I don’t have a thing for villains. Ace detectives are my game. But I’m ready to bet that if Richard Armitage’s leather-clad Robin Hood baddie Guy of Gisborne doesn’t warm your knickers, then you’ve either never watched the show or you wear stone panties. I’m almost willing to forgive Guy for the dastardly deed he commits in Saturday’s season two finale (airing at 9pm on BBC America), which is so wicked it even scares him. Just play this clip and prepare to be won over.
Members of the Armitage Army (as his fans call themselves) probably already know that Robin Hood’s second season DVD drops Tuesday, August 5th. The copious extras feature Richard chatting about Gisborne and Jonas Armstrong (Robin) joking about how he broke his foot during one of their tussles. Plus, those with a Blu-ray player can grab the first series in high-def. And if you still haven’t gotten enough Richard, rejoice that not only is he currently filming season three, but he’s also joined the cast of MI-5 (no word yet on when his episodes will air in the States).
So let’s celebrate with a list of Richard’s best TV work to date (in order of my preference, and please feel free to argue). Some of these shows aren’t available on U.S. DVD (boo hiss), which I’ve noted accordingly. If you’re dedicated, you can buy the Region 2 U.K. DVDs (most are available from Amazon sellers) and watch them on your computer. I’m just sayin’…. And be advised, Richard will be calling Bits and Bobs for a Q&A this week (check for it in Friday afternoon’s PopWatch). If you have anything you want to ask him, please post it after the jump!
1. North & South. This industrial revolution-setromance stars Richard as a hardhearted cotton mill owner with a softspot for an ex-minister’s daughter who’s hiding a big secret. Check outepisode 1, or watch the penultimate scene and get all mushy like I do.
2. The Vicar of Dibley: A Holy Wholly Happy Ending. If you’regoing to conclude a comedy series with a two-part Christmas specialthat features Dawn French getting swept off her feet by a handsomestranger, who else do you cast but Richard? See the whole first episode, or just view this great clip.
3. CBeebies Bedtime Hour. Richard read five stories on this BBC children’s show in 2006. This one kills me. (Unavailable on DVD)
4. The Golden Hour. A medical drama about a London-basedhelicopter rescue team that features Richard as the hero! I nearly heldmy breath during the entire first episode. (U.K. DVD)
5. Miss Marple, Series III: Ordeal by Innocence. Richard is justone of this whodunit’s stacked cast: He plays Lisa Stansfield’sphilandering husband and Burn Gorman’s brother-in-law! A kind fancompiled his best scenes.
6. Between the Sheets. A miniseries about sex and relationshipswith Richard as a probation officer accused of sleeping with a teenagecharge. Here’s another clip compilation. (U.K. DVD)
7. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: In Divine Proportion. Richard plays a rich country boy suspected of blowing away his mistress with a shotgun. (Burn Gorman costars again).
8. Sparkhouse. If you can’t imagine him as the sap farmhand in love with the heroine of this excellent Wuthering Heights update, watch the whole miniseries here. (U.K. DVD)
9. Shakespeare Retold: Macbeth. Yep, this is same Bard update I recommended for James McAvoy. Richard’s great as Macduff character. Watch this scene.
10. Malice Aforethought. Richard with an eyeliner mustache. He’s the posh cuckold in this Masterpiece Mystery! adaptation. Here’s a sample.
Honorable Mention: George Gently: Gently Go Man (he’s a biker), Ultimate Force: Series 2 (a special forces captain), and Cold Feet: Series 5 (a “flirty-girty” lifeguard).
And here’s your anglophile calendar for the week:
Monday (July 28): Simon Pegg talks to Letterman at 11:30 on CBS. The Ting Tings perform on Conan at 12:35 on NBC.
Tuesday: Two Fat Ladies, The Deal (the Queen prequel starring Michael Sheen), A History of Britain: The Complete Collection, and the Rolling Stone doc Shine a Light hit DVD stores. The second season of the British eco-reality show It’s Not Easy Being Green premieres on Sundance at 9pm.
Wednesday: Record the rerun of The Good, Bad & the Queen on Sundance’s Live from Abbey Road at 4am.
Thursday: Did you know seasons 1 to 3 of Doctor Who werenow available on ITunes? Download my favorite ep: Season 2’s “Love& Monsters” with Marc Warren, Shirley Henderson and Peter Kay.
Friday: Watch the Doctor Who finale at 8:30pm on Sci Fi.
Saturday: Ewan McGregor’s travel doc Long Way Down premieres on Fox Reality.
Sunday: Watch Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nick Frost in Kinky Boots on BBC America at 6pm. Mandy goes into labor on Shameless on Sundance at 9pm.
So, anglophiles, did I miss anything? Suggestions for another column-worthy Brit? Disagree with the ranking?