Modern-Day Cads (Played by Patrick Malahide)

As with his Obsessed, Forties, and Clergymen characters, Patrick Malahide has played a number of… shall we say, not completely trustworthy individuals (especially if one happens to be a woman) in his career, and has done it very well.  In fact, so many that this is Part One of a two-part examination of… Cads.  Fearless Admin and I thought we’d kick it off with a discussion of his modern-day Cads – you know, the fellows you might run into if you had something that they really wanted, like a huge inheritance, or perhaps other, more prurient assets.  Shocking, I know.

Admin:  And who knew one person could play such a wide variety of cads?  While they are as untrustworthy as can be, they are fun lot.  Some are more fun than others, of course. 😉

Sir Hugo Carey-Holden  |  Jeremy Boynton  |  Dr. Michael Harrison  |  Mark Finney  |  Who’s the Most Caddish?

Sir Hugo Carey-Holden
(Lovejoy, “The Italian Venus“, 1991)

Type of Cad:

Sir Hugo and Flickers in their natural environment

Sir Hugo and Flickers in their natural environment

RF:  Dipsomaniac Narcoleptic.  Or Narcoleptic Dipsomaniac, whichever happens first.

Admin:  Also fond of grubbing for money and is, for a narcoleptic dipso, good with figures.  I mean the mathematical percentage kind.

What Does He Smell Like?

RF:  Booze, unquestionably.  Probably expensive booze, but booze.  And old money.

Admin:  You could get drunk on his breath alone.

RF:  Bwaaahh!  :-D  And keep him away from open flame.

Recognizable Cad Traits:

Sir Hugo demonstrates eeling

Sir Hugo demonstrates eeling

RF:  Bestowing somewhat slurred compliments, monopolization of conversation over minutiae, eeling over as soon as his quarry is spotted, showing complete disregard for personal space, and eyerolling in frustration when he’s prevented from making a “kill” by being called off (“HUGO!!“).  I suppose depriving his younger brother of his inheritance is just a bit caddish, too.

Admin:  Ha.  I love the “eeling” movement he made to Lady Jane.  She didn’t love it, though, and it showed.  Not that he noticed, being a cad and all.  Other caddish behaviors include underpaying chubby little antiques dealers who look like Bert Large, drinking before lunch,  and having absolutely no artistic appreciation for the ornamental beauty and antiquity inside his ancestral home.  It is all £££, booze, day time naps, and flirting with him.

RF:  Yes, but it takes a lot of work to be such a cad!  That’s why he needed the naps.

Favourite Cad Technique(s):

Employing his infamous "overwhelm and destroy" technique.  Patrick Malahide playing Modern-Day Cads

Employing his infamous “overwhelm and destroy” technique.

RF:  Chiefly “overwhelm and destroy”.  Poor Sir Hugo has no subtlety whatsoever.  And moreover, no self-awareness to let him know that his technique is doomed to fail, every time, although he doesn’t let that dissuade him.  He first separates his target from whatever company she’s brought with her as quickly as possible.  He also makes use of natural terrain, like handy ice buckets, to keep his quarry from getting away before he’s had the chance to make his move.  But he’s ultimately rather clumsy and just too obvious to succeed.

Admin:  The way Lady Jane leans back to avoid him, especially as it means cozying up to an ice bucket, suggests that Sir Hugo’s breath is a boozy nightmare.  I like how Mr. Malahide manages to convey a constant state of drunkenness without making Sir Hugo seem specifically drunk.  There is a clear difference, and he nails it completely.   And you are so right about him having absolutely no self-awareness at all.  No matter how clearly Lady Jane shows she is distressed by his attention, he shows no clue of realizing it.  I don’t think he’s think he even knows he’s being aggressive.

RF:  Very true, Mr. Malahide did an incredibly good job conveying Sir Hugo’s just-on-the-edge-of-drunkenness without tipping over into all the way drunk.  And that marvelous slurred drawl just completed the picture.  😀

Preferred Targets:

RF:  Anyone younger, more attractive, or even just different from Flickers, his wife.  Or perhaps just anybody but Flickers, although she’s probably the main reason he’s survived as long as he has.  Lady Jane Felsham seems to come in for his particular attention, but she fills the “young and pretty” requirements and Lord Felsham doesn’t seem to do much to save her.

Admin:  He really should appreciate Flickers more.  She’s a beautiful lady, a rather young Celia Imrie plays her so of course she’s beautiful.  And I think she actually kind of adores Hugo, her face lights up when he compliments her.  Alas, I think you are right, Sir Hugo clamors for someone different and Lady Jane would be his lady of choice.

Success Rate?

Resting between conquest attempts.

Resting between conquest attempts.

RF:  Probably not that great.  He seems to spend an inordinate amount of time asleep and not leaving the house, which has to cut into his success rate.  That and most of his quarry seem to be well aware of him and know enough to stay away, or bring someone to run interference if they possibly can.  He’s acquired too much of a reputation to be stealthy.

Admin:  He is handsome and rich, but he probably also has alarming breath and clearly no sense of empathy, so the bad traits kind of outweigh the good in his case.

Shutdown Technique?

An eyeroll as he's called to heel:  <i>"HUGO!"</i>

An eyeroll as he’s called to heel: “HUGO!”

RF:  Flickers keeps a pretty close eye on him and doesn’t let him too far off the leash; if it looks like he might get anywhere at all (doubtful), she yells “HUGO!!” and he instantly leaves off whatever he was doing, usually with a grumpy complaint or two.  If Flickers isn’t around, third-party rescue may be necessary.

Admin:  Just hide up until he falls asleep?  Flickers does have him trained up pretty well.  She treats him like a dog at times, but honestly in the best way possible.  She does so because she really likes him and wants to keep him, but she knows he has to be kept under control.

RF:  Yes, there was decidedly an element of “Bad dog!!” in Flickers’ tone whenever she called Sir Hugo to heel – which was often.  Misbehaving seemed to be the only amusement the poor fellow had, along with drinking.  But I think you’re right that Flickers really did love him.  They’d be lost without each other.

Any Possibility of Redemption?

RF:  Doubtful.  It seems as though Sir Hugo has been behaving this way for a long, long time and has simply gotten used to it, as has Flickers.  And if being redeemed would disturb his afternoon naps or booze consumption, he’d be completely against it.  If he and Flickers were marooned on a desert island, it might be possible.

Admin:  And there is no real pressing need for redemption.  I think, overall, he is good with money and investments, despite being fleeced by Lovejoy, and Flickers has him pretty well under control.  So, unless he decides to get off the booze, I don’t really see any reason for him to be redeemed.  He can just go on being Sir Hugo Carey-Holden, the eely guy no one (other than Flickers) really likes.


Jeremy Boynton
(Morse, “Driven to Distraction“, 1990)

Type of Cad:

RF:  Pure, unprincipled opportunist.  Also a car salesman.

Admin:  Yeah, that is all the description you need.

What Does He Smell Like?

New car smell and Axe.

New car smell and Axe.

RF:  New car smell, and probably a generous application of Axe (or Lynx, in the U.K.).   Also cigar smoke.

Admin:  I hear his under-notes of soft Corinthian leather are truly intoxicating.

RF:  Mmm, Corinthian leather!  😀

Recognizable Cad Traits:

RF:  Smarmy attitude, poor sense of personal boundaries, laying on “charm” thick with a trowel, and crude persistence.  Wears a wedding ring with obvious disrespect for what it represents.  Has some nice suits, though.  Dislikes white-haired Detective Inspectors.  Acts like he’s probably a murderer, even though he isn’t.

Admin:  He also has some not-so-tasteful nudie pin-up calendar in his office.  He throws his partially smoked cigars out on the ground, so he’s a litter bug too.

Favourite Cad Technique(s):

Don't get into a car with him!

Don’t get into a car with him!

RF:  Boynton seizes any opportunity that might present itself to render a woman beholden or obligated to him, up to and including blackmail.  Surprisingly, he’s even more blunt than Sir Hugo, but Sir Hugo still had a vague concept of manners and (more or less) proper interaction that wouldn’t allow him to do what Boynton does.  Getting a woman into his car and proceeding to comment creepily on her clothing seems to be a favourite technique.  Also reminding her that she’s growing pot and she’ll be in big trouble if she rats on him is another.

Admin:  I thought everyone knew the way to charm a lady was to tell her she wasn’t dressed very “prim”, even when she’s wearing dark black, totally ’80s hose which we all know are basically leggings, then threaten her over her illegal pot plants, and follow it up with a car sales pitch.

RF:  He’s another one for multi-tasking, like Dr. Harrison.  😉

Preferred Targets:

RF:  Young, attractive women he can isolate, offer driving lessons and/or cars to, and/or obtain some information on who don’t want it spread around.  Amazingly enough, Boynton had an ongoing, steady relationship with his mistress, although he was none too broken up when she was murdered and seemed ready to find a substitute right away.

Admin:  She even bought him cigars.  I suppose with his salesman attitude, he likes them to be fairly well off, or at least willing to spend some money on him and his cars.

Success Rate?

Are they talking about me??

Are they talking about me??

RF:  Sadly, far better than he deserves due to his willingness to be completely ruthless and blunt.  However, his success isn’t due to anyone mistaking his “charm” for the real thing, but rather that they’re completely under his power and helpless to get themselves out.

Admin: Actually, I think if you remove the whole threatening element, Jeremy might be a pretty fun guy to hang around.  Plus, I guess if they are buying snazzy cars, then they might like equally snazzy guys, and Jeremy is a snazzy thing to look at.

RF:  True, and perhaps Jackie calling the cops on him convinced him that he’d better drop the threatening bit.  But on the other hand, I suspect his wife would still frown upon him having extracurricular lady friends.

Admin:  I would say she needs to take some tips from Flickers, but I think Sir Hugo is far more harmless than Jeremy.

Shutdown Technique?

One way of shutting him down...

One way of shutting him down…

RF:  Calling the aforementioned white-haired D.I. and having him hauled in for interrogation as a suspected murderer seems to work quite well.  Likewise dousing Boynton with gasoline and threatening to set him on fire, but that’s admittedly a tad extreme.  Having his wife find out about what he’s been up to after he was beaten up and doused with gasoline seems to  work, too.

Admin:  Indeed.  You pretty much have to completely take him out of commission to get him to settle down. Oh, Jeremy!

RF:  Maybe he thought about it a lot while he was in hospital, admiring the giant bandage the nurses put on him.

Admin:  I hope so, but I rather think he just felt sorry for himself and little else.

Any Possibility of Redemption?

RF:  If so, I’d suspect it would be only temporary before Boynton is back to business as usual.  But he might be hampered by the fact his face was all over the evening news due to getting beaten up and soaked with gasoline, and one suspects his wife might have given him a “one more strike and you’re out” ultimatum.  But hey, at least he’s not a murderer!

Admin:  He’ll lick his wounds for a little while, then go back to being bad.  I don’t think he ever realized why Morse thought he was a great suspect for the killer, nor did he ever seem remorseful that his girlfriend had been killed.  He didn’t even seem that appreciative of his cool steering wheel that a guilt-ridden Morse gave him.  He just said that Morse’s broken arm served him right.  What a cad!


Dr. Michael Harrison
(Boon, “In It for the Monet“, 1989)

Type of Cad:

Just your everyday art history professor

Just your everyday art history professor

RF:  Arrogant and supercilious, although with a layer of charm and erudition.  More stealthy than the others.

Admin:  Definitely charming, and he is a handsome humanities professor which automatically makes him catnip for impressionable female students.

RF:  That’s true, I could see those impressionable students swooning away the instant they find out they’ve got his lecture.  Or writing “LOVE YOU” on their eyelids, Indiana Jones-style.

Admin: Got to love that scene.  Dr. Harrison would have been far less flustered. 🙂

What Does He Smell Like?

RF:  Probably rather nice aftershave and old books.

Admin:  He probably uses a shaving soap too.  I like this one for no other reason than I think it has a funny name.

RF:  Or he could split the difference and get an aftershave that smells like old books.  😉

Admin:  😀 $98?!  It would be far cheaper to just rub a book on yourself. Dr. Harrison could afford it, though.

Recognizable Cad Traits:

RF:  Mod Eighties wardrobe of relaxed linen suits in mostly monochrome shades.  Likes to party with his students until five o’clock in the morning, but is fresh as a daisy and ready to teach afterwards.

Admin:  Keeping more than his fair share of any ill-earned loot.  He also immediately brushes off the threat of nosy PI’s by smugly pointing out he isn’t sleeping with anybody’s wife, so we know where his mind immediately goes.  Wives, no, daughters however….

Favourite Cad Technique(s):

Overseeing a student's academic career

Overseeing a student’s academic career

RF:  Long intellectual discussions to lull one into a state of fascination, then, as mentioned, partying until five o’clock in the morning, especially if it’s at a mansion with lots of free food and drink.  Attending trysts in the library to exchange banter and  supply them (only certain students, mind you) with ready cash. Using any means at his disposal to advance their careers…  all without expecting reward.  He’s really very altruistic (unless you ask where all the money’s going) – so altruistic he doesn’t want their parents to know about it.  Praising their work in class, too, and taking a very close personal interest in their progress.

Admin:  And he is ever so proud of them when they win scholarships.  I’m sure he’ll be happy to watch over them as they advance on to the next stage of their academic careers, but he is probably always keeping an eye out for any new talent that could benefit from his wisdom.

RF:  He’s very generous that way.

Preferred Targets:

RF:   Pert, attractive, blonde female art history students.  It helps if they’re hard up for cash (most students are) and won’t ask too many questions about where it comes from.

Admin:  He also likes it if the pert blondes are really big fans of writing well-crafted, long thesis papers on art theory.

Success Rate?

Yeah, his success rate is pretty good.

Yeah, his success rate is pretty good.

RF:  Extremely good, as long as his quarry/quarries (Harrison seems to be very good at multi-tasking) have no suspicion that he might have ulterior motives.  We have no idea how long he’s been at it by the time we see him in “In It for the Monet”, but he does seem to have it down to a fine art (pun intended).

Admin:  I think he’s been at it a while.  And, to his credit, Isobel and Dominique really seem to like him a whole a lot.  Well, Isobel goes off him a bit in the end.

RF:  Just a minor misunderstanding, I’m sure.

Shutdown Technique?

RF:  The cold light of day, exposure of what he’s been up to, and a very public slap across the face in a very public forum seem to do the trick.  Also the ruination of his academic career and having to resort to drawing turtle cartoons to make ends meet.

Admin:  He seems like a man who is used to few slaps and cold drinks on the face.

Any Possibility of Redemption?

Considering his next career move

Considering his next career move

RF:  Assuming Harrison can ever get a career in academia again – which is doubtful – possibly, if he manages to keep his nose clean, never has an affair with another student, and refrains from selling their work on the illicit art history essay market, despite how lucrative it is.  But all bets are off if he gets another pert blonde in his class.

Admin:  Actually, I think if he does hold onto / salvage his academic career, he might manage some continued caddishness if he can just be a bit more equitable with the money distribution.  It all depends on what Isobel says regarding that slap.  I don’t see any real reason why future blonde thesis writing nuts should be denied the joys Isobel used to buy her own car with.  (I hope she didn’t buy it from Boynton!!)

RF:  Yes, if he could restrain himself to caddishness on a more manageable scale, he might be able to slip under the radar for a very long time.  I think he’d find it difficult to stay away from academia, with its ever-renewable supply of attractive female art history students.

Admin:  And he manages just enough affability that I kind of hope he does continue.  The Internet would eventually put an end to his scheming, alas.


Mark Finney
(“The Singing Detective“, 1986)

Type of Cad:

Almost, but not quite harmless.

Almost, but not quite harmless.

RF:  A shiny-suited ruthless opportunist.

What Does He Smell Like?

RF:  Expensive cologne, but way too much of it.  Very Eighties.

Admin:  Cigarettes too, possibly menthol ones.

RF:  Eeeewww!

Recognizable Cad Traits:

Mark Finney "I'm Sorry, I Can't Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I Am" MemeRF:  Would step on anyone, even his own grandmother, to get ahead.  Not the slightest bit worried about betraying or using anyone or doing anything underhanded along the way, as long as it results in a net profit for him.  Is firmly and utterly convinced of his own awesomeness, because if he wasn’t this awesome, how has he gotten this far?  But is also happy to let others do the work while he takes credit for it.  After all, someone has to take the credit!  Also prefers a stylish monochrome wardrobe.

Admin:  Everything, absolutely everything, about Finney is some sort of shorthand for “Cad”. There is good reason for that: He is basically the embodiment of any man’s fear concerning his wife’s fidelity.

RF:  That’s an excellent point.  If you look up “cad” in the dictionary, you’ll probably find his picture.

Favourite Cad Technique(s):

RF:  Mostly Finney manages to be in the right place at the right time, and say all the right things.  He’s also very good at making promises that are exactly what his quarry wants to hear, reaffirming how awesome he’s sure they are.  It just conveniently happens that what’s best for them is best for him, too – until it isn’t, then he drops them like a hot rock.  He’s almost as subtle as Harrison, but just as ruthless and opportunistic as Boynton.

Admin:  Finney is very much the stereotypical movie producer.  He probably has a casting couch on hand at any time.   He schmoozes and charms, in an oily and snaky way, his quarry at every opportunity.  He wows them with his modern apartment and its modern technology, he is an absolute materialist.  It works though.

RF:  You’re right, pretty much everything he does is a means to his ends.  He can also turn it on and off like a switch; wouldn’t want to waste effort where it isn’t required.

Preferred Targets:

It all goes so well for a while...

It all goes so well for a while…

RF:  Specializes in older actresses with low self-esteem, but this is possibly because he’s a figment of the imagination of the actress’ estranged husband who’s having hallucinations (it’s complicated).  Knows all of her vulnerabilities and weaknesses and exploits them to the full, until she’s no longer useful to him.

Admin:  And to their credit, they actually make a very attractive, albeit super weird, couple for a little bit.  I think, if he were allowed to, he would have gone after that popular actress who did (but really didn’t) get the lead role.  The Singing Detective is a strange series, so it is kind of hard to really get a good grip on what a particular cad may or may not have done. 🙂

Success Rate?

RF:  Very good, because Finney makes it seem like a benefit to him is a benefit to you.  And you should be grateful for his making it possible for you to achieve it!  That he also profits by it is merely incidental.  You’re actually a team!  It all works out extremely well until his real motives are discovered – shortly followed by the fact that he doesn’t actually exist.

Admin:  Finney is the perfect stereotype of a sleazy film producer.  He has to be able to secure funds from potential investors, so he uses similar techniques in securing what he wants from his lady friends.  And you are absolutely right about the “team” element, that is part of what makes him and Nicola so attractive, they genuinely seem like a team at first….at first.

Shutdown Technique?

In the process of existential shutdown

In the process of existential shutdown

RF:  Once he starts to narrate his own punctuation and look confused, shutdown isn’t far behind.  But if you discover what he’s up to beforehand (psst – check his computer!), you might be ahead of the game.

Admin:  He’s kind of a sexy Bogeyman, and we all know that once you convince yourself the Bogeyman doesn’t exist, he disappears.  I’d like to put in a Douglas Adams “puff of logic” joke, but Marlow (that hack) prefers the knife.

RF:  I think Marlow just liked the thought of Finney having to lie dead on the floor for a while.  No wait, that was Binney.  We’ll get to him later.

Admin: Brutal guy, that Marlow.  Clearly not a fan of cads.

Possibility of Redemption?

Irredeemable and proud of it.

Irredeemable and proud of it.

RF:  None whatsoever.  Even if he weren’t imaginary, Finney would be irredeemable.  He’s far too opportunistic and selfish to ever worry about anyone else or be concerned that he’s treading all over their feelings.  He was specifically created to embody some of Marlow’s worst demons, and he’s just too good at it to change.  The best Marlow can hope for is keeping him tightly under wraps.

Admin:  You know that right now, this instant, Marlow is fretting over some cat called Ray Finney.  He’ll never be fully redeemed, and he’ll never totally go away.  Yay!  I think.

RF:  But the important question is, who gets his swanky apartment and that incredibly high-tech computer?  😉

Admin:  I think Nicola sold a lot of it on Ebay.


Who’s the Most Caddish of Them All?

RF's winner:  Mark Finney!

RF’s winner: Mark Finney!

RF:  This was a toughie.  For me, it came down to two main contenders:  Boynton and Finney, just for sheer irredeemability, ruthlessness, doing the most damage, and likely backsliding.   But in the end, I had to go with…  Mark Finney.  He is just such a cad, from the top of his head to the tips of his (expensive Italian leather-clad) toes.  All of the others had at least some awareness that what they were doing was wrong (even Sir Hugo knew it, when Flickers would call him to heel) and would be forced to stop, but if Finney weren’t a figment of Marlow’s imagination, he would just keep right on with what he was doing.  Heck, as Admin points out, he was likely still up to his old tricks in the recesses of Marlow’s subconscious.  And he also seemed to get a huge charge out of it.  So, I vote for Finney.

Admin's winner:  Jeremy Boynton!

Admin’s winner: Jeremy Boynton!

Admin:  Finney just gets a new name and he’s back to the same. 🙂  I think I’ll go with Boynton, however.  Deep down he is not only a cad but also a bully.  It would be nice if he could settle down and appreciate what family life he has, if he has one left to appreciate, but I don’t think Boynton can do “nice”.  He is self-absorbed, egotistical, and aggressive.  He might have to start over, or try something completely new, but I don’t think it would be long before he was back to his nasty cad ways.  I honestly would love to see him make an appearance in an episode of Lewis just to see how badly Hathaway would react to him (very badly, I’m sure) and how Lewis would take to the man he once defended against his mentor Morse.

RF:  And here’s a look at our Cads in action:

Video clip courtesy of Admin:

Back to Top

This entry was posted in Are We Sure They're Played by the Same Guy, Comedy, Drama, Joint Post, Meme, Morse, Mystery, Singing Detective, Television, Variations on a Theme and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Modern-Day Cads (Played by Patrick Malahide)

  1. Pingback: Classic Cads (Played by Patrick Malahide)Patrick Malahide, An Appreciation

  2. Pingback: Disappointed Dads (Played by Patrick Malahide)Patrick Malahide, An Appreciation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *