  We only saw him in one costume, unfortunately.  Or perhaps Walsy just had a bunch of interchangeable costumes that were all the same, to save time when picking out his wardrobe in the morning.  Also, perfect for sneaking around at night.  I’d have to say Mr. Malahide wins this one.  😉

Would You Invite Him to Stay the Weekend?

Hopefully he wouldn't spend the entire weekend working...

Hopefully he wouldn’t spend the entire weekend working…

I would!  Mind you, by the time Saturday was done, he’d have already snooped through all of my private papers and hard drive, gotten all of my passwords, checked out my finances, figured out who all of my friends and family are and where they live, and ascertained how many library books I have signed out.  Then he’d probably spend Sunday skulking around looking for spies and sending secret messages.  But it would still be fun!

What Would He Be Doing Now?

He might have to give up quill pens, though.

He might have to give up quill pens, though.

For someone with as much talent for espionage and skullduggery as Sir Francis, his talents would never go to waste.  He would probably be near the top, if not at the top, of MI5, putting his abilities to good use.  The technologies would have changed, but I’m sure Sir Francis would get caught up.  He’d probably appreciate all the innovations since his time, and he’d be working for another Queen Elizabeth again.

Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide to Talk About The Changing Spaces of Television Acting

Making the big announcement of Isobel's scholarship in a student art gallery.

I’d pay to hear him talk about the arts.

This is super exciting!  On October 6, Patrick Malahide will be taking part in a book launch for Richard Hewett’s “The Changing Spaces of Television Acting” at HOME in Manchester.  Details here.  Quoted from the link:

You are invited to the launch of The changing spaces of Television acting on Friday 6 October at HOME. The launch will be held in the Event Space from 7.30 pm. Following a brief presentation on the background to and findings of the book, the author will be holding a question and answer session with one of the interviewees in the book, Patrick Malahide, whose television career includes roles in Minder (ITV, 1979-93), The Singing Detective (BBC, 1986), Middlemarch (BBC, 1993), Survivors (BBC, 2008-10), Luther (BBC, 2010- ) and Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011- ). Mr Malahide will also take questions from the audience.

Oy! Don’t drink all the complimentary wine.

Complimentary wine will be offered, and (non-complimentary) drinks will of course be available from the HOME bar throughout the evening.

How cool is that?  It sounds absolutely fascinating.  Mr. Malahide has been involved in so many wonderful, important and diverse television productions over the years, so he is a perfect choice for such a discussion.  RFodchuk and I wish we could be there.  Hopefully some sort of a transcript (or maybe even a YouTube video) will be available after the talk.  Fingers crossed!

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