Today’s Community Re-Watch

Let’s pull a fast one.

Here’s my review: Asshole.

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Ok, just kidding. But boyo, is that a nasty role to play. Dr Tom Steele is the worst kind of doctor I have ever seen. All fine veneer, but absolutely rotten behind. Actually, his behind isn’t rotten but rather tasty (those peaches simply can’t lie), but it’s hard to overlook professional negligence and personal inadequacies even for *that* face…

If you haven’t watched this but want to take part in the discussion, go ahead – the clip up there is only 10 minutes long. I’ll wait while you watch and compile a few more notes.

The girlfriend scenes in the pub: I really had to snigger there. That poor actress really didn’t get much of a job out of that role. In fact I was wondering whether she was just an extra because the show seemed to make sure that she doesn’t get to *say* anything. You can’t hear her say anything when Dr Scumbag joins late for her birthday – twice. Which reinforces my ‘extra’ theory because extras are paid – wait for it – extra 😂 when they have lines…Looks as if they were scrimping…

Dreamjob!!! Hey, I’d be laughing, too, if I had to simply shut up and wait to be kissed by Richard Armitage

That sportscar? Seriously? Ok, maybe it does fit Dr Scumbag’s personality. But listen BBC, it doesn’t even fit the actor! He’s too tall, hence he has to drive with the top down. (The car’s that is! Although *his* top looks a bit sparse, too 😱)

OMG, the shoes… Bad language warning: We used to call those types of slip-ons “fast fucker shoes”… Kind of fitting for Dr Scumbag…

Since this is the fangirl cut and we only see the RA scenes, I can’t properly critique the whole series or episode, but one of my criticisms of the episode is that Dr Scumbag really is quite a cardboard cut-out. The writers have really made him as bad a doctor as they could: lazy, unwilling to work, cutting corners, behaving irresponsibly, superficial, uncaring, not interested in his patients. Maybe I am idealising doctors, but I just can’t imagine doctors like that in RL and I question the realism of this episode. (That’s not to say that there aren’t doctors who have abominable bedside manners and seem completely out of place in a working environment where you have to work with and care for people.) It just seems a little bit too much – would someone as [fill in all the bad qualities you can think of] really decide to be a doctor? Would someone like that have gone through the extraordinary difficulties of becoming a doctor? I doubt it.

But well, as it is, Tom Steele is an absolute uncaring scumbag of a doctor who is not interested patients, has no grasp of psychology, behaves irresponsible on the job and is an allround asshole, see above. And as such probably the perfect role for Richard to play. No APM necessary, ladies. I am basing that on his frequently voiced opinion that he prefers to play characters that are totally different from his own personality. And what could be further from our sweet, caring, homeless-people-saving man than superficial, arrogant, egotistical Dr Steele? This is one of the first TV acting jobs, and RA appears young and fresh-faced. (A little bit too sleek in his physiognomy for my taste – this is 2001, and a few years away from the already slightly more ruggedy and less baby-faced charm of Mr Thornton.) He’s also still acting with his natural hair colour…

Dr Scumbag deserves this derp – even though this was to illustrate the Armitage trademark “concerned frown wrinkles”

Interestingly, he hasn’t yet developed his trademark eyelash flutters or characteristic hand-to-mouth gestures. Or maybe he just doesn’t have any opportunity to use such defining gestures in this role. He plays the arrogant arse very well and is worryingly at ease in the self-confident largesse of the character. He’s also quite at home in that awful, awful black leather jacket. Seriously, that’s what men wore in 2001? Looked like 1981 in East Germany to me, tbh.

I’m sorry, there is not much redemption for Dr Steele. But maybe that is to Richard’s credit. I definitely didn’t like this callous and uncaring, self-serving doctor. Well done, Richard. But I am paging Dr Track. Urgently.

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78 thoughts on “Today’s Community Re-Watch

    • That is just me having fun, Sue. At 10 minutes a pop I didn’t think this had to be announced a week in advance 😉
      Yes, it’s from the ‘Doctors’ series – but these are literally just the 10 minutes that RA is in the show.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I getcha. 🙂 I think I did watch that 10 minutes of Richard-as-jerk at one point a while ago. I’d watch again now, but it’s already 12:30 and I have to get up in 6 hours! Have a great day.

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  1. The show is still running on daytime TV the fact it is set in a wholly unbelievable Doctor’s practice is secondary to the Doctors private and not so private life lol
    The senior Doctor of the time did mention that she ‘sacked’ Richard Armitage fairly recently. I find it amusing when that happens. He is obviously still on some people’s radar in the UK

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s still running? OMG!!! (I hope the production values have changed and the doctors don’t have to wear pleather any more 😂).
      I agree, it’s always funny when former colleagues/fellow actors reminisce and comment. Always a joy when it comes to Armitage because they are always complimentary…

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  2. OMG I’d forgotten this – ghastly! 🤣🤣🤣 To be fair the whole programme was (and probably still is) ghastly. I saw it occasionally when I used to visit my father, who in his later years would watch anything 😖

    Liked by 3 people

  3. 2001? It has more of an early 90’s feel to me. It’s up to series 20, so someone’s watching it lol. I agree with you, all that training in medical school just to sit back and be an uncaring scumbag? I couldn’t help but think the whole way through just how unrealistic the Tom Steele character is. The dialogue is woeful and Richard just seems to be going through the motions. 2001 RA doesn’t float my boat, I much prefer his more “lived-in” face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree – it feels really, really old… In fairness, I guess technology has advanced quite a bit in the time, too.
      Totally wasted Richard’s talents there, I agree. But then again, it was one of his first TV gigs, so maybe it was good for him to just slowly get into it…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Isn’t it some sort of a rite of passage for young UK actors, like in the US you do a stint on Days of our Lives or The Young and the Restless or something? I thought I’d read that somewhere.
        That said, it is atrocious and entirely painful to watch. 😖

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      • 2001 doesn’t seem that long ago but it is nearly 20 years *eek!* So yes, TV has come a very long way since then.
        This role mightn’t have been much of one, but it was a step up from Man at Party and Man in Bar, and he had plenty of lines 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • 18 years… IDK, in some ways it feels like a long time (like RA having worked on screen since then), in others, it feels like only a few minutes (my daughter was born in 2001, for instance, and to me it feels as if it was only yesterday that she was a toddler…)

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  4. This is new to me, I had no idea! My verdict — weeell, we all have to start somewhere. 😂 I wouldn’t want him for my GP but he’d be more fun to look at in the waiting room than the dog-eared copies of Peoples Friend and Hello Magazine.
    Doctors used to come on before Eastenders on our TV. Probably still does. I bet they still have the annoying jangly theme music too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really – new for you? Well, sorry I had to break it to you this way 😉
      Absolutely right – if Dr Scumbag simply sat there looking pretty, I’d have no objection .

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  5. Somehow I missed this show in my early days of scarfing up every scrap of Armitage-on-a-screen that was available. Wow, it’s truly awful. As you all have said, gotta start somewhere. I bet he’s glad those days are behind him.

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    • I’d love to hear what he has to say about old, early roles like these. The ones that were not seminal, but slowly eased him into the business, where he had to play the marginal characters… Unfortunately he is too discreet…

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  6. yeah, he’s a pretty unpleasant character-putting his owns needs above his patients and his work, not being interested in his patients, terrible dress sense (lol) .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And the word of the day is… Scumbag! It’s beautiful to learn always something new!😂 That guy deserves to be a little bald. And deserve the horrible jacket too. Blergh. Probably you can use this clip in school, because there’s almost everything a doctor don’t have to do.
    And now improve your italian: scumbag = cazzone!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, that’s language exchange, Lurkerella! (And I have to say that scumbag is one of my favourite words – it just conjures up such a weird and funny picture of a plastic bag full of rubbish 😂)
      He deserved the horrible jacket – well said!!!

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  8. The fact that they didn’t have the girlfriend speak was so stilted. I mean, the whole thing is pretty bad, but that was just weird, like she’d had an inexplicable mute spell cast on her. 😂

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  9. What a treat. I had never seen this. Thanks for sharing. I thought he was a convincing scumbag, but Edith stole the show. She was amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Edith 😂Oh yes, Edith was absolutely brilliant. And his impatient squirming was hilarious… What is it that they always say: Never work with animals or old people on set 😁

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  10. RA has played a lot of flawed characters. Some of them I have even felt pangs of compassion for. Ugh! Everything about this selfish scumbag is a turnoff. Me no likey!!! 😖 I can’t fault him for taking the work though. Like others have said, you have to start somewhere. Thanks for sharing- my radar missed this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, absolutely agree, Donna – of course there was nothing wrong with RA taking on this role. Gotta start somewhere. And he did well, as he always does 😉

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  11. What a long tie! Well RA’s driving have certainly improved since then – we didn’t see Lucas knocking over any plant pots.

    He was good in it. I remember him being more openly a scumbag, more rude, but he was actually more superficially polite but, yes, a scumbag nonetheless. I love his pinched tight little smile and actually liked the leather jacket and dark shirt combo. I do agree about his baby face though not quite ripened into hunkiness and I am a bit traumatised by the BP on his crown (cannot say the word) which has now mysteriously vanished. 

    The way Edith spoke to RA was how I felt I sounded when I’ve spoken to him. And I definitely wouldn’t have been able to remember who the PM was or the answer to  3+4 if he had asked.

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    • The knocked over plant post was actually a great little detail. It really symbolised the callous self-interest of Dr Scumbag. Not only does he crash right into the plant, but when he gets out of the car to check, he actually doesn’t look at the plant but makes sure his car is alright 😂. What a wanker!
      The pinched smiles were absolutely spot on for the role. He did very well in it.
      LOL on “BP” – the taboo word. It’s kind of like a mirage. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. 2pée (cannot say the word either 😂)

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I got a DVD of the show from the library and Steele has no redemptive scenes. When we’re surveyed as to who is his worst villain role and everyone puts down poor Dolarhyde, I always put down Tom Steele who proved Mr. A could play a bad guy without making him sympathetic or understandable.

    Like

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