It's kind of hard to bash out a mini essay, because unlike LOM, I feel like I've already said everything I've had to say about this episode before. There's the industrial unrest and the references to Peterloo, the Austen
I do like Lady Anne, much more so than when I first saw Sharpe, many moons ago now. I think Sharpe should have kept on Lady Anne as an invaluable patroness, for she could never and would never want to formalise their relationship, but I suspect Sharpe's ego would have chaffed at being beholden to a woman. The odd shag and great favour is probably the most ideal relationship.
Jane is a real nasty little bitch in this, finally showing her true face so that even Sharpe can finally see her for who she really is, and always was. Meanwhile Rossendale, who is supposed to be despicable, appears almost a sympathetic character, and who wouldn't appear sympathetic, attached to that harpie.
Hagman shows up, and actually opposes Sharpe - horrors - well, just for a bit, and Harper is there for no real reason other than hanging around Sharpe.
Matt Truman (Our Phil) is the local union rep, and thus the scourge of management and the champion of the people. This probably had a lot of resonance for UK folks when it originally aired. Now it's my turn to cringe and wince as the nasty Yeoman put the boot in and enforce their oppressive IR laws at the point of a sword. And when the poor workers suffer a pay cut to their already humiliating conditions, I feel their pain.
We don't really learn much about Matt, other than he's an angry young man, the relationship to Sharpe, the bitterness of his upbringing in the poorhouse and his maternal issues, and his socialist politics. He shows evidence of being kind, decent and heroic, and his first appearance in the woods is very much a riff on that other nororious Yorkshire brigand: Robin Hood. But other than taking the soap box at a few worker rallies and a brief sermon of home truths to Sharpe (with some very lovely closeups of both the boys), we really don't see much of Matt (which is symptomatic of the rather 2D characterisations, if that's not an oxymoron, in the Sharpe series). How or why Matt came to be such a firebrand and the people's champion is never elaborated.
Now there's some fic opportunities: The life and times of Matt Truman. Well, until he drifted off down the river, anyhoo (all very Christlike and looking damn cold, poor Phil).
Sharpe, meanwhile, seems to stagger around in a daze from one body blow to the next, which is a fairly accurate depiction of an unhappy and unwelcome homecoming, so I'll give them that. Rossendale is effing up his career, evil businessmen wish to corrupt him, his old mates hate him and his bitch of an ex delivers her character assassination in person. Poor Sharpe. No wonder he looks more shell shocked here than on any battleground. This also ties into the great tradition of men who are shit hot in battle but completely useless on the homefront (Jack Aubrey, Horatio Hornblower, Lucius Vorenus, to name but a few).
Sharpe is also suffering from, as always, the acute and excruciating problems of rising above his class, now being neither welcome amongst the common people or the toffs. He is an outsider, alone, despised and isolated. No wonder he hangs out with Patrick, who is excluded by way of being Irish, but less though than Sharpe who is worse than Irish. He's neither one or the other, gutter snipe or gentleman, an aberration, a terrifying, walking example of rules broken and societal norms overturned. It's too bad Sharpe always recoils at horror at the idea of being sent to the Antipodes, because he probably would have fared a lot better there, where ex-convicts were soon riding in gilt carriages sending their children back to expensive schools in England.
There are some nice scenes in this, scenery aside, particularly the sword fights where Sharpe, with his raw battlefield hacking and slashing goes up against a man who has never fenced outside a ballroom. Quite nicely done (especially back in the days when I used to have to pay close attention as to how Sharpe conducted his sword fights).
Rossendale also remains an enigma. He's suppose to be a bad gambler, womaniser and a shallow, preening peacock, and, for the most part, he's exactly that. But damn if there aren't a few moments where one can almost see the good man inside struggling to get out. If anything, this makes Rossendale almost a more interesting character than Comrade Truman and the miserable and moping Sharpe.
But basically, it was just an excuse to watch Phil, Sean and Alexis.
Meanwhile, I was also flicking across to Bones in the commercial breaks, thus getting my Wes/Angel fix. You know, when I'm not following the plot but just oggling David, it really is quite fun to watch. Must remember to switch the old grey cells into neutral when I'm watching it next.
And now for something completely weird, I'm bored (everyone else is on holidays) and I was googling around and I found a fic I don't ever remember writing, but I know it must be mine because ir have my name on it and I remember conjuring it up on long rainy bus rides around the UK, but somehow, it never got posted to my archive. Probably because it's just a bit of a much larger but, as always, unfinished work. So, here's a strange Sharpe/Starman crossover: http://www.squidge.org/~peja/sharpe/Starman.htm. I don't know, must have been something in the UK water. Oddly, I remember mostly it being a Shade story, or am I think of an unfinished Jack/Shade story which had one of the more interesting romantic scenes I've ever written...
But I'm still thinking that when I find fic on the net I have no recollection of writing, typing or posting then it's time to turn myself in.
Pride and Prejudice
Sci fi series "Doctor Who" zooms into record books
Doctor Who baddie role for Barlow
Cost 'keeps Doctor Who on earth'
Hammond's recovery 'remarkable'
'Six month recovery' for Hammond
Top Gear star laughing and talking
See the light (The Church)
There's hate in those innocuous expressions
Sticky feet help tarantulas climb
What's the point of daddy longlegs?
AWB could face terror charges
Meanwhile, I was looking through some old folders and found a few oddities which bemused me. I'm actually showing some restraint here, as there isn't one pic of the Pineapple House, even though I love it so.
with bells on
X marks the spot
knights in arms