Reason to Celebrate
An Appreciation is a year old now. So we’ll mark the occasion with what has to be our favorite scene from The Paradise: Wedding Breakfasts.
RF: Yaaaaay, an entire year! 🙂 And yaaaaay, I love this scene! This was the big pay-off after a season of Lord G. being more or less a pussycat and seeming to acquiesce to any and all of Katherine’s demands, which involved his having to be unnaturally nice to Moray.
The Reluctant Bridegroom
The scene opens with Moray nervously pacing about the Glendenning estate, he is planning on breaking his engagement with Katherine. His thoughts are interrupted when Lord Glendenning comes down the stairs.
RF: I think it’s worth noting that the whole reason Moray is at Belleville Hall is because he’s trying to figure out some way he can avoid marrying Katherine and keep Lord G’s financial support. Moray should have suspected something was up right here; Lord G. is being incredibly chipper. Even the way he runs down the stairs suggests he’s in a good mood. We haven’t seen him this chipper since the ill-fated pheasant hunt when he thought Katherine was going to marry Adler (and we know how that turned out). But apparently Moray doesn’t have a well-developed danger sense.
Moray: Your Lordship…
Lord G: Moray! You’ve missed her. She’s too excited to settle…taken herself off on a shopping expedition, I expect.
Moray: Ahhh….I see.
Lord G: My daughter tries to convince me that I’m a romantic, but I can prove that I’m not. You see, for me, the best part of any nuptial ceremony is the wedding breakfast.
Moray: Ha-ha. Has Katherine gone to The Paradise?
Lord G: Yes. The service itself I find tedious and overemotional…not to say thoroughly tense, I mean, I love God but hymns…make me tense. Do they make you tense?
Lord G: Hmmm.
Moray: — No.
Admin: I love how heartily he starts this off, particularly the little friendly guy punch he gives to Moray to punctuate the “wedding breakfast” line. His flippant “yes” to Moray’s question is great too. Then he goes all random with the lines about hymns. Mr. Malahide injects the perfect amount of edgy intimidation into what is practically a zany non sequitur.
RF: Lord G’s in such a good mood he’s playing with his food before he eats it. 😀 And it’s completely successful as a tactic, because Moray, who’s already nervous about facing dragon-lady Katherine, is completely discombobulated by the stuff about hymns. Though I think it’s safe to say that Moray’s tense already, and no hymns have yet been sung. I do love that Lord G’s most important priority is that there has to be a good wedding breakfast. Is this what he was like when he got married? 😉
Lord G: Hmm. Perhaps its the vows that do it to me. All those promises: For richer, for poorer; honor and obey; til death us do part. Ha-ha. I make it sound like the Sword of Damocles.
By the way, I bought the fee simple for Tollgate Street. Kept me in the bank all hours yesterday.
Admin: After dropping that little clanger, Lord Glendenning is ready to make his departure. I love how he is both funny and slightly menacing with the richer/poorer, honor/obey stuff. 🙂
RF: It’s definitely a veiled threat, and he adds to the subtle intimidation with his “Sword of Damocles” remark, plus the hearty clap on Moray’s shoulder. It reminds me of a Mafia don letting the guy who’s asked for a favour know that he should be happy with what he’s getting and he’d better not ask for any more. He sets off his giant bomb at Moray’s feet in such an incredibly casual, delightful manner and is prepared to just go merrily on with his day afterwards. I especially liked the way he offhandedly adds, “Kept me in the bank all hours yesterday,” like it was slightly annoying, but really no big thing. 😀
Moray: Excuse me, sir. Am I to understand that you have purchased the Tollgate Street freehold yourself?
Lord G: I have.
Moray: I see. My understanding was that you were going to loan me the money so that I might acquire them.
Lord G: Well, that is what we discussed but I thought better of it.
Moray: But what use is the freehold to you? (Lord G. gives a look) Of course you can do as you wish. I only try to ask…if I wish to expand does that mean that…
Admin: Oooh! Just one look from Lord Glendenning and Moray realizes he needs to mind his p’s and q’s. I couldn’t help but notice how his fingers keep flexing when Moray questions his decision. That is a very nice touch and adds to the whole sense of restrained intimidation that we love to see from His Lordship.
RF: Emun Elliott does a very creditable job of looking stunned yet still trying to function here. Lord G. dismisses pretty much all of his future plans in six little words: “…but I thought better of it.” – while simultaneously shifting all the power into his own possession. However, I suspected he’d had this idea in the works ever since Katherine’s tearful scene when he promised (without being too overt about it) to get Moray for her. No way would Lord G. do a thing like that without leaving himself a significant advantage. I like his barely contained impatience while he waits for Moray to finish talking; he’d really much rather be out riding than explaining his reasoning to the prospective son-in-law we now know for sure he really doesn’t like or trust very much, and certainly doesn’t trust with his money! And his wordless warning look at Moray’s temerity to question him is priceless.
Lord G: Moray! In a few days’ time you are going to marry my daughter. Now what could be better, hmmm? Family! Katherine is utterly devoted to you and I am convinced that you will make her happy. Under the circumstances what does it matter if it’s my name on the document or yours?
Moray: I see.
Lord G: Yes. The wedding breakfast is where everyone relaxes; the deed is done and all is left is to celebrate.
Admin: And, back to hearty again. But, it is a very menacing, vigorous sort of hearty. He even manages to take on an adorably patronizing tone with the “what does it matter if it’s my name on the document or yours” line!
RF: That little “I see” marks defeat; Moray knows he’s in the worst spot of his life. He’s stuck marrying Katherine and the future of his store is completely in Lord G’s hands. He looks rather like a gaffed fish as Lord G. hugs his shoulders; in terms of body language it’s a warning sort of hug, not a warm one, and firmly establishes that Lord G. has the upper hand. For his part, Lord G. absolutely rejoices with barely restrained glee at the massive fast one he’s just managed to pull. I had to laugh at the condescending “poor widdle Moray!” tone in his “what does it matter?” line; he even leans forward slightly to put his gaze more at Moray’s level. Lord G. has just managed everything to complete perfection and, in the best part for the viewers, finally reveals something of his true colours. Turns out he really did mean all of that “I will ruin you” stuff back in the first episode. I have to give props to both Emun Elliott and Patrick Malahide for playing this scene absolutely perfectly (and in case we haven’t said it enough before, Mr. Malahide looks simply gorgeous in that riding outfit).
Admin: The aggressive hug, the shoulder clap, and the playful punch really do give him something of a Victorian Godfather vibe. And, yes, the way he leans over a bit to get closer to Moray’s level is also quite intimidating. Their chemistry is very good, and both are excellent throughout the scene. And I agree about the riding outfit, Lord G. has a beautiful wardrobe. The costuming department certainly know their stuff on The Paradise.
So What is Next for The Paradise?
Digital Spy has a little article stating that Ben Daniels will be joining series two of The Paradise. Click the link to find above to find in what capacity he will be joining. The article also has a list of new actors and, also, returning actors. Patrick Malahide’s name is not mentioned, so we have no idea if he is returning or not. Certainly we hope he is. What fun would The Paradise be without that dangerous, breakfast loving banker? The answer is: It would be no fun!
By the way, Ben Daniels also played James Steele, nemesis of that wonderful scoundrel Robert Ridley, Queer Customer. No, actually it is Queen’s Council, but I’ve always liked Horace Rumpole’s interpretation. 😉