Have A Think #5: Fantastic. One Of Those

We've discussed some of Chris Eccleston characters before, especially those with dubious tendencies. There's though also a certain department of possible heroes: By nature or by plan, successful or not quite, or even victims.

No examples will be provided, because we'd like to know, who would you - no doubts or second thoughts - call a positive character? If you have suspicions about all of them, who comes closest? Is it more difficult to take Eccleston's characters for granted? Who would you go behind enemy lines with - or perhaps you would prefer a villain?



joanr16 said...

The obvious answer would be the Doctor, but I feel like challenging my brain today-- so I'm going to go with Claude, the invisible man, from Heroes.

When we first meet this guy, he seems to be a horrible person-- thieving, angry, aggressive. Farther on, we see that his teaching methods are harsh to say the least; he's part Fagin, part Joker, but he does get the job done.

Claude's screen time is minimal, but in that brief span we learn enough to understand that he was once someone else entirely-- a brave, compassionate, self-sacrificing man; a true superhero. In his final (flashback) scene, we see he's fully prepared to die in the cause of helping others (and I suspect he was a bit disappointed when, in the end, he didn't).

It's already been noted on this blog that CE makes the most of his brief appearances in Heroes. Fans of the enjoyable first season very much wanted to see Claude return, and for a time the show's producers tantalized us with that possibility. Now, though, I'm content that we've seen all we are ever going to of the mysterious Claude; but even that little bit left us with a fascinating character who echoes in the imagination.

Anonymous said...

I should add that it didn't occur to me until after posting the above that "Fantastic-- one of those," was a quote from Claude and not the Doctor... who also could be a bit short-tempered at times. Brave, brilliant, cantankerous men; those are the Eccleston "heroes."

joanr16 said...

And I should add that "Anonymous" above was me.

Geez. So sorry. Caffeine shortage!

Alex said...

After your first post I started replying that I was afraid the title of the post could be too suggestive, but now I'm glad it's not that straightforward after all - or at least works on subconscious levels =)

Yeah, I agree that present-day Claude's heroic qualities are a bit rusty. While in the 'Company Man' episode, when I heard the conversation in the car for the first time, I was really impressed. First, how he spoke about what he's been through, then, that he knew he was being led to the scaffold, and still he trusted the bastard. Unforgettable.

Anonymous said...

Another toughie Alex. I love replying to these "Have A Think" questions posed by you.

DCI Bilborough from "Cracker".

If there is ever a moment of television drama that will stick in my mind its when Bilborough gets stabbed and is left lying to bleed to death on the streets. I still wince when the knife goes in and then the final, desparate cries of help of him making the call to colleagues to "get the bastard!"

All this time and his wife is in the car not knowing what has just taken place.

The two kids on bikes riding away, the shock of seeing someone die before your eyes and then seeing the body bag being lifted into the back of an ambulance in the next scene.

It is an astounding ten minute piece from the moment Bilborough recognises the killer to the final moment of the above.

Truly shocking, heart stopping and believable from McGoven.

Alex said...

Thanks Jen.

As for DCI: Also, he tells his colleagues there's no one on the street to ask the address - as a frightened boy runs away.

Anonymous said...


I find it so damn hard to watch this piece of drama at times. It's just leaves tears in my eyes, from start to finish.

He dies alone...which is heartbreaking, without anyone to help him and that he knows that he going to be dead within minutes, perhaps seconds knowing full well he will leave a wife and young child fatherless.


joanr16 said...

powerjen51-- excellent choice. The demise of Dave Bilborough is the most horrible death scene ever, for me. I can't look at Robert Carlyle anymore without wanting to shout, "Boooo! Murderer!"

Favorite Bilborough moment: when someone (Fitz?) walks into the DCI's office and catches him napping at his desk. New baby at home and all.... It was especially funny considering how by-the-book Bilborough was.

Hedgehog said...

I agree with the above examples, and I'd like to also nominate "Clocking off"'s Jim Calvert. He's a very positive character, in fact, my first reaction when I saw the programme was to call him 'too good to be true'. I've since changed my attitude a bit, and I now believe there's people like him out there, but they're just rare.

It's not so much saving the girl from the fire that's the heroic bit, though it may appear so at first glance. In my humble opinion though what really puts this man above the rest is what comes after that. Opening his home to those three strangers, sharing with them, taking care and getting involved. He's an ordinary bloke with an ordinary job, and he's not saving the world, just a couple lost souls. Even taking one on the chin and then he doesn't let the woman run away from herself. Good man!
One small candlelight, but that's the way the world is made a better one.

Tarot said...

Claude, most definitely. Of all characters, Chris' or anyone else's, Claude is my absolute favorite. I'd follow him anywhere even given the way he's a bit of a reluctant hero. I wish they would have shown us just a few of his other students. He doesn't exactly give Peter and answer to "How many- how many people have you taught before me?" I'm thinking quite a few.