Thursday, June 2, 2011

Favorite Couples: Robin Hood and Maid Marian

Robin Hood BBC, although only lasting 3 seasons on television, is one of my all-time favorite shows. The first season aired in 2006, but I discovered the show about 2 years ago. It quickly became one of my favorites even though I got mad at the writers several times. For those of you who haven't seen it, I won't give away any spoilers. What I loved about this show was that it really got you involved with the characters and was so much fun to watch. It was like the Disney Robin Hood but made for an older viewing audience.

When I was younger, I always loved the Robin Hood story. From Disney's Robin Hood to Erroyl Flynn's portrayal of Hood, I always found the story fun and exciting. I found Robin and Marian's relationship particularly sweet in each film, but my favorite Robin and Marian would have to be Jonas Armstrong and Lucy Griffiths from Robin Hood BBC.

Lucy Griffiths doesn't portray your typical Maid Marian-she is feisty and not very impressed with Robin when he returns home from the Holy Land. Robin and Marian were engaged to be married before he left, and Marian still feels hurt that he left to find adventure with King Richard instead of staying back to marry her. Marian also has to ward off the attentions of Sir Guy of Gisborne (played by Richard Armitage), throwing a love triangle into the show. Marian has a secret as well: she is the "Nightwatchman" to the people under the Sheriff's tyrannical rule. She brings food and supplies to the poor who are being heavily taxed, making her a female Robin Hood of sorts. While Robin and Marian's relationship gets off to a rough start at first, they begin to open up to one another eventually and forgive each other for past wrongs. It's frustrating watching them at times, because you wish you could make them say certain things to each other you know they would like to say! By the second season, their romantic relationship really starts. What I love about their romance is that it's pure and sweet-Marian is exactly what Robin needs. She grounds him and encourages him to fight for the people.

Jonas Armstrong also doesn't play your typical Robin Hood. He's portrayed as a relatively young man who is somewhat of a show-off. He's also a ladies man who seems a bit out of control at first, but throughout the series, Robin really matures. By the second season, he really learns from his mistakes and becomes a better leader of his gang. While Robin isn't perfect, especially when it comes to relating to Marian, I love his cheeky and fun personality. He is also fiercely protective when it comes to Marian-it is obvious that she is the driving force behind everything he does. Although I was furious at him during season 3 for a few things (I blame it all on the writers), I do believe that Marian will always be his one true love.

Here is one of my favorite scenes with them-Robin proposes to Marian. I think it's one of the most adorable proposals. =)

If you haven't seen Robin Hood BBC yet, check it out. It's a family show and relatively clean (except for a few things in Season 3). Also, the very first episode of Season 1 started off a little rough, but stick with it, it gets much better I promise!!!  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let's Hear it for the Nerdy Guys!

Merlin and Rory

Lately I've found that it's the nerdy guys in TV shows/movies that have been stealing my heart. And most recently, it has been these two: Merlin (pictured on top; played by Colin Morgan in the BBC TV series "Merlin") and Rory Williams (played by Arthur Darvill in the BBC TV series "Doctor Who"). Here's my reasoning for loving these two so much: they are endearing in that they stay extremely loyal to those they love while still maintaining a dorky cuteness about them. I'll do a brief profile of each just so you get a picture of the quality traits each one possesses.


 I think we're all somewhat familiar with the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table, and of course Merlin the wizard plays a central role in guiding Arthur. In the latest BBC series of "Merlin", he is a young boy and not the typical wizard with a long beard and pointy hat that we're all used to seeing. He is a peer with Arthur and plays a servant to him; all the while Arthur is unaware Merlin has any form of magic. Merlin has to hide his secret because in the kingdom of Camelot, any form of magic is outlawed. Throughout the series, Merlin has to protect Arthur, and in the process makes some mistakes along the way and learns from them. He looks to Gaius, court physician to the King's household, for counsel as he tries to control his magic and figure out his purpose for it. It's cute to see the father/son relationship that develops between these two, but I especially love how Merlin, in the end, always responds well to Gaius's counsel. 

At first, Merlin appears to be just a scrawny, dorky guy whose ears stick out farther than they should. But it doesn't take long to see the sweet character traits he possesses. In nearly every situation, Merlin is always humble. He really can't reveal his magic to anyone, but he still willingly gives credit to others when the praise obviously belongs to himself in certain situations.   

Also, Merlin is such a sweetheart when it comes to his mother! He has such a great love and respect for her-I wish there were more episodes in the show that included her because their relationship is so sweet.

In one particular episode, Merlin finds a love interest in a girl running away from a bounty hunter. He gives her aid and tries to protect her from this man. Freya (the girl) has issues of her own, but even after Merlin finds out the true nature of her problem, he still shows compassion. What I found really sweet about this episode was that Merlin shared such an innocent love with this girl, even though it was brief. He respects Freya and is such a gentleman with her-as I said before, there's such an innocence to his puppy love.

Overall Merlin shows undying love and faithfulness toward his friends. Of course he makes a few mistakes along the way and doesn't always make the right choices, but he will always be one of  my favorite "nerdy" TV show characters to watch.

Here's a fan-made video based on Merlin's relationship with Freya. It does contain spoilers, but it's such a beautiful vid (set to the music of Gladiator) and I really wanted to put it on here.

Rory Williams is somewhat of a newbie to "Doctor Who". During Season 5 he appeared during a few episodes, and most fans were not crazy about him. If any of you are Doctor Who fans, you'll remember Mickey, Rose's boyfriend, from the earlier seasons. Many people felt he would be just like Mickey-kind of useless. However, Rory, a trained nurse, turns out to be the exact opposite. Amy Pond, the Doctor's companion, is engaged to Rory, and somewhat neglects him when she goes off with the Doctor on his journeys. At first, Rory appears to be clueless and super dorky, making fans of the show instantly start making comparisons between Mickey and him. 
*SPOILERS HERE* Rory comes along for a few trips until they get separated, and he gets stuck in an alternate life as a Roman soldier. For those of you not familiar with "Doctor Who", it is a sci-fi show about a time traveler-and it gets way more complicated than that so I'll let you figure out for yourselves if you like it, that is, if you ever watch the show. =) To make a long story short, Amy gets reunited with him, but Rory isn't fully human because his body has been transferred (told you it's complicated!). To fit the plot in this particular story, Amy ends up getting placed inside a huge box (she's in a coma state), and Rory has to protect her for a very long time. Not like a week or a month, more like 2000 years! Since the show is all about time travel it makes sense in the end. Rory, who at this point is not in human form and is pretty much immortal, guards that box with all that's in him because he wants no hard to come to Amy. And he did it for 2000 years! After this, the Doctor refers to Rory as "The Boy Who Waited". So sweet.

In the end, it all works out- Rory becomes human again, and Amy and he do get married. Sometimes I wonder how he puts up with Amy-she can be quite a wild thing but he still loves her no matter what. What I'm loving about the sixth season (which is airing right now) is that their relationship is deepening. Rory is somewhat insecure with himself because he knows how infatuated Amy is with the Doctor, but her love for Rory is becoming stronger as the show progresses. They really are an adorable couple, and I love how they're the first married couple the Doctor has as his partners. I still read posts from some people who still don't care for Rory, but fortunately the majority are changing their minds about him. I liked him from the start, so I am very happy to find how great a character he's turned out to be. Yay for geeks!! =)

I think this fan-video sums up Rory and Amy's relationship pretty well. =) Watch it if you have the chance-it's only a minute.

I love them. =)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Take on a Future Pride and Prejudice Cast

Pride and Prejudice is one of the most well-known and most-loved novels of Jane Austen. My favorite film adaptation so far has been the BBC/A&E version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I seem to love the TV adaptations better-I love when there are episodes so that the story doesn't get rushed along. That was the major flaw with the 2005 version with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen. It had alot of potential, but the story moved so quickly it seemd confusing at times. Anyway, I was thinking that it would be interesting if the BBC decided to make yet another version of Pride and Prejudice (you know they will eventually). So I thought up a huge list in my head of potential actors/actresses who could play the roles. So here is a list of who I would love to see as these beloved characters. I'd love to get feedback on actors you would like to see in these roles too. I'll just do the main characters because it would get too complicated if I included minor ones.

1. Richard Armitage as Mr. Darcy. He has always been my first choice. If you've seen him in "North and South", you can definitely see the comparisons between Thornton and Darcy. Richard's a little busy right now filming "The Hobbit", but I would absolutely love it if he played Darcy if Pride and Prejudice was ever re-made!!

 2. Lucy Griffiths as Elizabeth Bennet. It's funny, because Lucy Griffiths and Richard Armitage actually played opposite each other in the Robin Hood BBC tv series. Lucy is so pretty and would bring just the right amount of spunk and dignity to play Lizzy, and seeing her act with Richard again would be fun.

*Update* I recently read on a fansite for Lucy that her dream role would be to play Elizabeth Bennet. I didn't even know about this when I wrote the post-isn't that funny? Guess it's meant to be. =)

3. Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Bennet. I am torn between 3 actors for Mr. Bennet, but I immediately thought of Bonneville because he has sort of played Mr. Bennet before. He was in a spin-off of Pride and Prejudice, "Lost in Austen", and was very convincing as Lizzie's father. He can play such diverse characters too-he was the cruel husband in "Daniel Deronda" but played a kindly earl in "Downton Abbey".

Anthony Head as Mr. Bennet. Anthony Head is my second choice-I am more used to him playing slightly mean and stern roles ("Merlin", "Doctor Who") but I bet he could pull Mr. Bennet off.

And last but not least, Bill Paterson as Mr. Bennet. He played Mr. Gibson in "Wives and Daughters" and has played in several other BBC productions such as "Little Dorrit". I think he would be a perfect fit, and now that I think about it more, I might consider him more than Anthony Head and Hugh Bonneville.

4. Francesca Annis as Mrs. Bennet. I think this picture says it all. =) Annis has played in "Wives and Daughters" as Mrs. Gibson, and she was honestly the only person I could think of who could play Mrs. Bennet in a snooty but hilarious way. The actress in the Colin Firth version was by far the best Mrs. Bennet, so I think it will be hard to top her.

5. Keeley Hawes as Jane Bennet. I was having alot of difficulty thinking up an actress to play Jane. I really liked Rosamund Pike in the latest "Pride and Prejudice" as Jane-she was pretty but at the same time quiet and sweet. Keeley Hawes is beautiful and I believe she could play a convincing Jane, even though we're all used to seeing her as the extroverted Cynthia in "Wives and Daughters".

*Update* After 2 friends told me they were having some trouble seeing Keeley Hawes play Jane, I thought Sophia Myles might be a possible solution. I also thought she might play Mrs. Hurst, but maybe Keeley and she could switch roles? I'm not sure if she would be too "blonde" for the role. Jane does always seem to be blonde in the movie productions of Pride and Prejudice, but maybe her hair could be dyed to more of a dirty blonde. The funny thing is, is that Sophia played in a production of "Nicholas Nickleby" with J.J. Field (who I suggested as Mr. Bingley) and Keeley Hawes acted with Anthony Howell in "Wives and Daughters", and both were love interests of the gentlemen. It would be funny if each one got matched up again. =)

6. Ruby Bentall as Mary Bennet. Ruby is best known for her role in "Lark Rise to Candleford" as cute Minnie, but she also played Mary in "Lost in Austen". She's a perfect fit and I think it would be hilarious if she reprised her role.

7. Olivia Hallinan as Kitty Bennet. Olivia has played Laura in the hit BBC series "Lark Rise to Candleford". It would be fun to see her as one of Lizzie's sisters.

8. Holliday Grainger as Lydia Bennet. She was the only sister I really couldn't figure out. I originally thought Karen Gillan from "Doctor Who" would make a good Lydia, but then I thought of Holliday Grainger. I think she would actually really fit in with the Bennet family. And I could see her being silly and flirty. She also really looks like Olivia Hallinan-they could be sisters! For those of you not familiar with her, she has been in "Merlin", "Robin Hood", and other BBC dramas.

9. J.J. Feild as Mr. Bingley. I am SO excited about this possibility!! Remember him as Mr. Tilney in "Northanger Abbey"?? He would be the perfect Mr. Bingley, and I really wish a movie producer would read this post so he or she could start making phone calls now, lol.

*A friend of mine also suggested Anthony Howell (who I thought could play Colonel Fitzwilliam) as Bingley, and I would love to see this as well! I loved his role as Roger in "Wives and Daughters" and I think he would also make a good Bingley.

10. Christina Cole as Caroline Bingley. Cole has played Caroline in Lost in Austen, but I couldn't think of a more perfect actress to play Bingley's snooty sister. She just has a certain air about her that makes her ideal for playing more snobby characters ("Emma", "What a Girl Wants").

11. Sophia Myles as Louisa Hurst (Bingley's other sister). I was going between Christina Cole and Sophia Myles for the role of Caroline Bingley, but Christina is definitely the better choice. I thought this actress looked slightly similar to Cole, making her a good choice for the sister. Not completely happy with this selection-any thoughts or comments on who you would choose? In many movie versions Louisa Hurst isn't even included, which is a shame.

*Possible switch with Keeley Hawes*

12. Rupert Evans as George Wickham. Rupert has already played a Jane Austen bad boy in "Emma", so why not play another? His boyish good looks make him a perfect candidate for the role.

13. Anna Maxwell Martin as Charlotte Lucas. Martin played Esther in "Bleak House", and she immediately came to my mind because her character in Bleak House was very level-headed, much like Charlotte (well, except when she married Mr. Collins, lol). Speaking of Mr. Collins...

14. Blake Ritson as Mr. Collins. He played Edmund Bertram in "Mansfield Park" and Mr. Elton in "Emma". His role as Elton convinced me that he could play Mr. Collins more than adequately. And he even looks the part. =)

15. Tamzin Merchant-Mariah Lucas. Not much to say about this one, excpet that Merchant played Georgiana in the 2005 "Pride and Prejudice" version. I think she would make a good Mariah though and looks the age.

16. Julia Sawalha (yes, she played Lydia in the 1995 P&P version) and David Morrissey-Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. I honestly had no idea with these two-so feel free to suggest anyone else!

17. Felicity Jones as Georgiana Darcy. This is the 3rd time I have changed my choice for Georgiana. I can't seem to make up my mind, but I believe Felicity Jones, from "Northanger Abbey", would make a really cute Georgiana, And she could pass for Richard Armitage's sister as well.

Sarah Bolger as Georgiana Darcy.My other choice for Georgiana-which do you think is better? Bolger looks a little too young so that's why I thought Felicity Jones was a better choice.

18. Anthony Howell as Colonel Fitzwilliam. Remember Roger from "Wives and Daughters"? I think he would make a dashing colonel. ;)

*Another possible role for him is Mr. Bingley

19. Judy Parfitt as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. After I chose Judy Parfitt as the actress for Lady Catherine I found out she actually played this character in a 1970s Pride and Prejudice series--guess she just has a "Lady Catherine" look about her! hehe. She plays Arthur's cruel mother in "Little Dorrit" and seems to do very well in more severe roles, so Lady Catherine is perfect for her!

So this is my list of possible actors for a new "Pride and Prejudice"-there are a few characters I didn't include, like Anne de Bourgh and Mr. Hurst, but I couldn't think of anyone for them anyway. If you have any thoughts on who could play these characters I would love to hear them! What do you think of my selections? Who would you choose?


This is a dedicated blog to all period dramas, classic and fantasy films, and BBC shows. A few examples would be The Lord of the Rings, Jane Austen films, Robin Hood, Merlin, and Doctor Who (the last 3 being the BBC TV shows). I will occasionally be posting thoughts on certain shows and character profiles. I would love to hear your thoughts as well! If you feel the urge to write anything about these shows, you may send me your thoughts and I will post them on my site after reviewing them. I prefer discussing fairly clean movies and shows, so any posts you send me must be free from language and suggestive content. This isn't a movie review site;  it's a place where fans of these shows can come together and look at pictures and share thoughts on favorite characters. I look forward to meeting more of you-have a great day!