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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Character analysis : Alec (Read 9307 times)
Guina
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Re: Character analysis
Reply #15 - Jan 6th, 2011 at 10:22am
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Hi Dragon,

Quote:
It's not that he doesn't care, it's that he can't care for long.


I don't even see this as this much. He simply likes to flirt, which is a completely different beast from actually having sex. It's impossible to deduct from the way Alec was shown flirting or appreciative of cute females that he is indeed sleeping with them. I think he simply was portrayed as an outgoing epicurean - liking booze, beautiful women and food. And that as a counter to Straker's celibacy and dourness.

Yuchtar's scenario BTW could also work out, for Alec's side at least.

Quote:
So, somewhere there was a "happening", something that told Alec this man was worth his trust, that Ed Straker, relatively proper Bostonian, military leader, at least an MS in astrophysics, was worth following, no matter where, no matter when, no matter what. Regardless of what  has happened between them since then, Alec stands at his right shoulder, through thick, thin, stupid personal decisions and self induced angst. (Yes, some of Straker's issues are indeed self induced.)


Agreed, and agreed as well on Straker self-inducing some of his issues.

Quote:
So: Alec the flirt, Alec who drinks on duty (sorry, but even in the 1960's that could get you canned in the US military. sloshed with regularity off duty, not an issue, alcoholism is still rampant in the US military, although we don't bruit it about.)


  Grin Here I believe you have it very much wrong. Alec is a British officer (no, I do not buy the Australian link, it's not established canon, it's not even likely, given that Sewell spoke a clear British English and never ever gave a hint of anything Australian), not a US one, and they are a bit less uptight there. Add to that that SHADO was an international effort, not a US one, which did away with loads of US army or air-force regulations as a rule. Add to that, that both in Straker's office as well as on Moonbase there are open, unrevised and unpoliced dispensers for just about any kind of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage. If that had been an issue for a SHADO officer, you wouldn't get those bars.  No, I think that this is the result of some wishful 60ies writers' thoughts and they meant it that people at SHADO may imbibe even during or before duty.

Quote:
Somewhere there is an explanation. I just haven't figured it out yet because Alec isn't the character most people focus on.


A pity actually.

Quote:
Alec is very 1960's era "spy" in his portrayal, so like most of the spies of the era, we never know who he is exactly because Alec wears a mask. Ed sees behind that mask and is probably the only person who consistently does so. Alec is also Straker's conscience sometimes ... which given the spy thing, is kinda odd also.


I dunno. Apart from the very few references to what must have been a working relation of 21 Century with the whole Bond movie circus (it's so much, like three actors being in Bond movies many times when put together, like some of the stage props, etc etc.), that seems to be more coincidental. There was the entrance of Alec in Identified, and that was pretty much that.

I see Alec much more as an open, outgoing, less repressed, warm and friendly person, no mask except when needed, certainly none towards friends, staff and Straker. He never had a problem saying out loud what he thought either. He actually was Straker's expressed conscience and heart, the warmth of that greatly missing after the 17th episode. It's rather he who looks with ease underneath the mask of Straker.

Quote:
So, at some point, Alec came in out of the cold because he was needed?


The most likely place of meeting would be a joint training or manoeuver. But then my backstory of Straker has him part of the USAF astronaut training after serving as a flight instructor. Which would easily make room for some joint NATO training. It also might just be that they met each other after Straker went to work with UK-based MI. There are bound to be liaison officers between US and UK intelligence.

Needed? No, friendships don't form on command.

Quote:
Although, oddly enough, I don't see him as having a bad relationship with his mother. No relationship, maybe. Or a cut short one ... but not bad somehow. Maybe orphaned at a critical moment ... oh, that would be great, the aliens took out his family. Sole Survivor time ...


I do not see him as having had a bad childhood at all. The guy was warm, friendly, great with the staff, empathic, able to deal with a pretty stroppy and emotionally dyslexic boss and friend, he was confident and masterful in all this.

You simply do not get all these abilities and such a personality with someone who was abused, traumatised or even just lacking anything in his childhood!
 
Hence I think he had a nice, wholesome childhood and a warm and supportive, and also most likely tender family background.

Quote:
In some ways, SHADO is much like a Greek army, self contained. But, with the mores of the 20th century firmly in place, they basically outlawed involvement of any kind: can't tell the spouse, top secret. Can't involve in the unit, command issues. So, Alec, and everyone else is kinda left with the flirt and one night stand situation; which is culturally reprehensible. Is it any wonder they're all a bit off?


Hmm. We get repeated mention of married staff, so often that the one night stand situation seems farfetched. We have some sexually pretty libertine characters as well, some switching fast from one to the next lover, others seemingly dallying with two at the same time, and guys like Paul who are serial SOs. After having access to the amnesia drug I don't think the security was as tight anymore either. It potentially enabled having a look-see how a spouse would take mention of the sig other working for a clandestine military organization.

Quote:
no one on the show. Ayshea is too young


Ayshea wouldn't make such a bad partner for Alec, she obviously liked him a lot, we get repeated scenes with her being more than just friendly to him. As to too young, I believe she was above UK age of consent. I could see Alec in a sort of a Frankie-like relationship (Frank Harmon from Breezy, wonderful movie, greatly underrated character study), and both working for SHADO it really might turn out fine.

All that said and after doing lots of Alec in SoA and Priority of Questions, I think there really ought to be more Alec stories.  Grin
  
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Lightcudder
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #16 - Jan 6th, 2011 at 10:54am
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Guina says;

Quote:
All that said and after doing lots of Alec in SoA and Priority of Questions, I think there really ought to be more Alec stories


Oh yes he is wonderful in your SoA,  but as for further Alec stories?

No. NONONONO NONONONO NONONONO.

Don't look at me. I have had my fill of Alec with Priority of Questions.

I found him SO hard to do!  Just couldn't get to grips with the guy.
  Angry
  

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Guina
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #17 - Jan 6th, 2011 at 10:58am
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Hi Louise,

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I found him SO hard to do!  Just couldn't get to grips with the guy.


I'd love to know just why  Smiley
  
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Lightcudder
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #18 - Jan 6th, 2011 at 4:42pm
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Okay.. seriously here.
Why was Alec Freeman so hard to do  in his story of The Priority of Questions.

Well, to answer that properly I need to go back to June 2009 when I re-discovered UFO on the SHADO Library and Marc's maillist and also on Fanfic.net. It had been over 15 years ( easily) since I had last watched an episode, although the two novels were still in my bookcase.. battered, slightly torn, browned with age. (a bit like me)

I started reading through the Library ( and I am a quick reader!) I found some stories brilliant, some laughable, some.. dire, but at least they were UFO stories and I could immerse myself in them. And then (unfortunately, some people might say!!) I started writing my own. what fun! And  of course I had to focus on the one character that had influenced me ( sod it.. lets be  honest.. The one character I had droooooooled over all those years ago!)  Remember.. I was working from a skewed perception of a programme I had last watched 'properly' when  I was 17  and in 2009 I was ..errrrr considerably older nearly 40 years older. ( getting bored now? Well, you don't have to read as far as this.. you can always miss out this paragraph!)

So Ed Straker was my 'hero'. and I got to know him quite well,,, especially after I summoned up enough courage to purchase the dvds and watch them.

I thought I had 'cracked' him.. thought I had got to grips with his character, but in the last few months, after watching various episodes with G, ( we synch our dvds!!)  I have realised that some of my  perceptions were false.  Ed Straker is far more complex than I had initially 'written' him in stories. (but he will still get married to Rachel !! Wink)

And what does this have to do with ALec?   Well after nearly, what, 18 months of serious writing (and I DO take it seriously.. very very seriously) I am only now just beginning to scratch the surface of the most well-fleshed-out UFO character.

So poor Alec hasn't got a chance. I still don't really 'get' him  - I am still working on what makes him 'tick' - and on inventing a back-story for him that fits in my UFOverse.  He is still an enigmatic character, with hidden depths. and the fanfic doesn't help. It gave me a warped view of Alec.. and that takes time to overcome.

Oh yes he is fun. He is a flirt, and he is Straker's right hand man, but there is more to him than that. It is just such a damned shame that he was not in the last episodes, because if he had been  if we had seen him interacting with Straker in Timelash, or Mindbender, or Long Sleep, then I think UFO might well have  gone on to another series.
  Sewell was as good an actor as Bishop, and one day I will  do an ALec Freeman story.. when I feel I can really do him justice.

My opinion only..  comments welcome! Grin


  

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Guina
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #19 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 7:05am
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Hi Dragon,

Quote:
I wasn't really thinking of Alec as a real spy or even a Bond spy, just that his personality struck me as one that had been in that sort of isolation and that Straker had punctured the bubble.


I dunno. As said, his personality as displayed and isolation/spy angst etc. don't really mesh for me. If at all, then I see him as a forerunner of Bodie from The Professionals.


Quote:
I still see the friendship between these two men as instigated by something momentous ... not necessarily in the way of buildings collapsing or bombs going off, but something life changing that is between the two of them and brought them together in spite of their differing POVs on life, the universe and everything. They don't abandon each other just because things get difficult and they trust each other. I don't see either one of them as giving trust easily.


Oh yes. I agree with that quite wholeheartedly. Sorry, if you got a different impression. I just don't think it would be anything overly dramatic (like a few of the scenarios given for the pair).

It could be something simple like Alec and Ed being regular liaison officers for the UK vs. US MI in England and one of them losing family with the other capable of and willing to lightening that experience. Or - as buddies go (and if I look at mine) - something even simpler, helping the other out, with a lift, a place to sleep, some money, a white lie, when no one else would do that.

Quote:
On the other hand, this could be so much wild blueberry muffins ... and I could be operating in the wrong universe entirely. Ford, my champagne, please!

  Cheesy


PFFF, don't abuse poor Ford so much!!  Smiley
  
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Guina
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #20 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 7:21am
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Hi Louise,

Quote:
( we synch our dvds!!)  I have realised that some of my  perceptions were false. 


Perceptions - you also showed me quite a couple of things, like antennae being crushed  Grin Never noticed those.

Quote:
(but he will still get married to Rachel !! Wink)


Harrumph - poor Rachel. But you knew I would say that.

Quote:
So poor Alec hasn't got a chance. I still don't really 'get' him  - I am still working on what makes him 'tick' - and on inventing a back-story for him that fits in my UFOverse.  He is still an enigmatic character, with hidden depths. and the fanfic doesn't help. It gave me a warped view of Alec.. and that takes time to overcome.


He wasn't really dealt nice cards by many of the fanfiction writers. Usually based on just two of the seventeen episodes he was in (Identified for the womanizer/boozing-aspect and The Responsibility Seat for an alleged inadequacy), completely overlooking that in the other 15 he was competent, dependable and warm and friendly enough to still have the female staff like him.

Add to that that loads of the writers applied modern feminist views, modern social condemnation of drugs, booze and sexual liberty (as compared to what the 60ies stood for) and often also US-Americanisms (to a Brit) to him. That ends easily with the warped POV which can be read in some stories.

Personally I think every UFO writer should - on a regular basis - watch and rewatch such movies like "Blow Up", "Help", "Modesty Blaise" or "Accident", as well as the series "Department S" and "The Avengers", to grasp some of the background and intent of what we get to see. I noticed that most writers were children or teens when UFO first aired (me included), which means that while we grew up during those times we have the POV of kids/teenagers and not that of the adults who formed that era. To properly react to it or transpose it into modern setting one would need to look at the original idea, and not at what hindsight and a generation of difference makes of it.

Quote:
Oh yes he is fun. He is a flirt, and he is Straker's right hand man, but there is more to him than that. It is just such a damned shame that he was not in the last episodes, because if he had been  if we had seen him interacting with Straker in Timelash, or Mindbender, or Long Sleep, then I think UFO might well have  gone on to another series.
  Sewell was as good an actor as Bishop, and one day I will  do an ALec Freeman story.. when I feel I can really do him justice.


I agree on the fact that he was sorely lacking later, even though Foster filled in to some extent, but not enough. He was absolutely great however in such episodes as Kill Straker, ESP, Court Martial, QoP or Confetti Check.

And damn, now I have a plot bunny.
  
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Lightcudder
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #21 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 8:04am
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Harrumph - poor Rachel. But you knew I would say that.


But, is that a 'post feminist' viewpoint? Grin (Iwouldn't know a post feminist viewpoint if it jumped up and hit me actually.. I lead a sheltered life here!)

Hey, I LIKE marriage.  It has worked for me!   :Smiley

And out of what.. 30 or more stories it's the only one in which he will marry, it's been developing for at least 14 stories in the Chronicles, quite realistically I hope, and  let's face it, shes not a Mary Sue is she!!

Oh hell, plot bunnies now procreating like MAD!!

(and Louise running away before Straker comes after her!)
  

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Guina
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #22 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 8:47am
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Hi Louise,

err...

I won't start this discussion out here. We can bloody our noses over that topic privately Wink

Nope, as I do not consider myself to be a feminist, post or not, it's a realistic view of the characters instead.

As to you and Rachel - she is half your age or even less and born two generations at least later. And if she is no Mary Sue, then it should not play any role whether or not marriage works for you.  Grin

I just find it disheartening to end those very well written stories in such a boring way  straight out of romantic penny dreadfuls.
  
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #23 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 8:58am
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(sniggering here)

You never know.. I might just surprise you, although, as I have already written the last two stories  I don't know that I  really have the energy to rewrite those as well. 

I could just ...............(Louise madly thinking here!).................................. ( nah.. that wouldn't work either!! Grin)

Well. I'll see!! But one thing is for certain.. she is NOT going to die (and neither is he!)
  

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Guina
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #24 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 9:05am
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Hi Louise,

Quote:
she is NOT going to die (and neither is he!)


Louiiiiiiiise!!! (insert helpless wail here)

Why is it a natural consequence of lovers not marrying that one of them (or both even) dies?

Harrumph!
  
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #25 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 9:15am
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No.. Nonononono... I wasn't thinking along those lines...


I was just thinking of all the other fanfic stories where Straker's/Alec's etc Significant Other/fiancee  cops it in a hail of bullets or something! Smiley

I have NO intention of even thinking of killing anyone off.. too easy really!!!
(I could have ended it in Betrayal, though.. had Ed shot for treason!  Wink)
  Smiley
  

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Auspicious
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #26 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 10:21am
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>>Why is it a natural consequence of lovers not marrying that one of them (or both even) dies?<<

Christian ethic maybe. Drama. Depends on the lovers and the drama.

Anyway, I adore Alec.
Lightcutter, you were having problems even thinking he had a good enough face to draw and when Nans demanded
convinced you, you enjoyed it. Maybe it is his face? Alec has a wonderful face. Do people know Sewell collected military helmets? I can picture Alec doing that.
  
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Guina
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #27 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 11:35am
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Hi Amelia,

Quote:
Christian ethic maybe. Drama. Depends on the lovers and the drama.


Christian ethics necessitate that lovers rather die than not marry?

That's a new one to me. Condemned to hell maybe by ultra-violent catholics, but I hope no Christian in this day and age considers it ethical to have lovers die instead of living together without marriage vows.

As drama this was an old meme back with Romeo and Juliet.

Which is why either solution is so boring and needlessly repetitive.
  
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Guina
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Re: Character analysis : Alec
Reply #28 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 11:38am
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Hi Louise,

Quote:
No.. Nonononono... I wasn't thinking along those lines...

I was just thinking of all the other fanfic stories where Straker's/Alec's etc Significant Other/fiancee  cops it in a hail of bullets or something! Smiley


Yep. Though even worse is generation-spanning SHADO-personnel. I guess we have to be thankful for all those killed off SOs,...  Grin
  
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