More Knots? — SPOILERS

SPOILERS for The Hobbit.

Below are my thoughts last night. Who knows? I might feel differently today.

John Porter is back with his tangled life. Or is he?

I don’t think I’ve ever felt something was a teaser so much as this:

Perhaps I’m changing my tune with respect to spoilers. I find myself wanting to know the ending to Strike Back II. When I watched the promos for the first series of Strike Back, I had a sense of hope and confidence that Porter was going to kick ass and get out of something that might even stump MacGyver, and it was so easy to think that since the series wouldn’t exist without him. So no need for a spoiler. But now? I look at this:

and I’m fully aware that this show is not where Richard Armitage’s future lies. But more than that, I’ve witnessed how his face conveys the truth of a character, and that looks like the face of a dead man. I could be wrong, and I hope that I am, but my gut is screaming that my plea was for naught.

All of that may sound pessimistic, and I guess it is, but perhaps this is just how it’s going to be for now with RA’s portrayals. If you know the story of Thorin Oakenshield, you know why I say that. And I would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realize that he keeps playing characters who go nowhere — kind of like music that doesn’t resolve. More on this later as my pseudo psychoanalyst is almost throttling me to take over, but I’m too tired tonight to run with it. Yeah, I’m sparing you.

Video courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com, and my screencap. There are some caps on the site, but I had to make my own. :D If you’ve never made screencaps, you don’t know the pleasure of really mining those microexpressions of RA’s. If you ever want to know how to make caps, let me know. It’s pretty easy. Anyone with a computer can do it, and there is no cost other than time. LOL!

Oh, oh, bccmee also put the SB2 promo up on YouTube, and if you haven’t had a chance to see her month long slide show, Graphic a Day in May, go look. She’s done some really cool stuff with photos many of us have seen countless time, and I love that her sense of fun is so apparent. I need to go over there and comment soon.

In the meantime, back to rippling. :D


  1. Listening /watching to one of Richard’s interviews for Spook 9, when he said that he’d rather do something peaceful and all about love, I had the impression that we wouldn’t see much of him as John Porter in the future. So, maybe, we’ll just have few scenes which will serve the purpose of justifying his absence in series 2. It’ll be long before we see him back in series like Spooks or Strike Back. Meanwhile, Martin Freeman is back to the UK to be Watson again and I’m sure he’ll be at the Bafta Gala, while Richard is still in NZ shooting the without-Bilbo scenes …. SIGH!

  2. Hate to say this, but you’re probably right about your plea being for naught. I have the same feeling here: JP is going nowhere. But the same doesn’t aply to RA, that’s for sure! I like to think that he has something bigger in mind or … already in paper. Who knows?

  3. Is it RA’s choice entirely, or are those the roles being offered to him because he does certain things so well, he conveys certain emotions so well and so believably, when maybe other actors don’t? I’m thinking more of Thorin and Lucas North than of John Porter.

    I think Porter, if the feeling we’re getting from the teaser is correct, is a victim of The Hobbit more than anything else. Also the fact that RA must see his future after TH more in films for now than on TV? (I do think if he’s offered a good role on a TV show in the future that he would do it, but I can see how he would focus on films for the near future).

  4. “music that doesn’t resolve”. Powerful metaphor. Especially applied to an actor to whom music has been so a part of his life. There is no question of actors preferring conflicted, even doomed roles. (Hamlet the Omelette ?) Because they offer the ultimate dramatic flex.

    I don’t think we saw MI5 9 coming, though Gisborne’s end was predictable and dramatically appropriate. Major MI5 script/producers snafu with Lucas. Somehow, music must reach an appropriate coda. That didn’t. If SB 2 is a quick replay of that, well, RA supporters invested in the Porter character. But if he has to go out in a blaze of heroic glory, taking a few nasties on the way, please.

    Time for a Harry&Gerri short sequel. RA has more muscles to flex, Apart from the Porter muscles. Variety.

  5. Somehow, I also think you are right. Though I hope, as British and U.S. film teams are involved, they cannot lose a mission onscreen and that would be the case if J. Porter died as a prisoner of Assad.
    Have you any idea, what dialect the new operatives speak in Spooks II? They sound a bit like Dimitri Levendis in Spooks 9, but mingle the syllables just much more. They clip the words a bit like I would say in a ‘military’ style, but speak much less clearly.

  6. Richard plays tortured (literally and figuratively) and anguished characters extremely well, there’s no doubt. But just every once in a while, I would like him to get the girl (here, of course, it’s Layla for me, not Danni), kick major arse and ride off into the sunset alive and well and loved up and ready to take on the challenge of another day.

    And yes, please, a Harry/Gerri sequel. Angst needs a break every now and again.

  7. *sigh* When I saw these yesterday at RAnet, my first thought was “OHNO, ‘they’ can’t kill off JP?!!” And IF “they” think this new guy is going to cut the mustard, I have news for them….that was the knee jerk reaction.

    After reading your always brilliant observations, I fear my knee jerked in the right direction. *sob* But a Harry and Gerri sequel is really appealling….

    @Anakris…good thinking re: “already in paper”!!!!!!

  8. Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I see your point, RAFrenzy, but I stubbornly don’t care. More John Porter is all right by me, although I certainly don’t wish to have him killed off. And if they give him an ambiguous ending, I would like it to provide lots of hope for survival….more so than poor As’ad in Strikeback 1. Based on the short clip, the show definitely looks shallower than the original — and remember, I mostly liked that for shallow reasons anyway!

    As for RA’s great roles, I still think nothing will top North & South for all-around quality in the cast, writing and production values. Someday I’ll watch Sparkhouse and I’m sure I’ll appreciate it too. The Vicar of Dibley was a piece of fluff, but it was fairly well-written for what it was: a simplistic comedy fairy tale. I am very curious to see how The Hobbit turns out; it could make RA an international star.

    P.S. Thanks for the link to my graphics. :)

  10. I was so weary last night that I didn’t really trust myself to post, but I have lots of thoughts about this. Not sure they’re worth reading. I’ve typed them and now they need to get cold. Then again, I have about 200 posts that are stone cold, and I wonder if I’ll ever post many of them.

    On an unrelated note, I always freak some when I see a picture of Richard Armitage that looks so much like my dad for a moment it seems he’s not dead, and I did wonder how much that came into my thinking. That picture above is the spitting image of my dad when he was a young man. My dad was also a great big man. Just a hair under 6’2″ and his fighting weight was about 220, i.e., he was slender at 220 and naturally strong. He never did weightlifting, but it was amazing what he could do. I’ve always thought Richard Armitage was like this even though I know he had to get some cuts for a few of his roles. I’ll bet he didn’t need those to gain great strength.

    And I’m putting this in the comments ’cause I already wrote one post about this and it felt weird, and if I remember correctly that was reflected in the title. Can’t remember; have to go look. Yep, I was right — “Something Kinda Weird.” I will never truly have untoward thoughts about Richard Armitage simply because of this aspect of him, and I’m grateful.

    My dad was adored by my mother and me and my brother. He was like no one I’ve ever known, and there is a great, long line of people who felt that as well. At some point I may post a little more about him on the blog, but I doubt it’s going to be tons. I’m saving it for something else.

  11. @bccmee, Just now seeing your post. I just want to see more John Porter, so that’s why I was a little bummed at the inkling I got from watching the promo, and the inkling has more to do with RA’s face than the guns pointed at him.

    Agreed about North and South although I do think Sparkhouse was good — at least his performance. The overall piece? No, it’s far from being anything I would watch twice. I was just astounded at how he became that character. That’s my only real fascination with the show.

  12. OH, and you’re welcome! Really enjoying that. :D

  13. RA’s performance is excellent in Sparkhouse. Anyone who thinks he can only play eye candy needs to see that production. I do find it painful to watch in terms of Carol’s abusive father and Andrew generally being one annoying git, but it’s certainly worth watching for any admirer of Richard Armitage’s acting skills.

  14. Sparkhouse is what cemented my respect for Richard Armitage.

  15. Me, too, Frenz. Guy was the character that led me to want to discover more about this actor. I then obtained and watched Sparkhouse, VoD and North & South in quick succession.
    To say I was impressed by his varied performances would be an understatement.
    “This,” I thought, “is a detailed character actor inhabiting a leading man’s face and physique. And a right old chameleon at that. He actually seems to become a different person altogether in each role!”
    Talent like that doesn’t come along every day of the week.

  16. I have no illusions not will be a lot of Richard Armitage in the SB2. But perhaps it is better for him, he will be able to concentrate on his career on the big screen. For me he is “the older the better” (in some ways is like Sean Connery), but show business loves young people.
    I’ll add that I also appreciate RA in Sparkhouse. John Standring moves me his honesty and faithfulness in love to Carol. And the fact that I like JS is precisely because RA so beautifully built this character.
    Harry&Gerri short sequel I love it :)

  17. First, can I ask you what screencap software you use? I use VLC myself, but I’m disappointed in it and I can’t seem to find anything better.

    Now onto your post. I think that the ‘dead man’ expression that we see in Richard’s eyes is more of where RA would have to have gotten that character if he wanted to be true the story of him needing to be rescued. On previous occasions when Porter has been captured (which seems to be all the time now that I think about it) he never needed to be rescued; there was an inner strength in him that somehow knew he was going to get out of that situation. The scenario would have to be very dire indeed for Porter to need rescuing by two other people, so RA probably just got himself into that mode of having Porter truly believe that he was going to die and that it was over for him.

    I agree that the two new characters failing in their first mission probably wouldn’t start a new serious off on the right foot, so they probably successfully get him out alive. We just have to hope he doesn’t do something stupid afterward like sacrifice himself to save the others (that would let the new guys off the hook, cuz technically they didn’t fail) and it would still write JP out of the series.

    That’s just how I kind of see it happening.

    PS. love your blog

  18. Good grief, no, I hope he is not a dead man, I can’t bear another character death. Oh, and if you have to kill him off, let him at least die with honour. Don’t do a Lucas on him.

  19. CCDoart, I’m not sure about the dialect.

    Darkangel, I primarily use VIC, but I also have made some adjustments to it; and I usually do some editing on my caps.

  20. @Frenz…just went to your “my plea” link. Your letter to the PTB is a scream. Delicate constitutions plague many of us RA fans!?

  21. I would love if you made a tuturial for screencaps. Please:)

  22. I’ll do something. Have to get through one more weekend of track, and then this blog can get back to “normal.” :D

  23. Porter’s clearly been brought in this time as the guy that needs to be rescued.

    My fingers are crossed that he’ll be snatched from the bad guys and will get to and be Dad to his Alex.

    I want to be able to think of Sergeant Porter off on more adventures elsewhere even if we never get to see them. Also I just can’t bear the thought of Alex losing both her parents.

  24. While this screencap captures a specific expression, it’s also only an instant in time within a short trailer. Perhaps the thought of Alex proves the inspiration in the next instant.

    True, there have been a couple of deaths for his characters – Gisborne and Lucas. No comment on Thorin; haven’t read The Hobbit…but. But there have also been Thornton, the redeemed Deeming (he could have come to VERY nasty end), and I had thoughts about John Standring’s future…

    So all is not yet lost! :D (And yes, who knows what is in the works after TH? Or while the two THs are filmed)

  25. I love the trailer music! Does any1 know what it is? Thanks! :)

  26. […] The exceedingly apt quotation above stems from Frenz. So, spoilers for a lot of stuff, really. […]

  27. […] edit: and the ominous feeling just grows. […]

  28. […] I’m not really worried about this since my gut still has a pretty good average if you do recall. No, don’t ask me about Lucas […]

  29. […] The exceedingly apt quotation above stems from Frenz. So, spoilers for a lot of stuff, really. […]

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