Well, like most of the globe right now, Admin and I are stuck at home. It’s a very strange and surreal situation to be in, and more than a little worrying. We also hope that Mr. Malahide is keeping himself safe and healthy during this time. BUT… nonetheless, we got to wondering how various Malahide characters would handle the situation we’re facing now, and we thought it might be a good distraction to post about them.
RF: My choices are:
This is a bit of a no-brainer as we already have ample evidence as to what crimelord Jack Turner is like when he’s cooped up. The words “caged tiger” spring to mind. Even though Jack had a pretty big house for just him, his son Stevie (Stephen Campbell Moore), and grandson Eddie (Oscar Kennedy) – okay, and a few henchmen plus his right-hand man, Bingham (Tom Beard) – it seemed like any amount of confinement was unendurable for Jack. He’s very naturally an active guy, and staying at home all day just isn’t his thing. In the early part of the series, it seemed like he was stomping around his basement just to work off some tension. He’s the kind of guy who likes to be out and about so he be aware of what’s going on in his universe and be “hands-on” when he thinks it’s needed. So I think he’d definitely go a little stir-crazy if he was forced to stay inside for any length of time. Certainly after we’d seen Jack cooped up for a while in the first couple of episodes, it was something of a relief to see him finally let outside to get into some action. He’s not much of an online/tech-savvy guy either, so it’s not like he can Skype with all of his criminal contacts and do business that way.
That said, I’m not sure Jack would just passively obey the rules, even if it was for his own good. I have the feeling he’d sneak out after hours whenever possible and get some take-away, or perhaps just drive around on the now-deserted carriageways a little (or a lot) too fast. He might get nabbed by CCTV and speed cameras, but we already know that Jack has connections on the police force that would surely be only too happy to rip up any tickets he might get. All of this is assuming he’d prefer to stay in London and he doesn’t have a nice country estate being held in reserve. But I think Jack would go even more stir-crazy on a country estate than he would in self-isolation in London.
All of this aside, Jack would probably excel at social distancing, even if it wasn’t on purpose. As Admin astutely noted, anyone with an ounce of sense would do the social distancing for him, global pandemic or no. Covid-19 just provides that extra little bit of incentive. When it comes to sharks, tigers, Jack, and various other predators, it’s just better to keep your distance and try not to attract their attention.
The Rev. Edward Casaubon
Unlike Jack, the Rev. Edward Casaubon would be perfectly content with being forced to stay at home. He’s a bit of a homebody as it is; while he’s done some travelling to Rome and probably a few other places, it’s not like he did a lot of sightseeing. Mostly he was there to look at the insides of libraries, and then the insides of books. He and wife Dorothea (Juliet Aubrey) did visit some of Rome’s notable attractions and sights, but it was mostly for the purpose of Education and Improvement™ for Dorothea, which is probably one of the most boring reasons to sightsee – or at least, it is when Casaubon is doing the narrating. He did rather manage to suck all the joy out of the experience. If there were any way for him to bring the books to him rather than going to find them himself, he would probably much prefer that. He’d likely get so caught up in poring through tomes that he wouldn’t even realize the day had turned into night and back into day again, unless Dorothea bugged him about it.
So, I think Casaubon would adapt to being stuck at home with great ease and alacrity. As long as he’s got his books and someone occasionally prepares his meals and brings him tea, he’d be perfectly fine; he has the additional reason that his health is somewhat fragile, too. He’d get his curate to do his sermons for him or just close down his church for the duration. Once the need for social distance and self-isolation was over, he’d most likely be a bit disappointed that his world was about to become so noisy and intrusive again. He’d also get LOADS of research done – but it would all go into those notebooks of his to be sorted later. He certainly wouldn’t use the time to make any progress on The Key to All Mythologies, even though he’d probably say he would. It’s just too comforting to have a big, unfinished project he can point to as something he’s working on, without actually doing a lot of work on it.
Admin: And my lonely boys are:
(“The One Game“, 1988)
If there were ever a person ideally suited for the social isolation and quarantining aspect of a pandemic it is Magnus. Just give him a computer and modem, and he’ll be financially secure, though it’ll be at the expense of whatever corporation he happens to have a beef with at the time. Boredom won’t bother him in the least. He’ll focus on whatever esoteric and near impossible puzzles he has on hand to solve, and he’ll have a lot of them about. And honestly, he wouldn’t even need loads of puzzles. I think Magnus is the kind of guy who could get endless fun out of a simple deck of cards. He’d know more difficult solitaire based games than you can shake your six-foot distance stick at. You know he’ll also have a vast eclectic library which will give him centuries worth of sound advice on maintaining a huge home-based garden for both nutritional and healing purposes. In most regards, I think he’d be happy.
His only issue is that he’d want a Guinevere of his very own to share it all with. That’s where poor, ol’ Magnus tends to falter. He just hasn’t had much luck with women. That’s mostly down to his nemesis Nick (Stephen Dillane) who tends to let women drown when he’s not busy stealing them from Magnus. Magnus also suffers from a need to concoct needlessly complicated revenge plans that use a whole roster of dodgy-looking cohorts who I doubt follow the strict WHO recommended hand-washing guidelines. His social circle is small, but it is still a decidedly risky one. My advice to Magnus would be to read some of those ancient philosophy and spiritual books on forgiveness that he’s allowed to collect dust over the years. A more grounded Magnus would be a much healthier Magnus, and he’s far too interesting, intelligent and charismatic to allow old grievances to bring him harm.
(“The Blackheath Poisonings“, 1992)
Dangerfield is the exact opposite. He is an adventurer who loves getting out there and rubbing shoulders with all and sundry. He enjoys social drinking, fine dining, intense flirting (to the point of being an inappropriate pest), gambling, traveling, doing business, dressing up, dressing down, loitering in parks, loitering in general, and being a wannabe Hooray Henry. He’s also intensely curious and has a knack for solving mysteries which is typically his best quality, but snooping isn’t a best practice during a time of self-isolation.
On the plus side, he is fortunate enough to live in a big, creepy, unwelcoming house with a rich isolationist family, and large secluded garden area. Also, he’s a toy manufacturer which means he’ll be able to at the very least run a mail-order business selling educational games and developmental toys that all the parents who are now homeschooling will be very anxious to buy. Thank goodness for that. Now he’ll finally be able to sell off that stock of impossible puzzle games he purchased from that weird yet dashing, bearded, travelling peddler. What was that guy’s name?
RF: And our Wild Card choice… because we couldn’t leave him out:
D.S. Albert Chisholm
(“Minder“, 1979 – 1988)
RF: Admin and I decided that we had to include Chisholm as a wild card because he really could go either way – and probably would go both ways. On the one hand, he comes across as a bit of a homebody without much of a social life; he pretty much lives for his job (as we’ve noted before). He doesn’t seem to have any hobbies or “friends” per se; he probably goes out to the pub more with D.C. “Taff” Jones (Meic Povey) than anyone else. So he might be ideally suited for social distancing. In fact, perhaps a little too well-suited, because it might be the case that no one would notice he was gone. Also, he already has an exercise bike in his bedroom to sublimate all that energy of his.
Admin: Indeed, Chisholm wouldn’t miss socializing in the least. However, he might miss a few things. I think he’s someone who likes to stretch the legs and go for a long random walk. Luckily, social distancing doesn’t currently prevent that, but it can still limit it more than he might like. What he would miss for certain is not having as much of a patch to keep an eye on. I think he would go crazy not knowing what was going on with Daley and McCann who themselves would be cooped up somewhere out of his purview. And even if he were able to bring them in on something (like maybe if Daley tried to sell some homemade “hand sanitizer”), he wouldn’t be able to loom up and intimidate them. He really loves infringing on the personal space of those he doesn’t like. Also, he wouldn’t be able to pick on any nasty little grasses. How boring life would be.
RF: I suppose Chisholm could always resort to using a drone to check out his patch, but it just wouldn’t be the same. 😉 So, do you think he might be okay with it for, say, a week, but then he’d snap? Because that’s what I think would happen. He might don a face mask as a precaution, though.
Admin: I don’t know. He might like a drone, but if it was one he got from Daley it would mess up police radio signals and get him in trouble. 😀