I saw this ad on the left and  felt rather uneasy, quite puzzled. Richard doesn’t seem human. I’ve already said (HERE) I don’t like hammering advertising , more precisely I just hate advertising. And this Strike Back campaign seems a heavy one. At Sky, they keep their hopes high on this production, they want to compete with the Americans. And I’m trying to focus on the positive aspect in it: new pics and interviews.
Another thing I hate: war videogames, the ones most of my male students love. And this picture here, with an unnerving tough armed hero, though bearing the handsome look of Richard Armitage, disturbs me. I’m being honest, you see. I can keep my objectivity even before charming Mr Armitage (hard task!)
War is not a videogame: it breaks men, destroys lives.The survivors have harder tasks than the dead who rest in peace paradoxically, they have to cope with their sense of guilt and with the memories of the slaughter they witnessed. I really hope SB won’t be anything like those videogames where the more you kill the better you are.
Shell shocked soldiers they were lebelled during WWI; post war trauma is another term used to describe what broken men coming back from the front suffered from.

But it seems John Porter will share that kind of background in  this 6-part drama. I mean, he is a broken man, shattered by war . He is a discharged- in - disgrace SAS officer. He is haunted by a sense of atonement and redemption. Richard says: "He's a damaged hero - but he's got to be. If he's all hero, then he's not appealing. You have to look for the hero and then find what makes him weak. The failings are what make him human." This makes me feel a little better. Maybe they must publicize the drama highlighting the brave tough hero aspect of the character but Richard promises his audience something more.

Reading Richard’s words about John Porter, reading his analysis of his new character (HERE) reassured me a bit. Yes, of course he knows he must act as a modern super-hero all muscles, guns and machine guns, boys’ toys and action. He knows the male part of his audience will want a hero with the guts, expect their dose of violence, risk, chase, thrilling action and sex but, as usual, he tries to give his character a soul, a backstory of reasons and motivations, a complex personality. He did his best to look great (read HERE) but he did his bestest at conveying the human being’s suffering and torment. I’m happy of that, I really hope this new drama won’t be only a high quality videogamelike war series. As I told you at the beginning, we must always remember war not only kills human beings but it also breaks down their minds and hearts, shatters their dreams and future lives. It is not a game for brave kids. It is not fun.


I don’t know a single man who has read at least some of the books I like. Actually, I know few men who really love reading. Yes, I know,  I am unlucky because they do exist, don't they,  but where ?
So when I discovered that Richard is  the “literary” type, one who reads not only for his job,  I admired him deeply. Anyway, in his acting career, he read North and South before auditioning for the part of John Thornton, re-read (he said he had already read it several times) Wuthering Heights before interpreting John Standring , acted in a Shakespearean company, read Ted Hughes, read Georgette Heyer,  would love to play in more classic stage plays, acted as Richardson’s Lovelace.  His interview at Vulpes Libris regarding reading books ( and much more ) was great.

Now in this interview for THE STAGE ( see picture above) he says he is probably going to act on stage in a Restoration comedy, The Rover by Aphra Behn. Reading the plot of this 17th century play,  I guess he will be Willmore, a romp. Was Robert Lovelace just rehearsal for this other rake?
As for reading and Richard,  his newest Georgette Heyer's audiobook, THE CONVENIENT MARRIAGE,  can be pre-ordered at Amazon UK or The Book Depository.
Here's its brand new cover (above on the left)


I have already expressed my perplexity for some indiscretions which came out in  the press regarding Lucas North's fate in SPOOKS 9. Now reading this article , I'm even more perplexed.

Richard says: "what's really interesting about Lucas this year is he's much less physical than he has been in the past..." What does that mean? Not that I'm that interested in action or physicality but ... It sounds  like ... he's going to be relegated to a background role. I really hope to be completely wrong. Wasn't it enough to hear that Lucas in series 9" becomes embroiled in what bosses say is a dark secret that leads to the ultimate betrayal"?

Final question. Which is your favourite Richard?

The glamorous star-like featured in this picture

or the more natural one below


Traxy said...

I just think it means he'll do more thinking and less running around in Spooks9. We'll have to wait and see. "Strike Back" does look like it's going to be a "boys with toys" sort of show, but at the same time, from the descriptions, it also seems like it won't be. That John Porter is not just Action Man but a real human being. Fingers crossed, anyway! Have a nice weekend. :)

Unknown said...

Bread for thought, dear MG!
Somehow, I'm sure his portrait of JP will be a perfect mix of a trained soldier and a sensible man <3
I share your worries about Lucas, though. But to me, the most important thing is that he doesn't prove to be a traitor, eventually. I couldn't bear it!
As for the pictures, I don't dislike the glamorous one, as well as the Gladiator-like pic of the advert, but these are a bit too much photoshopped... please, give me back the chicken pox scar on his forehead! He doesn't look quite himself without it! ;)
have a nice weekend,
xx KB

Anonymous said...

Agree with Karen.
Also love all the Guy of Gisborne images.
But most especially agree with MG about the thinking/reading man. The Vulpes Libris I/V is so enlightening of the man and how good to think there are men who do read, let alone read the classics with evident joy.
And MG: how could I not leave Ser Richard Armitage available for your escort for The Masked Ball? It was inevitable. The man you wrote about in your back-story and my RA lookalike of Ser Niccolo de Fleury are vastly different. My escort is a sort of Guy/John Thornton combo!

Jac said...

Hi MG! I love your post. I share your disturbing thoughts on Strike Back. I know exactly what you mean. I recently read a book and currently reading another one on war and violence and it gets really ugly and brutal. However, I'm banking on RA's superb acting, that he will provide that "humanity" in this action-packed drama.
Hmm, i love anything with RA in it! :D Happy weekend.

Phylly3 said...

I love how RA is trying to branch out with his roles (so as not to be typecast I suspect). But he brings to each role his intelligent portrayal of the deeper soul of each character. I always thought so, but he even admits it! No wonder I am crazy about him!

Anonymous said...

Another great RA Friday post that touches on two things that I've been pondering, as well. The publicity for SB has been heavy, and the pictures of Mr. Armitage very heavily photoshopped to create a certain impression (in that ad you reproduce his face is almost yellow, for example). I feel like my admiration for Mr. Armitage is being manipulated by Sky TV, and I really hope it pays off, because if I have an impossible time watching what sounds like it is going to be a very violent film with my hero in it ... I'll be sad? Well, I don"t know how I will react. But I share your worries.

Avalon said...

Great post! I completely agree with you. War is killing, not entertainment. It is distressing that so many youths find war fun. For the real people that have lived it or living it, like my brother, war is anything but FUN! I do not approve of the video games and so on but I do watch the documentaries and certain movies like North and South (The American Civil War, not the romance with Richard Armitage) and The Last of the Mohicans, etc. but not because I find war amusing but because of the historical element. I believe we should try to understand what our forefathers have been through and if war films etch the brief passion in my heart even for a second, then I support it.

Unknown said...

That Strike Back ad is a little freaky. I mean RA looks amazing as always but the ad makes me think it's a sci-fi show like Battlestar for some reason.