Today we have a special guest who has very generously given me permission to share her thoughts and pictures. She is known as beengizzied, and she has an interesting “Show and Tell” about various Richard Armitage characters. I’ll let her take over now and I hope you enjoy
this post her commentary. Beengizzied does not want me to call her a guest blogger, so I’ll just classify this as a very long comment. 😉
Richard Armitage: The Dark Side
The darker side of Richard Armitage’s roles is a richly interesting place with many cultural, philosophical and visual links. Here’s just a handful.
I think Guy of Gisborne is driven by the belief that he is ugly on the inside. Like Frankenstein’s creature, he was abandoned by his parent figure. Guy was left to fend for himself and this created anger. Finding some sense of place with Vasey, who re-made him into a monstrous figure, Guy’s sense of self loathing only grew. Guy wanted to be loved and, like the creature, saw his ability to exist in the world (and maybe redemption for sins) linked to a mate (Marian) but when this promise was broken the consequences of the betrayal were dire and tragic.
“What are you rebelling against, Johnny?” He answers, “Whaddaya got?”
Ricky Deeming: Rebel Philosopher
Ricky represents for me the delicious concept of “carnival” (as discussed by Baudrillard and then Bakhtin). Ricky is fighting against middle class hegemony by dabbling at the edge of oblivion in terms of speed (and possibly his sexuality?) and, what I find so attractive about him is, he is aware of its subversive potential. I’d love to know how he got to this point. His biker gang (or cult) is neo-Marxist polemic acted out in leather. This is different to our other leather boy, Guy of Gisborne, who wants desperately to join the establishment – at the top, of course.
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
The central theme of “Ozymandias” is the inevitable complete decline of all leaders, and of the empires they build, however mighty in their own time. John Thornton certainly has some of the arrogance of the boastful king at the beginning of the story.
Richard mentions having read Engels (possibly The Condition of the Working Class in England) in his North and South “making of” interview. Engels, himself the product of industrialist wealth, financially supported and co authored with Marx seminal writings on the inherent exploitation and inevitable contradictions of capitalism, holding within it the seeds of its own destruction. North and South is the richer for touching on these themes.
He struggles to integrate at first but by season eight he is functioning like the true programmed professional assassin. He looks and moves like a machine. And by the end, thinks like one that has malfunctioned.
John Porter (so tempted to go all biblical here, but a bit too sensitive) is the gladiator. He believes in a noble cause. He puts his life on the line and suffers horrendous physical pain. He is a killing machine with a conscience. He loves his wife and child but is ripped from them. He works within a corrupt, multi agenda, military regime that does not belong to any one country. He is just one small cog who is easily sacrificed in a power machine that attempts to protect the facade of government legitimacy. Like Spartacus he ends up working outside of the regime to help the oppressed and when he is labelled renegade and drives off into the distance on a fatal crusade there are, in true serial military style, many more to take his place.