Favouritest Grabs Ever – Eighth Edition

It’s been a rough couple of months in the world, so Admin and I thought we’d lighten things up a bit by selecting another set of our Favouritest Grabs.  As usual, these are grabs of Mr. Malahide’s performances that we found particularly entertaining, amusing, or appealing, and why.

RF’s Picks:

Guy de Glastonbury, posing picturesquely as he awaits a blurry messenger pigeon Favouritest Grabs Ever

Guy de Glastonbury, posing picturesquely as he awaits a blurry messenger pigeon

What’s Going On in This Picture?

RF:  It’s from the final episode of series 1 of  1983’s “The Black Adder”, called “The Black Seal“.  In 1498, Prince Edmund (Rowan Atkinson), the titular Black Adder, has decided he’s had enough of being overlooked by his bearded, blustering father, King Richard IV (Brian Blessed) in favour of his vastly SMRTer brother, Harry, Prince of Wales (Robert East). So Edmund decides to go off and assemble the Six Most Evil Men in England to help him murder his father and brother and usurp the throne.   Guy de Glastonbury (Mr. Malahide) is the fourth Most Evil to join up.  Guy is an extremely well-dressed, dashing, and unusually polite highwayman, but his manners only enhance his total ruthlessness.  He doesn’t merely demand “Your money or your life”.  Instead, he amiably corrects himself: “Damn.  Always doing that.  Sorry, slip of the tongue.  Your money and your life,” before shooting his well-to-do victim with a small crossbow. He then collects his loot and bids a friendly farewell to the coachman until next time.

Edmund’s weird pigeon visits the dashing Guy.

RF:  Anyway, in this picture, Guy has spent the previous twelve months waiting for a signal from Edmund that the rebellion scheme is on – long story as to why it takes so long.  But apparently Guy has spent the time posing picturesquely around England, with his boot up on a bridge rail and the wind blowing his hair just so, awaiting Edmund’s messenger pigeon.

Admin: I’m pretty sure the bird is flying backwards. Of course Edmund would pick a weird pigeon.

RF:  It was probably less expensive than the other pigeons.  😉

Why Is This One a Favourite?

RF:  This was one of the first set of grabs I ever did, and one of the first recaps I wrote for the Appreciation, so it would be a favourite for those reasons alone.  But mostly it’s a favourite for the sheer gorgeousness of it.  I hadn’t expected Mr. Malahide to show up as a glamorous highwayman in medieval tights (he’s easily the best-looking one of the bunch), doing lots of posing with the wind in his hair.  And yet he makes it look like the most natural thing.  Not only that, but his costume is quite well done; I love the colours.  Plus the entire premise is hilarious.  I love the fact that even after a year, Guy de Glastonbury and the rest of the Six Most Evil were still waiting around for Edmund’s signal, and that the messenger pigeons just happened to find them, no matter where they were.  😀  It’s just too bad Edmund’s little rebellion didn’t turn out better.

Admin: The color saturation is indeed gorgeous. I think it is one of those cases where the aging process has kind of improved everything in an artistic sense. It looks like a painting come to life. Guy de Glastonbury would make a rare male pre-Raphaelite muse. It is one of the most utterly beautiful grabs on the Appreciation.

Chisholm and Jones having a little spat

Chisholm and Jones having a little spat

What’s Going On in This Picture?

RF:  It’s from the S06E01 episode of “Minder“, called “Give Us This Day Arthur Daley’s Bread” (1985), recapped by Admin here.  Chisholm (Mr. Malahide) has been hot on the trail of a small gang of (extremely scruffy and not all that competent) thieves who have been responsible for a number of break-ins, but he hasn’t been able to make any headway on the case – much to his chagrin.  He’s been taking flak from his superior officer and from Jones (Meic Povey), which is somewhat uncharacteristic of the latter.  In the meantime, Arthur Daley (George Cole) has convinced a kind woman named Mrs. Hurst (Sylvia Kay) to hire on the very same gang of thieves to do some landscaping work, with Terry (Dennis Waterman) as their foreman.  Of course, the thieves use the opportunity to steal the neighbourhood blind, with both Terry and Arthur blissfully unaware until Terry accidentally stumbles across their stash.  However, in the process of trying to spy on Arthur’s work gang, both Chisholm and Jones are arrested for trespassing in someone else’s yard.  In this scene, Jones opines that he found it interesting to experience being arrested from the other side, and Chisholm retorts with, “You’ll experience my fist in your happy Welsh face if you don’t shut it!”  Aaaawww, it’s a lovers’ spat.  🙁

Why Is This One a Favourite?

RF:  I love this grab because their body language is so clear, and because they look exactly like any other quarreling couple.   You can just about see the waves of tension in the car.  Jones has been steadily getting on Chisholm’s nerves all day, what with revealing that Chisholm is in dutch with their super in front of Arthur and Terry, trying to see the amusing side of being arrested, refusing to take his guv’s concerns about the gang of thieves seriously, and refusing to search the local church for the purloined goods – which is where they are, naturally.  Chisholm knows he’s right about what’s going on, but even his own D.C. seems determined to thwart him.  So what we see in this picture is a lot of pent-up frustration on Chisholm’s part, with some passive (yet stubborn) resistance on Jones’ part.  No wonder Chisholm feels like he’s fighting these battles single-handed!

Admin: “Daley Bread” isn’t one of my favorite episodes writing wise (those crims are pretty tedious I’m afraid) but it is one of the best episodes visually. The cinematography is brilliant. The cameras really hone in on Chisholm’s vexation and render his frustrated expressions brilliantly. Of course, Mr. Malahide is the one responsible for all those wonderful expressions, but the film crew got it all just right. You can really sense the tight quarters of the car with the quarrelsome couple doing their best to keep in their comfort zones. Chisholm is looking especially high-strung…even for him. 😮

RF:  I have to agree that “Daley Bread” isn’t one of the better written episodes.  The crims are indeed tedious and this was the start of Chisholm’s “buffoon” period, which never seemed right for his character.  But still, he and Jones do have some great chemistry together, even when they’re fighting.  And you’re right that it’s one of the best episodes visually.  For whatever reason, it appears to have survived the digital mastering process better than a lot of the others.

Admin:  Yeah, Chisholm and Jones show those tedious crims how it is done by stealing every scene they are in.

Admin’s Picks:

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

He’s had enough of Gandalf’s shenanigans

What’s Going On in This Picture?

Admin: It’s from “Armchair Thriller” episode “Dying Day”, recapped by RFodchuk here. Patrick Malahide plays a desk sergeant we refer to as the Berkshire Sergeant on account of his rather course but incredibly fetching accent. The nebbish Mr. Skipling, played by Ian McKellen, has been pestering him for a while now. Skipling thinks someone is out to kill him, and he is convinced he saw what looked like a horrible death through a train window. The only problem is he can’t seem to prove anything. Mr. Malahide’s desk sergeant is really tired of dealing with Mr. Skipling who he sees as a complete nutter. His sarcasm might actually exceed Chisholm’s. His dry wit is absolutely hilarious, but there does seem to be a slight flicker of compassion as he genuinely thinks Mr. Skipling really needs to seek help. But, as an overworked policeman, he simply can’t afford to waste time on what he sees as Mr. Skipling’s weird fantasies.

Why Is This One a Favourite?

Admin: Aside from the obvious answer of how incredibly handsome he looks? Well, I love the way he looks almost Victorian with the long, sleek and very well groomed sideburns. It is from the early 1980s, but those sideburns make him look like he could be from the 1880s. Also, you can see just how utterly tired he is of Mr. Skipling. He is doing his level best to maintain his composure and patience, but Mr. Skipling has pretty much worn him thin. I have no trouble believing he is an overworked, underpaid policeman whose precious time is being wasted by a total goofball fantasist.  Just look at the expression of calm derision.  It is spot on. The slight nostril flare suggests he is taking long, soothing breaths to keep his cool. As Dickens would say, “Count to five-and-twenty, Berkshire Sarge.” He remains professional albeit terribly sarcastic through it all and never once does he take a nightstick to Mr. Skipling’s stupid head!

RF:  The Berkshire Sergeant gets some of the best lines in that entire episode.  He is just so world-weary and he’s seen so many nutters.  But despite all that, he manages to keep his patience – mostly – and he hears Skipling out, at least the first couple of times.  But as you say, he’s delightfully sarcastic.  It would be great to take him out for a pint and ask him how his day went.  He and Chisholm could be kindred spirits.

Admin:  I’d love to hear a conversation between the two. 🙂

Patrick Malahide: Lovejoy, The Italian Venus

Zzzzzzzz.  Meet Sir Hugo Carey-Holden.


What’s Going On in This Picture?

Admin: It is from the “Lovejoy” episode “The Italian Venus”, recapped here. It shows Patrick Malahide’s character “Sir Hugo Carey-Holden” taking a little nap on the sofa. His character is a bit of an idle drunk, albeit a very greedy one, who Lovejoy is tricking into buying a Venus replica. It seems Lovejoy (Ian McShane) and his friend Lady Jane (Phyllis Logan) feel sorry for Hugo’s younger brother Dougie (Nicholas Farrell) who missed out on the entail. Instead of being proactive and abducting an heiress, Dougie (who has genuine artistic ability) starts selling the odd forgery.  Though to be fair, Dougie never actually presents them as genuine. We’re supposed to like him, so he just plays off the greed of others. Well there aren’t many others who are greedier than Sir Hugo Carey-Holden (he is so vain that he refers to himself by his title) and his grasping wife Felicity, aka “Flickers” (Celia Imrie). Frankly I thought they were a cute and funny couple, but that’s just me. 🙂

RF:  I thought they were cute too, but I think Lady Jane would disagree with both of us about Sir Hugo.  😉

Admin: That’s her loss. 😀

Why Is This One a Favourite?

Admin: You can tell from the grab that Sir Hugo is the embodiment of the idle rich. He casually and probably somewhat drunkenly takes little cat naps through out the day as he dreams of money and valuable antiquities. Of course, he doesn’t have any esoteric interest in the antiquities.  His interest is purely in the capital they can bring. He might be a bit of a twit, but he is pretty sharp with money and can quickly add up percentages in his head. I expect his dreams are also full of spreadsheets and investment portfolios.  In the grab, you can well imagine that he is thinking of calculations and profits as he dozes.  There is a sort of odd canniness to his slumber.  I also like the way you can see the well stocked drinks table behind his shoulder. Sir Hugo spends a lot of time lingering around that general area. And, of course, he just looks pretty darn cute for a drunken, greedy lech, so he also has that going for him. 🙂

RF:  He’s either thinking about profits and portfolios, or how best to refine his Cad techniques the next time he has Lady Jane backed up against an ice bucket.  😉  He’s not the sort of rich man who uses his fortune for philanthropy, and as you say, his hobbies are rather limited, so I thought his little naps were his way of using up the day.  He looks like he spends a lot of time on that couch; the maids probably just dust around him.  Poor Sir Hugo!  Only Flickers understands him, and he rather wishes that she didn’t.  She never lets him have any fun.

Admin:  Yes, you definitely get the idea that he doesn’t have very much to do, so he may as well doze.  Drinking, counting money, and leching aren’t the biggest energy expenditures out there. 😀

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