RAflash Fan Event: “I saw something fine”

RAflash 2

Or rather: I didn’t. The first time I encountered R___ A___ was in the BBC dramatization of North & South. Ironically given my later massive crush on the actor, I had presented the DVD of the series to my esteemed SO who is a massive fan of classical literature and enjoys watching period drama. Little did he know… or I, for that matter. We watched the mini series together, but being slightly underwhelmed by Gaskell (sorry), I did not really engage particularly strongly. I was too riled by the patronising tones of the piece than to concentrate on the finer emotional moments between the characters. Or the actors who created them – apart from registering the dark handsomeness of A___ and his goose-pimple inducing voice with a Northern accent as bonus.

series9-06Fast forward four years (!) to 2012 and a late February evening when I stumbled upon a re-run of Spooks. It was episode 6 of season 9 where Lucas North is entrusted with the care of hacker-babe Danielle Ortiz. “There’s your man from N&S”, I thought to myself, “He looks good without a cravat, too.” For want of something better to watch, I stayed with the high-paced show, not knowing anything about it, but drawn to it, especially when the conversation of the two characters went to music (if I remember correctly). The dark timbre got me again, as did the mysterious behaviour of the protagonist – who seemed to be on the “good” side but was evidently involved in something sinister. I loved how he comforted the woman in his care – but wait, did he deliberately stall the ambulance? I felt enthralled by the portrayal of the character.

guyIntrigued, I set about finding out what else the actor who had drawn me into the show had played. The next day I googled – and fell for Sir Guy, just by virtue of Youtube clips of Robin Hood. Was it the black leather? Always sexy. The body underneath the leathers? Tall, lean, fit. The  Guyliner? Eh, no. The stubble and sharp sideburns? That’s more like it. The tortured soul? A challenge that many women can’t resist. The show was corny in the extreme, but the actor who brought Sir Guy to life was not.

I saw something fine. I saw an actor who made the obvious baddie a multi-layered character, sensitively and complexely portrayed. Rather than the usual baddie-pastiche as whom Sir Guy had been shown in previous dramatizations of Robin Hood, this version of the hero’s nemesis was a well-rounded character, full of depth, complexities, contradictions. He kept me watching – not just “for the plot” but for the Gisborne plot. It didn’t hurt that he was pleasant to look at (even if not my usual type *at all*).

And that was it. I was converted. I could have left it at that. But I didn’t. And there was more. The descent into hell followed.

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This concludes my first contribution to the RAflash fan event 2014. More about all things fine and beautiful on another day. Watch out for more RAflash goodness throughout the fandom. Search for the tag “RAflash”. RAflash continues all this week until the 19th of January. Please comment on as many blogs as possible. Share the RAlove!


23 thoughts on “RAflash Fan Event: “I saw something fine”

  1. I didn’t know that! My origin story is almost exactly the same, except that I liked North and South better than you seemed to and the Spooks episode I saw was 7.1 when Lucas makes his first appearance. (I was in the middle of a marathon from the very beginning.) And like you, I moved on the Robin Hood. Cool. I don’t think Lucas was the impetus for most fans.


    • You didn’t know my gateway to the drug? 😉 Yeah, I’ve kind of kept that quiet. (Always feel that my introspection or “testimonial” is not really worth telling. Funny – cos I love reading other fans’ stories about their descent into RAobsession…)
      N&S seems to be the “booster detonation” for most of the legacy fans, I guess. And then Thorin for the newest fans. So hey, we are special then, are we, Perry :-D?
      Ever since, btw, I must admit that I have come to like N&S a bit more. At the last viewing (together with AwkwardCelebEncounters) there was a lot of groaning and shouting and heckling of Margaret going on, and a lot of swooning and sighing over Thornton. Poor RA and his leading lady characters – not much luck on the lady front.


  2. “Booing and heckling of Margaret”. LOL, yeah…Daniela D-A is luminous, but the character is so condescending for so long. I’m probably showing my working class roots, but I was sold when Thornton soulfully explained the backstory to the initial violent outburst in the factory.

    That is a great Spooks episode…the descent, as it were 🙂


    • Thank you for finally saying out loud what I never dare to say (because Margaret is so well loved by all) – I thought she was horribly condescending and patronising, and displayed her chuzpe mainly in situations where someone else was there to catch the spoilt Southern brat should she fall. The demure, wide-eyed naiveté didn’t sit well with that. Plus: Clueless woman – how *could* she work herself up into hating Thornton when it was evident from the beginning that he was a total DISH??? Grah! (Abby and I should’ve recorded our own commentary and then made a DVD with “N&S – extra: fangirl commentary”. At least we would’ve said it as it is…


  3. I didn’t get to Spooks until this year. I was way over my head by then. As you all well know, it’s going to take a lot to drag me away from the hairy dwarf, now, although a sword and buckskin breeches, and a bit of 18th century drama always turns my head.


    • It works in mysterious ways, Arkie. I should know, because nothing will ever drag me away from the leather-clad hottie in nottie, but even beard-hater Guylty is smitten with the majestic hotness of Thorin… It’s all in the eyes, I suspect.


  4. Mine was a Spooks intro as well- but I’d seen it all up to that point, so it was more a case of wondering who was going to replace the dashing Adam Carter, who I knew was ‘leaving’ the series. I loved that one and only episode Lucas and Adam got to interact, shame he couldn’t have saved his demise for another episode or two, but anyway, that was my first RA moment.


    • I only caught up with all of that later – well, from season 7 *priorities…coughs*. Carter seemed like the only one willing to back up Lucas, and for that I’ll always like him 😉 Anyway, welcome to the select club of “Gateway: Lucas”-fans, Katharine!


  5. This is wonderful. I loved “the descent into Hell”… snort. And Obscura’s comment about Margaret’s condescension – YES! that drove me nuts. She spent so much of the series with THAT ONE LOOK on her face that combined bewilderment and helplessness and cluelessness and I just wanted to shake her and say, come on. Really? lolololol

    Ok. Sorry. Enough about me. Loved this article. Loving the event!! xoxoxo


    • Precisely!!! That wide-eyed cluelessness just riled me so much. Arrrgh. I think I shouted several times during the last viewing of N&S “Wake up, Margaret, WAKE UP!” Ugh.
      More about the descent into hell tomorrow, Christine 🙂 There’s more *haha*.
      And yes, great event. Have you something scheduled? (Haven’t checked the reader in the last 2 hours…)


  6. I just want you to know that I shall not be holding your initial disregard for Thornton/N&S against you as that’s just the kind of friend I am, but I hope you’ve learned your lesson Missy and we won’t have a repeat of this in future 😉
    Now go to the corner and think about what you’ve done and apologies to John on your way there…


    • *puts on a Margaret-Hale-look-of-demure-chastisement* I fear, Miss Agzy, that you hold me in worse regard than I do you at this point. (Ahem, not entirely appropriate quote). And yes, I guess you have just put your finger on the spot: Very Margaret-like I resisted Thornton’s charm upon first acquaintance. WTH??? I hadn’t learnt yet to switch off my brain and just think with my ovaries at that point. I’ve had a crash course in ovary-led thinking in the last two years, though… Happy end.


  7. Pingback: RAflash Fan Event: “I saw something fine” | I Saw Something Fine

  8. Extra fangirl commentary? Yes! You know that Hobbit video that shows the three actors watching the two girls react to the trailer? You could play a tape of you and Abby heckling/reacting to N&S with no visual or sound from N&S, AND WE WOULD ALL KNOW EXACTLY WHERE YOU WERE IN THE SHOW BY YOUR COMMENTS.


    • Hahaha, Besotted – too right!!! You know what – we should make that a game. Everybody chooses a 5 minute clip of their liking. They watch it on headphones while taping their live reaction. Then people listen back to it and have to spot the scene.


  9. Pingback: I Saw Something Fine – RA Fan Event 2014 | Love, Sex & Other Dirty Words

  10. Yep. That scene in Spooks where he lets the hacker die is amazing. I was initially drawn to Thorton, but I am intrigued by Lucas. But I have to view each season of Spooks as its own alternate universe because Lucas 7 (my favorite) is not Lucas 9. But Lucas 9 is better than just about anything else out there, so I enjoy it, too. I’m getting annoyed waiting a year to see RA on the big screen. I wish he was back in a television series again, because it gave me more to watch. Right now I’d even be happy with a squirrel beard.


    • Hey Beverly – thanks for the comment. I totally do not want to accept season 9 as canon, but well, on the acting front that *is* much more interesting than 8. 7 was pretty challenging to – the initial duplicity of Lucas, I guess, mirrored again in 9.
      And your word in RA’s ear, Beverly – I can only agree that I would much rather watch some regular TV appearances than wait for precious films…


  11. Pingback: Time-Filler Tactics [or: Yet Another Multi-Day RA Challenge] | Guylty Pleasure

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