“Inspector Alleyn Mysteries” On the List of “The 10 Best Brit Detective Shows, Ever”

Hmmm... Number 8, eh? Patrick Malahide in "Inspector Alleyn Mysteries"

Hmmm… Number 8, eh?

I happened across a recent article in The Weekly Standard by Hannah Long, listing “The 10 Best Brit Detective Shows, Ever“.  After some interesting dissing of the upcoming “Murder on the Orient Express” remake (sadly, not the “Minder” version) we at the Appreciation were pleased to notice that one of our favourites appeared on the list.  Coming in at #8, “The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries” is described as follows:

A lesser-known series, Alleyn Mysteries is based on Ngaio Marsh’s novels. Patrick Malahide is wonderful as the dapper and understated gentleman detective, Roderick Alleyn, backed by a perfect working class foil in William Simons’ Inspector Fox.

While the tipped fedoras and tailored suits suggest noir, Alleyn Mysteries is more in the cozy mystery tradition, with country house murders and gloriously nutty supporting casts. Strong on atmosphere and entertainment value, the series’ writing isn’t quite good enough to give it a top spot.

Well, I don’t know about “lesser known” – the series is still in reruns in the U.K. – but I have to agree that Mr. Malahide is simply wonderful as the “dapper and understated gentleman detective”, which describes Alleyn very well.  And William Simons as Inspector Br’er Fox is indeed perfect as his foil/indispensable partner.

Modelling a properly tipped homburg<br>Image source: <i>The Weekly Standard</i>

Modelling a properly tipped homburg
(Image source: The Weekly Standard)

However, I think the “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries” owe more to film noir than Ms. Long is willing to grant.  Certainly the series had terrific lighting, staging, set decoration, wardrobe, and production values that all gave it a very noirish air as far as I’m concerned.  And I do agree that Mr. Malahide’s “tipped fedoras and tailored suits” were a big part of the appeal, with Alleyn frequently running into some bizarre suspects and situations (believe it or not, they get even more bizarre in the books).  I also think the series writers smoothed out some of Marsh’s rougher spots and made the storylines flow somewhat more organically, as well as adding much-needed warmth and depth to both Troy and Alleyn’s characters – which may get me in trouble with Marsh purists.

Showing off one of those well-tailored suits

Showing off one of those well-tailored suits

Other notable series on the list include “A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery” featuring Lord Peter Wimsey at #10, “Cadfael” at #9, the Jeremy Brettt “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” at #5, “Foyle’s War” at #3, “Inspector Morse” at #2, and “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” at #1.  Fearless Admin points out that Mr. Malahide guest-starred in both “Morse” (as Jeremy Boynton, cad extraordinaire, in “Driven to Distraction“), and “Poirot” (as Defence Council Sir Montague Depleach in “Five Little Pigs“), so he’s no stranger to those series.  We also thought that Mr. Malahide would be wonderful in “Foyle’s War” in any capacity, or in “Lewis”, a “Morse” spin-off that didn’t make The Weekly Standard’s list.  We’d have been happier if the “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries” could have ranked higher (okay, we might be slightly biased on that score), but still, we’re glad to see it on the list at all, showing that it hasn’t left people’s memories.

Posted in Drama, Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, Mystery, News, Something Neat We've Found, Television | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy International Kissing Day!

Happy International Kissing Day from the Appreciation!

Every day is International Kissing Day for Troy and Alleyn. Aaawww. :-)

Every day is International Kissing Day for Troy and Alleyn. Aaawww. 🙂

Posted in Drama, Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, Mystery, Romance, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

London Gangsters (Played by Patrick Malahide)

Skipling: "Do you believe me?" Sarge: "No."

Despite making a great looking copper, Patrick Malahide doesn’t always play characters on the right side of the law.

Certainly Patrick Malahide has played some amazing police detectives via DS Chisholm, Inspector Alleyn and the lovely DI Brennan of “Amnesia”. But, he has also played guys who run things on the other side of the law. In this installment of Variations on a Theme, we look at some of those deliciously wicked London gangsters who thrill us with their danger, style, wit, bravado and sexy Cockney accents.

George Cornelius | Colin Bennett | Derek Hadley | Jack Turner | The Gangster to Rule Them All

Admin: My  gangster choices are:

George Cornelius
(“Luther” Series 4, 2015)

Type of Gangster

Not even being chained to a radiator can spoil his bravado.

George is an old school London gangster with a penchant for dealing in (and stealing) high end gems. He controls not only his own personal network but also has massive influence over all of London’s underworld.  That is proven by his ability to “green light” an execution order on DCI John Luther.

George has a strong personality and remains defiant and humorous even after Luther forcibly cuffs him to a radiator.  He is eventually able to free himself by ripping the radiator from the wall. Clearly, George Cornelius is not the sort to ever allow himself to go soft despite now living a life of obvious luxury.

He’s the sort of crim who can admire Luther’s chutzpah while cheerfully explaining to him that “greenlit means greenlit”. George’s old school wit and charm allow him to easily steal the two “Luther” episodes he appears in. That is hardly surprising as George himself says, “at the end of the day I’m a thief,” and there is no reason why that quality shouldn’t extend to the show itself. 😉

Sartorial Style

The impeccably well styled George Cornelius.

George isn’t the flashiest of gangsters. He prefers tailor-made suits cut in classic designs and in conservative, but still rich, colors. He clearly goes to a lot of trouble finding the right silk neckties and scarves, making sure they compliment whatever suit he is wearing. Even though he opts for sensible designs, you can tell everything he wears costs a small fortune.

When seen preparing brunch for a lucky lady friend he wears a gleaming white button down shirt of what is obviously a very high end natural fabric.  Even when dressed casually, he still goes high end.

Luther: “Nice hat.” Truly, it is.

I was going to say he goes for “understated elegance” but in truth there is nothing understated about George. His clothes speak for themselves, shouting out to the world at large that their owner is a man of means and is not to be trifled with.

He’s also a very sensible gangster, choosing to protect himself from the frigid cold with a gorgeous wool coat with an equally gorgeous fedora for a profitable meeting with Luther. I’m sure the gemstones that Luther handed over to George (in order to call off the green light….whew!) will buy the dashing gangster even more high quality, classic additions to his impressive wardrobe. Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Drama, Hunted, Joint Post, Luther, Mystery, Photos, Television, Variations on a Theme | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something Neat XXXVII: More Alleyn Publicity Pics

Here are a couple more “Inspector Alleyn” publicity pictures I found while browsing around.  Just when I think I’ve seen them all, I find a new one – or in this case, two.  Click for a larger size, because they’re gorgeous:

Patrick Malahide Inspector Alleyn publicity photoPatrick Malahide Inspector Alleyn publicity photo2













I happened across these a while ago, so unfortunately I can’t remember exactly where online I originally found them.  However, they’re both by photographer John Green.  I’m not quite sure what episode they’re from either, but I think it might be “Death at the Bar“.  You can also just make out William Simons as Inspector Br’er Fox in the background of the first one.  In any case, Mr. Malahide looks wonderful in Alleyn’s homburg and pinstriped suits, with the black and white photography lending a film noir atmosphere.  He’s every inch the gentleman detective.  🙂

Posted in Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, Photos, Something Neat We've Found, Television | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day from the Appreciation!  🙂

Lord Glendenning knows he's being got around by daughter Katherine, but somehow doesn't protest too much.

Lord Glendenning knows he’s being got around by daughter Katherine,
but somehow doesn’t protest too much.

Posted in Drama, Television, The Paradise | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Favouritest Grabs Ever – Seventh Edition

Fearless Admin and I are back with another set of our Favouritest Grabs Ever!  As usual, these are grabs of Mr. Malahide’s work that we found particularly entertaining, appealing, amusing, or just plain interesting, and why.

RF’s Picks:

Mark Binney lights up a cigar in the most stylish way possible Favouritest Grabs Ever - Seventh Edition

Mark Binney lights up a cigar in the most stylish way possible

What’s Going On in This Picture?

RF:  It’s from “Singing Detective’s” second episode, “Heat” (1986), and all I can say is… *whoah*!  😮  War profiteer, likely traitor and spy, and all-around Bad Dude to Know™ Mark Binney (Mr. Malahide) invites Russian prostitute Sonia (Kate McKenzie) back to his flat for sex.  The encounter seems to be more about Binney’s ego and insecurity than anything else, since he watches himself in the mirror the entire time with an air of disgusted fascination.  Once finished, Binney gets out of bed still mostly clothed, smooths his hair – you can see him resuming his usual personality after losing a bit of control during sex – and lights up a cigar in the most stylish, hottest way possible (no pun intended!) in front of his perfectly film-noir, venetian-blinded window.

Why Is This One a Favourite?

RF:  Just look at it!  😀  Yes, Binney is mad, bad, and dangerous to know, but he’s decidedly gorgeous for all of that.  I can’t remember ever seeing someone light up a cigar so attractively before.  That and every thing about the scene perfectly suggests a film noir – probably a much better one than Marlow (Michael Gambon) is supposed to have written.  Everything about the scene  is perfect, from Binney’s clothes, to the lighting, to the glow from the flame of his match, which suggests an air of menace.  I also thought that the fact Binney had sex while clothed was an interesting reference to Marlow’s severe psoriasis, since Marlow (and indeed, author Dennis Potter himself) was so concerned about his skin’s appearance he would rarely allow himself to be fully unclothed.  So, the scene (and this grab) is both strikingly filmed and provides an insight into Binney’s character and the series itself.

Admin: I really like the combination of smoke and flame.  Binney often has a demonic aura about him and the smoke and fire combo add to it.  He looks like he’s paying a great deal of attention too, suggesting he likes the intimidating quality the flame exudes.  You can certainly see him working with winning effect to regain his self-control and poise in this grab.  And yes, he looks pretty darn gorgeous indeed.

RF:  It’s just too bad he turns out to be such a bad ‘un.  A noir/espionage caper featuring Binney as a sort of anti-hero, mostly concerned with his own profit, could’ve been very entertaining.

Admin:  When watching The Singing Detective, I sometimes found myself kind of wishing the whole thing could be the pulp story.  Your chosen grab encapsulates why I felt that way.
Continue reading

Posted in Are We Sure They're Played by the Same Guy, Drama, Favouritest Grabs Ever, Joint Post, Minder, Photos, Singing Detective, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysis of a Scene XXXI: Chisholm Gets Heavy On a Grass

A very scary Chisholm.

DS Chisholm is generally a dour, albeit witty, copper with an unhealthy Quixotic obsession with nabbing Arthur Daley.  But, sometimes, he bucks that trend and displays a more confident outlook.  In this beautifully shot scene from Minder S04E10 “Get Daley!”  (recap here) he menaces an informant named Dermott, or DerMOTT as Chisholm says it.  Dermott may have information concerning a possible manslaughter case, and it is up to Chisholm to find out.

RF:  It’s a lot of fun (and a bit scary) to see a much more confident Chisholm in action.  This version of Chisholm would nail Arthur Daley within a week and be onto his next promotion in a month.

“Out back, now.”

Admin:  It is the alt-verse Chisholm 😀

Dermott is enjoying a drink at the bar when Chisholm approaches.
Chisholm: [grabbing Dermott’s arm] Out back, now!
Dermott: Please, Mr. Chisholm, not here.
Chisholm: Be a good boy, Dermott.
Dermott: [sighs]
[back alley door flings open and Dermott is shoved unceremoniously outside]
Dermott: Bleedin’ hell, Mr. Chisholm, this is me local.
Chisholm: Oh, in which case let me congratulate you on your exquisite taste.
Dermott: Ahhh, do me a favor, will ya’.

Chisholm: “Oh, in which case let me congratulate you on your exquisite taste.”

Admin:  Chisholm’s initial appearance as he calmly slides silently up to Dermott is pretty much quintessential Chisholm, but everything after that is more intense.  He is far more intimidating than what we are used to. The way the door flings open as Dermott is shoved through is exactly what you’d expect to see in far grittier, hyper violent crime dramas.   The whole set-up has its own unique feel that seems out of the ordinary for Minder.

RF:  I like how Chisholm sidles up to Dermott soundlessly and Dermott isn’t aware of his presence until it’s far too late.  Obviously Chisholm has perfected the technique of buttonholing people who otherwise wouldn’t want to talk or even be seen with him.  He has a very predatory air to him as he stalks in, which continues as he talks to Dermott out in the alley. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis of a Scene, Comedy, Drama, Joint Post, Minder, Mystery, Photos, Television | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Patrick Malahide in Law & Order: UK, S03E04 “Confession”

Episode S03E04, “Confession”

He looks so evil, fetching, but evil 🙂

Patrick Malahide made his third and, sadly, final appearance as the slippery Robert “Limbo” Ridley, QC in Law & Order: UK S03E04 “Confession”.

Police detective Matt Devlin’s (Jamie Bamber) childhood friend and fellow officer Pete Garvey has been found dead from an apparent suicide. They learn Garvey had recently been suffering nightmares and mental anguish which likely resulted from being molested as a child by a man named Jonathan Nugent (Matthew Marsh), now a former Catholic priest, who worked at Devlin’s old parish.  Though it had been many years since the abuse, a chance encounter with the ex-priest reignited the trauma with disastrous consequences.

Detectives Devlin and Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) track down another childhood friend Harry Lucas (Johnny Harris) who was also molested by the same priest.  Lucas is willing to testify to seeing Garvey being molested but adamantly refuses to discuss his own experiences.

The prosecution charge Nugent with manslaughter, arguing his abuse led to Garvey’s PTSD which resulted in his taking his own life.  It is a very risky maneuver and will be difficult to prove, something that Nugent’s lawyer Robert Ridley is all too happy to let them know. Continue reading

Posted in Drama, Mystery, Photos, Television | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Happy World Whisky Day!

Happy World Whisky Day from the Appreciation!

I'm sure Lord Willingdon would encourage everyone to drink responsibly. ;-)

I’m sure Lord Willingdon would encourage everyone to drink responsibly. 😉

Posted in Drama, Indian Summers, Television, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysis of a Scene XXX: Sir Myles Throws Byrne and Strang Out of “The Abduction Club”

Before there was online dating, there was Sir Myles Patrick Malahide as Sir Myles in "The Abduction Club"

Before there was online dating, there was Sir Myles

Admin and I thought it was time to highlight one of our favourite Malahide characters, Sir Myles from 2002’s “The Abduction Club“, with an Analysis of a Scene that shows off his charisma and leadership.   Now, Sir Myles is just an all-around extremely dashing fellow with a keen sense of humour (he’d have to have one, to deal with his gang of second sons), but he also has a very strong sense of honour and propriety.  He helps his gang of impoverished second sons to kidnap heiresses for marriage, to keep them out of the army or the priesthood, but he’s also established strict rules of conduct – which James Strang (Matthew Rhys) and Garrett Byrne (Daniel Lapaine) have just broken.  They’ve abducted not only Miss Catherine Kennedy (Alice Evans), the intended quarry, but her underaged sister, Anne (Sophia Myles), as well.  Sir Myles is not happy.

Admin:  It is a wonderful production, and it is a delight to see Patrick Malahide playing such a dashing and swashbuckling character.  It is very obvious why he is the Abduction Club’s leader.

Sir Myles:  Gentlemen!  Will you please welcome Miss Catherine Kennedy!
[Toast glasses are handed around]

Sir Myles: "Gentlemen! Will you please welcome Miss Catherine Kennedy!"

Sir Myles: “Gentlemen! Will you please welcome
Miss Catherine Kennedy!”

RF:  Well, Sir Myles is at least very genial and friendly, even if Catherine looks a mite confused!  Can’t say as I blame her, though.  On the other hand, did she really want to be stuck listening to her intended fiancé, John Power (Liam Cunningham), instead?

Admin:  It is hard to believe that John Power is played by the same actor who plays Davos Seaworth.  I barely recognized him.  Sir Myles looks like a proud papa as he introduces the couple.  His expression is so warm and loving which helps explain why what happens next affects him so.

RF:  I didn’t recognize Davos either.  He looked very different with no beard and wearing a powdered white wig.  Catherine would be a lot better off marrying Davos rather than John Power, though.
Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Analysis of a Scene, Drama, Film, Joint Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment