Questions We’d Like to Ask… Malahide Characters

A couple of years ago, Fearless Admin and I wrote about some questions we’d like to ask Mr. Malahide.  Admin recently had the great idea of expanding that notion a little further:  what about questions we’d like to ask Mr. Malahide’s characters?  These would be things only they could answer, or plot points and other things that had been nagging at us, or that sort of thing.  So, without further ado…

RFodchuk:  My questions are…

For Jack Turner (“Hunted“, 2012):

Retrieving the Mysterious Briefcase(tm) from his secret wall safe, which isn't quite so secret any more now. questions we'd like to ask Malahide Characters

Retrieving the Mysterious Briefcase™ from his secret wall safe, which isn’t quite so secret any more..

Oh, Jack.  Jack, Jack, Jack.  What were you thinking??  Why didn’t you get those soil samples analyzed the instant you got your hands on them?  You’re hardly to the type to be trusting of anyone, to the extent that you gave your “friend”, Dave Ryder, a decoy briefcase which ended up getting him killed – which you likely knew it could (hence “friend” in quotation marks).  So why were you so trusting in this situation?  If your entire scheme for ruining Polyhedrus depended on those samples being incriminating, wouldn’t you have made damn sure that they contained what you thought they did?  If they were your ace in the hole, you’d have made sure you were getting what you paid for.  You would never have waited until the last possible moment to have them analyzed, still less by letting them out of your sight to go to an unknown lab; you should at least have insisted on going with the briefcase and/or employing your own expert to supervise and verify the results, in case your opponents pulled a switcheroo on you.  I will set aside, for the moment, the fact that you’d never open up your secret wall safe with other people watching, either.  You didn’t get to be a millionaire crimelord by being careless!
Continue reading

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Our Favorite Patrick Malahide Historical Costumes

Patrick Malahide has been in many wonderful historical period pieces. RFodchuk recently came up with the brilliant idea of discussing some of our favorite costumes worn in those drams. What to choose? What to choose? I mean there are loads and the vast majority of them are stunning. So, we’ll take a look at some that really stand out for whatever reasons while also giving ourselves an excuse to free our imaginations.

RF:  Agreed, there are lots to choose from.  We may have to do a few more editions.  😉

Admin’s Choices:

Mr. Ryder, Brideshead Revisited (2008)

A Bit About the Costume:

Mr. Ryder: "Why?" Charles: "I'm going up to Oxford." Mr. Ryder: "Ah, yes." He's very laid back. Or ever so slightly senile. Or is very good at pretending to be ever so slightly senile.

Open those windows; we need more light.

Patrick Malahide’s character, Mr. Ryder, is protagonist Charles Ryder’s (Matthew Goode) father. He is decked out in a rather fussy, old-fashioned Edwardian style outfit that is a few years behind the times. He wears a gorgeous jacket, winged collar shirt, and bow-tie. He occasionally completes the look with a very fetching pair of round spectacles.

Why Is It a Favorite:

Then he goes right back to his soup, reading a book at the same time - doesn't even see his only son out the door or say goodbye. [sniff sniff] :-(

Winged collar and round specs are a lethal combo.

I think it is that winged collar, I really like that. The look is very tidy and and trim, flattering Mr. Malahide perfectly. It also provides a quick shorthand in describing Mr. Ryder’s character. He is old-fashioned and eccentric. He lives in darkened rooms surrounded by his relics, and by looking at his wardrobe choices we can see he is as much of a relic as the curiosities he presides over.

The color palette has a delightful warm look that I find incredibly attractive, and it is a color scheme that works perfectly with Mr. Malahide’s complexion. I wonder if Mr. Ryder’s late wife chose some of those clothes for him many years ago? He doesn’t seem like he could be the type to make such spectacular choices on his own, so I wonder if he had help and simply held on to them for years. As you can see, the wardrobe choices are so well executed that the viewer can go all Sherlock Holmes and make several deductions as to the nature of Mr. Ryder. Continue reading

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Analysis of a Scene XXXIII: Remembering Robert Hardy in “Middlemarch”

Robert Hardy as ever-genial Uncle Brooke - Remembering Robert Hardy in "Middlemarch"

Robert Hardy as the ever-genial Uncle Brooke

As Robert Hardy recently passed away on August 3 at the age of 91, Admin and I thought it would be a good time to remember him by discussing some of his performance in “Middlemarch” (1994).  He played Arthur Brooke, uncle and guardian to Celia (Caroline Harker) and Dorothea Brooke (Juliet Aubrey), the latter of whom eventually becomes the Rev. Edward Casaubon’s (Mr. Malahide) bride.  But we should start with their first meeting.

Just your average little get-together

Just your average little get-together

In this scene, Uncle Brooke has invited Mr. Casaubon and Sir James Chettam (Julian Wadham), a well-to-do and handsome young neighbour, to dine at Tipton Grange.  Casaubon already has the reputation of being “the most learned man in the county”, as Dorothea admiringly tells Celia.  She doesn’t mention anything about Chettam, though.

Uncle Brooke:  Sir Humphry Davy, now… I dined with him years ago at Cartwright’s.  Wordsworth was there, you know, Wordsworth the poet?  Davy was a poet too, did you know that?  Or as you might say, Wordsworth was Poet One and Davy was Poet Two, do you follow?
[Casaubon waves away a servant attempting to replenish his drink.]
Uncle Brooke:  Wordsworth was Poet One and Davy was Poet Two.
[Everyone laughs except for Casaubon, who is eating his soup with deadly seriousness.]

Pleased with his own wit: "Wordsworth was Poet One and Davy was Poet Two."

Pleased with his own wit: “Wordsworth was Poet One
and Davy was Poet Two.”

RF:  You can already tell Uncle Brooke is delighted by all the company and has been dominating the conversation, in a very broad, friendly sort of way.  You can also tell that he keenly appreciates his own wit.  😉  I had to google Sir Humphry Davy, but Uncle Brooke is right; he was indeed a poet, although he later became known as an inventor and scientist.  It would be interesting to know what he and Wordsworth talked about, but Uncle Brooke doesn’t bother with those details.  Of course, while all this joviality is going on, Casaubon seems to be in his own little universe, concentrating on his soup with great intensity.  Celia will later complain to Dorothea that he was noisy about it, but I think she’s just being a bit unfair.  Chettam laughs dutifully (he’s trying to impress Dorothea), but Casaubon doesn’t seem to care much for Uncle Brooke’s sense of humour.  Or maybe he just hasn’t noticed Uncle Brooke made a joke.

Concentrating intently on his soup

Concentrating intently on his soup

Admin: Well, Casaubon made one definite slurp sound at the beginning there, but I bet Uncle Brooke was slurping just as much when he wasn’t yelling about random poets.  Poor Casaubon doesn’t seem to eat much beyond soup, probably of the thin brothy nature no less, so I can’t really blame him for working on it intently.  He’s got to get some calories in for that big brain of his.   I really like Casaubon’s intense “I’m trying to eat soup” expression. It is ever so fetching in its raven-like severity.

RF:  Yes, he’s concentrating so hard on that one bowl of soup, he keeps waving the servants away as though they’re distracting him.  😀

Admin:  His elegant hand-waves are strangely mesmerizing. 🙂
Continue reading

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Patrick Malahide Is Magnus Crome in Mortal Engines

Source: Mortal Engines Wiki

According to IMDB, Patrick Malahide is now listed as Magnus Crome on the Mortal Engines page. So, our initial speculation seems correct.  Crome is a fascinating character, so I’m really looking forward to seeing him on screen.  Patrick Malahide will be perfect for the role.

Hopefully there will soon be some production  photos, but for now this artistic rendition from the Mortal Engines Wiki will suffice.  🙂

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Happy International Beer Day!

Happy International Beer Day from the Appreciation!

Chisholm looks a bit perturbed about something, but hopefully he'll enjoy his light ale anyway.

Chisholm looks a bit perturbed about something,
but hopefully he’ll enjoy his light ale anyway.

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It’s a Meme! 46 – Anniversary Edition

Admin: The Appreciation turned five years on July 28, 2017, so time to celebrate.  Better late than never 😉

RF:  We’ll just have to do more celebrating to make up for being late.  Happy Fifth Anniversary!  🙂

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Analysis of a Scene XXXII: Davy Meets Uncle Ebenezer

“It’s loaded.” Not the warmest welcome ever.

Patrick Malahide often plays neat-as-a-pin authority figures to perfection, but one of our all-time favorite characters is the completely bonkers, extremely scruffy miser Uncle Ebenezer from the very excellent 1995 production of “Kidnapped“.  Here we take a look at his introductory scene where we get a pretty good idea of just how deviously nutty this recluse is.

[Davy approaches his family home, the very desolate and crumbling Shaws Estate, and knocks on the door. A bird flies out of an open widow. It takes a good while before Uncle Ebenezer opens another window holding a gun.]
Uncle Ebenezer: It’s loaded.
Davy: I have a letter for Mr. Ebenezer Balfour…of Shaws.
Ebenezer: Who’s it from?
Davy: That’s no concern of yours. Is he here?
Ebenezer: Put it down on the doorstep and be off with ya.
Davy: It’s a letter of introduction.
Ebenezer: Of what?
Davy: A letter of introduction.

Now who would want to introduce themselves to this guy?

Admin:  And with that we get our first glimpse of Ebenezer Balfour, Davy’s uncle.  Ebenezer with his wild disheveled hair matches the crumbling scenery perfectly.  It also becomes immediately obvious that Davy thinks Ebenezer is a servant with his imperious “that is no concern of yours” comment.  I was somewhat gratified at his subsequent more desperate revelation that it is a letter of introduction after Ebenezer tries to send him on his way.  Anyway, it is pretty clear that Ebenezer takes the whole “keeps himself to himself” thing incredibly seriously.

RF:  The reason it took so long was because Ebenezer had to unearth his musket before opening the window.  😉  He certainly doesn’t look like “the master of Shaws” at first glance.  The bird flying out of the open window also suggests the place is a bit of a… fixer-upper.  You get the impression it was once quite stately; now it looks like the sort of place you’d spend the night in to win a bet, or you’d be forced to stay in overnight because your carriage broke down.  All it needs is an ogre or a vampire.

“Who are you?”

Ebenezer: Who are you?
Davy: My name is David Balfour.
[Looks of realization and worry flit across Ebenezer’s face]
Ebenezer: Is your father dead?
Davy:  [Stunned silence.]
Ebenezer: Oh aye, he’ll be dead, no doubt. Well man, I’ll let you in.

Admin:  Ebenezer’s expressions are perfect as he realizes who Davy is.  You can see right away that he knows exactly who Davy is and has been expecting and completely dreading this day.  Davy for his part is dumbfounded at Ebenezer’s rude inquiry into his father’s death. I really like the expression and tone Mr. Malahide uses when saying “oh aye, he’ll be dead.”  It is as though he’s thinking “oh, typical” as though his brother died on purpose just to foist an unwanted nephew on him.

Ebenezer realizes who Davy is.

RF:  Can’t blame Davy for being surprised that this strange, wildly dishevelled man somehow mysteriously knows already that his father is dead!  😀  And Ebenezer has been by himself for so long that manners regarding abrupt questioning about fathers’ deaths are completely gone – if they were ever there.  But you can see the gears (rusted and probably clogged with old grease) starting to turn in his brain as he realizes who Davy is.  You’re right, Ebenezer does seem to regard his brother’s death as more of a personal inconvenience than anything else.

Admin:  That rapid sequence of expressions as the old rusty gears turn is excellent.  It really adds to the scene and provides a wonderful illustration into Ebenezer’s character and mindset. Continue reading

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Something Neat XXXVIII: “Middlemarch” Publicity Photo

Another great find while image searching!  This time, it’s a colour version (albeit cropped) of a “Middlemarch” publicity photo I’d previously only seen in black and white, featuring Dorothea Brooke (Juliet Aubrey) and her fiancé, the Rev. Edward Casaubon (Mr. Malahide).  Click for a larger size.

Dorothea Brooke being charmed by the Rev. Edward Casaubon

Dorothea Brooke being charmed by a vampire the Rev. Edward Casaubon
(Image source: Dagens Nyheter)

I found the image on a Swedish site as part of an article discussing the impact of the “Cultural Man” (ie. Casaubon).  However, the translation provided by Google Translate was so rough that my comprehension had to end there – too bad, because I would’ve liked to have read the rest of what the author had to say.

It’s a great image because it’s so sweetly romantic and rather gallant; Casaubon hardly seems like a dusty, book-bound scholar whose blood is “all semicolons and parentheses” at all.  If he’d been able to keep up that attitude during their engagement and marriage, he and Dorothea wouldn’t have run into any trouble!  Unfortunately, as things were, he seemed to be completely bewildered and slightly fearful of the human contact thing, despite being certain he wanted to be married, so Dorothea had a bit of an uphill battle on her hands.  I think she would’ve worn him down eventually, though – in a good way.

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“That’s a Wrap” Mortal Engines Filming Update & Speculation

Will he play Crome? Source: Mortal Engines Wiki

Warning:  Character links contain spoilers so click with caution.

Stuff.co.nz is reporting that “Mortal Engines” has finished filming and is ready for post-production.   So far there hasn’t been any confirmation as to who Patrick Malahide will be playing.  But, I have read the book and think Magnus Crome, the Lord Mayor of London, is a very likely candidate.

Crome is described in the book as tall and thin with intense blue eyes, “skinny as a crow and twice as gloomy”.  OK, that last part doesn’t sound too flattering, but I think Mr. Malahide would make a great Magnus.  And hey, he’s had prior experience playing wildly intense guys called Magnus, hasn’t he?

I’m also happy to say that one of my “Wished for Co-Stars” is also in “Mortal Engines” (along with RFodchuk‘s choice of Hugo Weaving)  in the form of Joel Tobeck who will be playing Bürgermeister.  Actually, when I was reading the book, I thought Mr. Tobeck would be either Chrysler Peavy (one of my favorite characters) or the horrific Shrike.  I was wrong on both counts, but hopefully I’m a better judge on Mr. Malahide’s role.  🙂

Patrick Malahide, the best choice for mad men named Magnus.

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“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.

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