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Yeah, so that’s Islington’s morning sorted, but for the afternoon, he’s already decided: no more Mr Nice Guy Angel.

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056 Delta Wave: The Light Fantastic (1996)

The first of three supernatural-type roles in a row*.  Dinsdale Draco isn’t very nice and he wears way too much lipstick, but on the other hand, white tie and tails, and a little soft shoe shuffle, and I guess if you have to be in daft kids show (because a man’s got to eat), there are worse ones to be trapped in.

The plot of this two-parter can be summed up as something psychic kids something psychic vampires something something top hat something you can tell this predates Harry Potter because in a post-Malfoy world, the name Draco won’t ever be used again in anything aimed at kids.

Dinsdale only shows up in part one in the form of visions and then in person in the last minute, so almost all of his screen time is in the second part.  Unfortunately the picture quality isn’t great, but I’m grateful to have any copy, especially as it was sent to me by a lovely person on Tumblr pretty much out of the blue. 

*The other two being the angel Islington in Neverwhere and Rory and his goddamn hair in The Crow Road.

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First, here’s proof that Peter Mannion can use microchip based technology without any guidance and without his head exploding from confusion. 

But, actually, forget Mannion and his mouse jiggling and his proletarian mug of tea, because this is really all about multi-tasking Malcolm with his trademark awkward cross-body phone grip so he can spy by proxy and still get some fucking work done.  I get such a thrill whenever we see him doing real work because it happens so rarely. 

We know how much Malcolm hates being the story, but I bet late at night when he’s in just the right kind of masochistic mood and he has a brand new pyramid of satsumas sitting next to him, just waiting to be demolished, that he can’t help but check out what the world is saying about him.

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055 Lost for Words (1996)

Peter is a unnamed and unprepared tourist hiking through Spain who learns the hard way that not carrying a map in a country where you don’t speak the language is a bad idea, but an even worse idea is trusting a dog with a bundle of lit dynamite.

(On the other hand though, there is baggy shorts wearing, and silly walking, and curly hair, and running, so it’s not all doom and gloom.)

But seriously, if you don’t want to have anything to do with implied VERY BAD THINGS happening to children or a nice dog, this is probably not the made for tv 30-minute short for you.   It’s funny, but it’s extremely dark humor that’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

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After this past week, another option for Malcolm’s future that really shouldn’t be overlooked is his becoming the political fashion correspondent for The Daily Mail.

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054 The Treasure Seekers (1996)

A gentleman was sitting at one side of the table; he had a light moustache and light eyes, and he looked very young to be an editor—not nearly so old as Father. He looked very tired and sleepy, as if he had got up very early in the morning; but he was kind, and we liked him. Oswald thought he looked clever. Oswald is considered a judge of faces.

(The introduction of The Editor in The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbitt)

So good casting then.  Another cravat role for Peter, so I’m sure he was pleased with that, but unfortunately paired with the least believable mustache since Grumpy George Harrison’s.  It’s a shame actually, because other wise Peter looks pretty fabbo in the gold rimmed spec and the bowler hat, even if it does look like it’s maybe a size too big, plus he get to read, with great feeling, the greatest poem every written, “Lines on a Dead Black Beetle that was Poisoned,” and have grabby hands which I always enjoy.

The other shame in this is the missed opportunity with Ian Richardson, because they were this close to having a scene together, but they didn’t, so we never get to see Malcolm-to-be and Francis Urquhart-who-was sharing the screen.  Oh lamentations for what might have been! 

Otherwise, this is a thoroughly inoffensive adaptation of what I’m sure is an thoroughly inoffensive E. Nesbit classic, and for once Peter and Gina Mckee get to be nice to each other onscreen which makes for a nice change.

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Ben’s tick-tock eyes, Malcolm’s advanced knowledge of the genus Equus. 

Without a doubt, the best conversation that’s ever been had ever between a man made entirely of lollies and a man made entirely of handsome. 

(My very favorite part of series 4.  You can take the rest, as long as I get to keep this.)

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You provide a valuable service. On behalf of Capaldians everywhere, I declare my undying devotion. (P.S. When you watch this in endless loop, is it me, or can you almost see him have to THINK about taking off his shirt cross-armed?)

I think you may be on to something with the thinking. Since research is important (SCIENCE!), I checked the other shirt-over-the-head gif from Do Not Disturb and it’s one long smooth action because he’s not doing it cross-body. Mind you, in this one, very nearly getting stuck half-way through because his shirt is caught on his nose and his chin is possibly MY favorite part of this, whatever that may say about me.

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For the-crazy-geek, because it’s her favorite and because she asked!

For the-crazy-geek, because it’s her favorite and because she asked!

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053 Giving Tongue (1996)

Duncan “Dunc” Fielding is a barrister, a hypochondriac, a wearer of silly pajamas, a reader of Private Eye, a genius champagne opener, a confident public speaker, but most of all he’s the husband of Jessie Fielding (played by Clare Holman in Peter’s first tv marriage to her), a newly elected MP in the newly elected New Labour government — the film anticipating reality by a year or so — who is the person the story is really about. 

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