Lord G. is Back! or, “The Paradise”, Reviewed

Just your everyday, filthy-rich, influential Victorian banker - Patrick Malahide in "The Paradise"

Just your everyday, filthy-rich, influential Victorian banker

Lord G. is back!  It’s rather nice seeing positive reviews pop up for the broadcast (re-broadcast, really; it was shown a year ago in the U.K.) of “The Paradise” Series One on North American PBS stations, which aired episodes 1 and 2 back-to-back last night.  Our favourite character, Lord Glendenning, even gets a couple of mentions. From Variety:

Don’t dare ask about his [ie. Moray’s] late wife, she’s [ie. Denise] told, though he has additional complications regarding the woman who would very much like to be his new one, Katherine Glendenning (Elaine Cassidy), a wealthy heiress whose father (the ubiquitous Patrick Malahide) is an influential banker. The banker, being a dad first, warns Moray that if the store owner breaks his daughter’s heart, he’ll go out of his way to crush him, whatever his own fiduciary interest in the Paradise.

How to make a non-idle threat

How to make a non-idle threat: “I must warn you… if you break her heart, whether or not I grant you a loan will be of no consequence, because I shall make it my business to ruin you.”

One thing this review gets very right – Lord G. is a dad first. No matter how pussycat-like he seems to be, he doesn’t make idle threats when it comes to Katherine’s happiness.  Ubiquitous??  We could wish Mr. Malahide was ubiquitous!  It would make us very happy indeed!  We can think of a few shows off the bat that we’d love to see him in:

  • New Tricks” – (RF) I understand they prefer to bring back actors in the same roles, so bring back Chopper Hadley!  Have him escape prison and be out for revenge.  Or have him released and go straight, except that he’s not.  Or maybe he is, for a plot twist.  It’s a good time for it, with UCOS under new management.
  • Doc Martin” – (RF) After seeing Uncle Ebenezer, we have no problem believing that Mr. Malahide could play a perfectly believable, scruffy-looking, unkempt, eccentric curmudgeon to rival Dr. Ellingham in curmudgeon-ness.  He could live in a shack on the beach or something.  Or he could be a fancy doctor and mentor of Doc Martin’s, but a hermit-y eccentric would be so much more fun.
  • “Whitechapel” – (Admin) This is a very different sort of crime show with its horror elements and tendency to borrow heavily from London’s (grim) history.  But, it is the actors who really make it.  I could easily see Mr. Malahide as someone sent to clean up the joint (Rupert Penry Jones’ character would totally approve) and get them on the right track.  Or he could have his own show with Steve Pemberton’s character!
  • “Silk” – (Admin) Yeah, another Rupert Penry Jones show.  I like the guy and would love to see him work with Mr. Malahide. (They have worked together in 39 Steps, at least.)  I hope this doesn’t sound too derivative, but I adore Robert “Limbo” Ridley, QC in Law & Order: UK.  If there could be a way for a similarly rascally character to show up on Silk, I would be thrilled.  Just imagine him and the gorgeous Maxine Peake going toe-to-toe.  Perfection!
  • Endeavour” – (Admin) So what *did* become of Sir Richard Lovell?  Inquiring minds want to know!

RF:  But back to reviews.  A rather lukewarm one came from the A.V. Club, which described “The Paradise” as “a perfectly acceptable way to spend a Sunday” although “lacking teeth” in its social commentary (after only one episode? and what kind of social commentary are they expecting?) and Mr. Malahide as “the closest thing to a name actor in the cast” (ouch!!  c’mon, really??).  However, one of the commenters, “therationalist“,  more than made up for it:

Ah, Patrick Malahide.  In one week, I saw him play a detective inspector, an adulterous used car salesman, and an ex-gangster, and he was totally believable in all three roles.  Love the man.  Not quite enough to stick The Singing Detective yet (given as I am to skin problems), but maybe someday.

RF:  Not so sure about the “ex” part, but otherwise I wholeheartedly concur…  except that I have seen “The Singing Detective” (check out Admin’s excellent reviews at that link), and can vouch that Mr. Malahide was amazing as the Binneys/Finney.  I think many of these reviewers will soon find that “The Paradise” has far less resemblance to “Mr. Selfridge” than they think, and that Lord G. has a lot more to him than anyone expects.

Admin:  Gosh, yes.  It would be absolutely brilliant if Mr. Malahide were really “ubiquitous.”  He has certainly been in loads of excellent productions, but we always want more. 😉  And good for therationalist (I’m picturing a Mr. Spock like figure, lol) for pointing out how versatile and excellent Patrick Malahide is.

Admin: Whether or not he is a household name is irreverent, since that status is based more on media hype, outlandishness, and notoriety.  But, he is absolutely a very well established actor who can be trusted with a vast range of complex roles.  Shame on you, A.V. Club!

RF:  I completely agree; I think the A.V. Club writer was talking through his or her hat.  Mr. Malahide can go from Balon Greyjoy to Jack Turner to Lord Glendenning with ease; his skill speaks for itself.

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