SHADO
Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

News:
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Send Topic
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Paul Foster (Read 15148 times)
Matt
Colonel
*****
Offline


Everyone at SHADO drinks
coffee!

Posts: 2391
Location: Coventry, RI
Paul Foster
Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:56am
Print Post  
Okay gang, what do we all think about Paul Foster.

I'll comment a bit later. Wink
  

What do you mean, we're out of coffee!
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Guina
Ex Member


Re: Paul Foster
Reply #1 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 6:36am
Print Post  
Hi,

I'm sorry - but I like him, really do.  Grin

First thing - Michael Billington most certainly is eye-candy, especially when in that silver, tight Moonbase suit or the shirt off or half open (all them nice long hairs, cute growing pattern too, and impressive pecs  Cool ). I definitely shan't hold that against him. His acting wasn't half as bad as some make out, especially when you think about the fact that this represented his first major part. His acting off Bishop definitely was better than Ventham's.

Second thing - I disagree with the take that he was bucking for CoC, out to usurp Straker. Indeed, except for the episode "Kill Straker", he was thoroughly, wholeheartedly loyal to Straker and more in a sort of master-adept relationship than anything else. Where Alec was Bones to Straker's Kirk, Foster was Adso (of Melk) to Straker's William (of Baskervilles) as in The Name of the Rose. That are very different dynamics, so yes, I think Foster has to be there, so Straker has someone to teach and protect.

Third thing - there are a plethora of absolutely delightful scenes involving Foster and Straker, e.g. the one in front of Henderson during Conflict, without Foster we never would have seen that phantastic small quirky smile from Straker, when he is satisfied that Foster does the yelling he can't afford to do himself. Nor would we have watched his absolutely dominant nod to sit down again. We get more such stuff in Exposed, in Court Martial, in Mindbender and Kill Straker. Absolutely great stuff, each moment worth a story unto itself and that's as it should be.

Foster is, in my book, indispensible, he achieves what he is there for, I find him brash, quite cocky, but also sympathetic, loyal to the bone, utterly convinced of SHADO and like Straker he really irks me into showing him a bit who's the boss. Absolutely, completely delightful.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Lightcudder
Colonel
*****
Offline


Trust no one.

Posts: 1311
Location: Here. When you least expect it
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #2 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 7:44am
Print Post  
That is actually a really different  and interesting take on Foster. He seems to be portrayed so often in Fanfic as the 'upstart' who is out to take over from Straker that i must admit my views of him have beeen tainted by that. I don't think he was as good an actor as Bishop, certainly he seemed unsure of himself and perhaps that acccounts for the 'cockiness' in his appearance.
(And personally I don't like very hairy chests... but I shouldn't hold that against him!)
I think one factor is that each character was so 'set' in their mould..Straker, solitary, aloof, Freeman, flirt, drinker ( actually ..WAS he that much of a drinker?), Foster.. playboy, chest on show every end and sight. they were 'fixed' by the writers and we only got that viewpoiint of them ..although we did see much more of Straker's life than the others.Perhaps that is why Straker is usually the main character in Fan fic. Better defined, more interesting.
I would have liked to have seen a more 'rounded' Paul FOster. he was always so one-dimensional and he could, as Strakers protege, been a really interesting character to follow ( but less of the hairy chest) .. and we never got to see Strakers! well, only a flash or two, Not fair . Angry
I wouldn't have wanted to see Alecs though!
  

I need some air.
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Guina
Ex Member


Re: Paul Foster
Reply #3 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 9:14am
Print Post  
Hi Louise,

Quote:
.. and we never got to see Strakers! well, only a flash or two,


That's easy to explain. Bishop was an ectomorph (bodytype-wise), which means roughly this:









Given that he very clearly did not work out, he most likely would have looked - shirtless - like John Hurt in the first picture (from the movie Alien), plus a little straggly hair here and there. That's what this side here is called a "chicken breast" and I can understand any actor rather being caught dead than showing that off.

Very funny aside - Rob Pattinson has that built (even though by now he desperately pumps iron - won't do him much good!), so for his shirtless scenes he gets the abs and pecs painted on  Grin
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Lightcudder
Colonel
*****
Offline


Trust no one.

Posts: 1311
Location: Here. When you least expect it
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #4 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 9:33am
Print Post  
Ah. Second picture.. looks like my Hubby ( only older now. ) explains why I prefer Bishop to Billington! Wink

son-in-law... heavy build, hairy.....eugh...! Shocked
  

I need some air.
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Matt
Colonel
*****
Offline


Everyone at SHADO drinks
coffee!

Posts: 2391
Location: Coventry, RI
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #5 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:00pm
Print Post  
Paul Foster:

Here’s my take on Paul. Foster was created to add appeal to the younger female viewers and balance out some of the eye candy. My wife prefers the dark haired hairy chest type (I’m surprised she married me) so based on her likes I can understand how he may have appeal to some members of that subset of viewers.

I saw Paul early on as a hot-headed upstart with ambitions of one day commanding SHADO. He was brash and often disobeyed orders or standing procedures. (Conflict, Psychobombs) But he was also fiercely loyal to Commander Straker and those he considered friends.

In “Conflict” Paul shows his disregard for orders by flying a return to earth mission under a shutdown order (Washington Square) in an attempt to prove the loss of his friend was something other than pilot error. The disregard for orders was balanced by his loyalty to his friend (Maddox). His brashness also show when he snaps at the General when he and Straker go to see him upon his return to earth. I agree with Guina here, Straker wanted to but was held in check by discipline. Paul’s loyalty to the Commander is shown later when Henderson orders him to take over and he refuses, instead supporting the Commander. That was one of his most shining moments in the series.

I saw Paul as a ladies’ man, although he did have a serious girlfriend in “Survival” Tina Duval. I think the writers were trying to paint him as a “James Bond” type to appeal to the ladies. The attempt to pair him with Virginia Lake was abysmal. Ginny was way out of his league and a few years older, it just didn’t work. (I had to fix that mess in my story “Silver Star”.)

Paul has gotten a raw deal in FanFiction and is often shown in poor light. In my stories I see him starting off as brash and cocky but growing over time. In the end of “Silver Star” we find out that Paul had a troubled childhood which affected his ability to form and keep meaningful relationships. The story ends with Ginny and Paul breaking off their brief relationship and Paul seeking counseling. I put that as a turning point for him in both my storylines.

Paul made one very poor decision in “Psychobombs” when he brought Linda Simmons to the studio knowing that she posed a threat to both the Commander and the base. Straker had obviously decided on the same course of action (much to Ginny’s chagrin) and allowed him to slide for it. In my story “A Matter of Principle” I show Ginny getting on Paul about that decision and Ed, in a calculated oversight, allows it. This is another story where Paul gets to grow as he realizes the gravity of the mistake.

In my storylines, Paul grows and matures into an effective member of the SHADO command team, and in the Hewett series, he rises to executive officer, (Alec has died of cancer) when Ginny marries and transfers back to New York. In the “Soul Mates” saga story “Expecting”, Paul really shines when he is forced to take command, when an explosion traps Ed and Ginny in their quarters at HQ. When Ed recruited him in SHADO he saw potential in the man and that trait rises to the surface in this story. I marry him off in both my story lines to Jane Carson from the episode “The Dalotek Affair” and in the first story of the Hewett series he tells Ed that his wife is expecting their first child.

I have seen personal growth in Paul in other writer’s stories as well. In Denise’s “Devilsgate Saga” Paul abandons his post on Moonbase to come to Earth and Commander Davenport slaps him down hard having him cool his heels in the brig for desertion. Later when the two men meet, we find some of what drives Foster come to the surface. Jake Davenport showing wisdom beyond his years recognizes the potential in Foster and gives him a chance to redeem himself. We also see that Paul was fiercely loyal to Ed a trait Denise brought out very well in the story.

In Louise’s story “AfterMath” a decision made by Paul causes a worldwide apocalyptic disaster and Paul learns the hard way that he needs to think before he acts. Over the course of the story Paul grows into the team leader that Ed knew he had the potential to be, and he gives his life to save the Commander.

As a writer I do find him fun to pick on early in the series but I also enjoy growing his character as I did in “Expecting” a truly fun story to write. And Paul got to be the hero.
« Last Edit: Aug 29th, 2010 at 2:24am by Matt »  

What do you mean, we're out of coffee!
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Lightcudder
Colonel
*****
Offline


Trust no one.

Posts: 1311
Location: Here. When you least expect it
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #6 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:19pm
Print Post  
Interesting perspective Matt. I actually did ithe ironing today while i watched Dalotek Affair.. one of the episodes I rarely watch.
Paul doesn't come over too badly in that episode. He seems to be much more mature and sensible, although his cringeworthy 'chat-up lines' to the woman in the Dalotek base are dreadful.. I just LOVE the Moonbase operatives face as she listens in!
And the even worse kiss later on.. coloured lights etc.. Shivering birches Guina?
But he deals with the situation well despite the dreadful script!

Interesting to see the relationship between Alec and Paul.. having a meal together.. no one ever ever suggests that there is something between these two men and yet, and yet..?!
  Maybe one of the fanfic writers hang-ups is that Paul was provided as the 'beefcake' ( Andersons terminology as far as I can remember), so he didn't need to be well-fleshed out.  (script-wise, not physically!)
Kill Straker seeems to be the focus for much of the idea that he as out to take over.. I wonder if there is anywhere in the series where Alec Freeman says that he is not going ot take over if anything happens to Straker? or is that another misconception?

Thoughts anyone? who would have taken over?
  

I need some air.
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Guina
Ex Member


Re: Paul Foster
Reply #7 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:25pm
Print Post  
Hi Matt,

can't help but argue a bit with you here... sorry  Grin

Quote:
He was brash and often disobeyed orders or standing procedures. (Exposed, Psychobombs)


In Exposed he sees for the second (or is it even the third?) time a UFO. After he has been derided by his former superiors and mates when he tried to get them to accept UFOs prior to this occasion, I can easily follow his logic and motivation when he now disobeys order for the sole purpose of getting proof that there are UFOs!

I mean, jeez, there's a guy who's been demoted and had to make sideways career moves because he saw aliens with no one ever believing him, this here is one of the strongest motives of the whole series!

As to Psychobombs, it was not his decision. He was manipulated/brainwashed by the aliens to bring her there. He even says it out loud "Ed, I don't know why I brought her here, it just happened...".

So I contend that in both cases you misunderstand/misinterpret the basic motives, psychology and premises. I can see how that might happen, but I sincerely doubt that it was meant as you see it.

As to Conflict (where he disobeys orders and lands the shuttle), I see him doing that out of brashness, but also because he has a vague idea of why happened what happened (else he would not have been able to safely land!!!) and he also knows that neither Straker nor Freeman would be able to check that out. Again he sort of "spares" the senior officers the bad rep.

Quote:
I saw Paul as a ladies’ man, although he did have a serious girlfriend in “Survival” Tina Duval. I think the writers were trying to paint him as a “James Bond” type to appeal to the ladies.


Err - uhm - uh... no.

  Grin

James Bond is a guys' man (and a gays' man as well), he appeals to males and not females. Same with Clint and Sylvester characters, you go into one of their earlier movies and you'll see a practically all-male audience. I remember I was the only female in Heartbreak Ridge, in Rambo II and in Harry Callahan V. The Bond movies lean heavily towards mainly male audiences as well.

Foster has created and still creates the major interest in males (het and gay), pretty much on one line with that it's mainly males who are interested in all the machinery/vehicles of UFO. Sure, he has a certain female following (curiously those are *very* interested in slash!), but that's really mainly because he's cute to look at.

I think he was put there as a lighter, brasher character who they could give more action to. Sewell wasn't up to that, too old looking, Bishop wasn't the overly athletic actor either, and as per his role unable to do a lot of action scenes, so they were lacking a character and an actor who could and did and would be attractive also for males.

  Cool

@Lightcudder:

Alec was clearly the second in line, with Foster still out on the trainee road.

Yep, in Dalotek he comes over quite nicely. As to the way he comes on to women, jeez, there's some stuff in ST which makes me cringe as well. That were the times I'd say  Grin
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Matt
Colonel
*****
Offline


Everyone at SHADO drinks
coffee!

Posts: 2391
Location: Coventry, RI
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #8 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:29pm
Print Post  
I think it would have ben Alec, gruddingly but out of a sense of duty. And it probably would have killed him. Sad

I don't see Paul as ready for command until some time after "The Long Sleep" as I did see growth in his character towards the end. Smiley

"Harrington's expression while Jane and Paul chatted on the phone was priceless! Grin I liked the episode except for the long drawn out kissing scene at the end, that was just so bogas! Angry

And Ed was in a paticularly bad mood that day! Wink
  

What do you mean, we're out of coffee!
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Lightcudder
Colonel
*****
Offline


Trust no one.

Posts: 1311
Location: Here. When you least expect it
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #9 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:36pm
Print Post  
But why grudgingly for Alec? what proof is there that he didn't want command? Wasn't ready for it?
All based on one episode.. Responsibility Seat?
And iot seems that  everyones perception of Paul as a brash upstart is based on Kill Straker..

As for Alec 'disappearing' after the first episodes.. he could well have been running some huge SHado operation on the other side of the world. We never ever found out just how big or international SHADO really was. Or he was simply doing the other (night) shift to  Straker in preparation for taking over command!

Now there's a thought!
  

I need some air.
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Matt
Colonel
*****
Offline


Everyone at SHADO drinks
coffee!

Posts: 2391
Location: Coventry, RI
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #10 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:40pm
Print Post  
Alba wrote on Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:25pm:
As to Psychobombs, it was not his decision. He was manipulated/brainwashed by the aliens to bring her there. He even says it out loud "Ed, I don't know why I brought her here, it just happened...".


I might be conviced to concide the first point but in "Psychobombs" Foster clearly was taken by a pretty face, she was being manipulated but the aliens would have no effect on Foster. Linda used what my wife calls womans wyles to convince him to take her to HQ. If the aliens had the ability to manipulate others without direct contact they would have done it on a mass scale.

In my opinion Foster looked in those deep blue eyes and he was done! Grin
  

What do you mean, we're out of coffee!
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Lightcudder
Colonel
*****
Offline


Trust no one.

Posts: 1311
Location: Here. When you least expect it
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #11 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:46pm
Print Post  
Sorry Matt. PAul may have been a pratt, and a pretty major pratt at times, but there was no way he would have brought that girl down to HQ without being under some influence.
he never told Tina Duvall what he did as a job and he was in a serious relationship with her. PAul, for all his inexperience was a   military person ( test pilot) so he would have never broken security knowingly.

And the pshycobombs had already proved their psychic abilities.
  

I need some air.
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Matt
Colonel
*****
Offline


Everyone at SHADO drinks
coffee!

Posts: 2391
Location: Coventry, RI
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #12 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:59pm
Print Post  
I'm still not convinced, as I could never picture Ed falling for that. If it was a hyponotic spell wouldn't she have have used it on the guard in the room? Shocked

Foster allowed himself to become emotionally compromised, as he also said to Ed that he believed her, he was convinced that she was inocent. If he was under influence, I would think it was her's, not the aliens. Wink

Those eyes would have been hard to say no to. Grin
  

What do you mean, we're out of coffee!
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Guina
Ex Member


Re: Paul Foster
Reply #13 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 5:10pm
Print Post  
Hi Louise,

Quote:
But why grudgingly for Alec? what proof is there that he didn't want command? Wasn't ready for it?


I took that conversation in TRS mainly as friendly banter.

Alec had a different decision-making style, but he repeatedly showed he was able to make his own decisions or lead SHADO when necessary.

For me he was the unwavering second in command, definitely in line as the next commander. He was always in on Straker's own decision-making processes, often giving these decisions different turns by what he said or argued.


Hi Matt,

Quote:
If it was a hyponotic spell wouldn't she have have used it on the guard in the room? Shocked


But she did, she walked out of the room on her own, Foster never opened it for her!

Quote:
as I could never picture Ed falling for that.


Of course he would have fallen for alien psyche manipulations, he did so as well.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Matt
Colonel
*****
Offline


Everyone at SHADO drinks
coffee!

Posts: 2391
Location: Coventry, RI
Re: Paul Foster
Reply #14 - Aug 28th, 2010 at 5:17pm
Print Post  
Lightcudder wrote on Aug 28th, 2010 at 4:36pm:
But why grudgingly for Alec? what proof is there that he didn't want command? Wasn't ready for it?
All based on one episode.. Responsibility Seat?


I got the impression that he didn't want command from both "Identified" and "Computer Affair" as well as "Subsmash" not so much by what Alec said, but the way he said it. I do think he would have stepped up if the need ever had arisen. Smiley
  

What do you mean, we're out of coffee!
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Send Topic
Bookmarks: del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Google+ LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Yahoo