SHADO
Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

News:
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 Add Poll Send Topic
Normal Topic Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker (Read 1693 times)
Guina
Ex Member


Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker
Oct 25th, 2010 at 8:34pm
Print Post  
Hi,

very interesting take, and so far rather correct. Yes, when Freeman was eliminated from the series that left a distinct want for Straker with regard to friendship and personal balance.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Lightcudder
Colonel
*****
Offline


Trust no one.

Posts: 1311
Location: Here. When you least expect it
Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker
Reply #1 - Oct 26th, 2010 at 4:22pm
Print Post  
More added to The Things We Never Say.

Pause for thought though........


When Straker says: Well Nina, we were pretty close in there.'

he COULD be referring to the fact that they were close to death!!  No-one seems to have come up with that idea!
  

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


Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker
Reply #2 - Oct 27th, 2010 at 7:29pm
Print Post  
Hi again,

this is an extremely insightful essay and I am very happy that it was written by a man.

Most of the evaluations and conclusions thereof I second to a tee, especially well-written and observant is the part about Catherine Frazer in Long Sleep, where one of the most heartrending scenes (apart from the one cited here) is when Straker refuses to immediately go back to the hospital, even though Foster offers to take his place with the bomb. One of the best episodes in my book, some of the finest acting out of Bishop, Sheybal and - yes - Billington! It was this, the harm done to Straker - again, the dashed hopes - again, the resignation to the job - again, that made me write "Calan Gaeaf".

Where I do not agree with Ian is regarding his take on Jo Fraser. The revulsion and backpedalling, the utter coldness in Straker during that socalled "seduction scene" speaks to me of the reverse of attraction (that Bishop can do different is clear, just look at the screenshots I provided of Victor Stackman). To me it is very clearcut that Straker was initially intrigued (roughly until he noticed the hidden micro), but had all flags go up when he noticed her double dealing. I do not see any attraction travelling past that initial short moment.

As to the take on his personality, again spot on I'd say, I can't see him as the machine so many see him as. There is too much that Bishop showed us was taking place behind the mask, plus writers/directors giving us as an outside cold, but inside caring commanding officer of people.

Personally I wished fanfic writers would show modern and differentiated ways as to how someone like Straker can and would deal with his solitude/loneliness.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Lord Brett
Recruit
*
Offline


UFO Rocks!

Posts: 1
Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker
Reply #3 - Nov 3rd, 2010 at 12:47am
Print Post  
Hi all, I'm Ian Fryer, the author of the article in question and I've really enjoyed following the discussion on the Women of Ed Straker article.  My original title for the article was actually Straker and the Women, as a sort of oblique reference to Kingsley Amis's Stanley and the Women.

I find myself terribly conflicted by the character of Jo Fraser, which I hope is expressed in my writing, and I can certainly understand why there would be different viewpoints about her.

Straker's look of digust when he discovers her past is a fabulous piece of acting by Ed Bishop, and it could be argued represents self disgust, as he has allowed himself to be caught in a vulnerable situation with a woman he was suspicious of almost from their first meeting.

From a male perspective Jo is a tough character to warm to, even with a working knowledge of the type of institutionlosed sexism women had to put up with when the piece was written.  It would certainly be interesting to read some other takes on the character.

One of my motives for writing the article was to illustrate the pioneering nature of UFO in terms of its structure.  Very unusually for a filmed series of its era it presented story arcs in the manner of modern shows.  This can be seen as a development of the use of linked episodes in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, particularly in that show's Lunarville 7 trilogy.  As series were routinely showed in any order a given TV station fancied, this was a very brave move indeed.

Thanks for your interest and comments, which are both interesting and flattering.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Guina
Ex Member


Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker
Reply #4 - Nov 3rd, 2010 at 6:20am
Print Post  
Hi Ian,

first of all - WELCOME! Fabulous that you joined the forum! If possible, could you please tell us a bit about yourself in the relevant thread about members here?

I loved your essay, because it is one of the first I read which took the acting, the direction and the writing regarding this specific topic seriously. Most other such discussions or treatments of this issue foist wishful thinking onto and into the characters and Bishop's acting, something which I find taking away from what they did then, and belittling it. There is some phantastic acting in UFO, as well as some really original writing and directing. It may lack in some parts when viewed from today's standards (especially continuity and logic of plot), but I consider it being even more forward and inventive than Star Trek (and they did have the first interracial kiss on TV, first female officers, first Russian officers, first alien in command on a ship built on Earth).

As you're here and reacted to my criticism of your take on Jo Fraser, I think it behooves me to explain why I see this episode differently.

Unlike quite many I do not consider Ed Bishop's acting lacking in any way, most certainly I do not consider it stiff and "encased in concrete". I also have seen an astonishingly broad spectrum of emotions and (characters') behaviour from him, including e.g. the fact that he managed to stand his own in a scene with Sean Connery and managed to there give us a completely faceted character with barely 3 minutes screentime and less than 10 lines as Klaus Hergersheimer. He certainly knew his craft.

I suggest you take a look at these screenshots. That's a movie filmed in 1973 (shortly after UFO) and even though the movie itself is of rather debatable quality, Bishop did his usual best. It shows beyond doubt, that - unlike what some surmise - he was neither too wooden, nor unwilling to give a character driven by lust the correct take and pull it off too. Which means that anything we see in that episode is there on purpose, just as everything we do NOT see (which is equally important!) also is lacking on purpose.

Bishop, and I just was re-watching episodes with that aspect in mind, used all venues, and he used them practically all the time. He acted with his voice, with his facial expressions and eyes, and lastly he very much also employed the full scope of body-language. The latter was - depending on scenes - often at a distinct counterpoint to what he said or what was to be read on his face, giving the action itself either a layered meaning or contradicting what the scene said on the surface. This probably is a result of his extensive work on stage, because the audience is much more likely to see the body-language from farther away than his face.

Be it as it may, during the crucial "kissing scene" prior to him receiving the results of Miss Ealand's G6 survey, his whole body language says he is not attracted, in fact he is doing something he does not want to do. Have a look at the posture of arms and spine, how he all but pushes away from her from his midriff downwards, and that ramrod posture of his head also doesn't suggest the first stages of lust or attraction, instead it just so much looks like a 6 y/o kid who is forced to kiss the nasty-smelling wrinkled fat auntie during a family affair. And nothing of that is there perchance, I doubt Jane Merrow smelled of garlicWink and he shows within UFO even that he can do "attracted" and outside of UFO that he can do "lusting for" as well. By the way the latter also via body-language, you won't find Victor Stackman's hip disengaging from an object of desire, on the contrary. Wink

This is why I do not believe in any real attraction at this point, not even a salacious one. The look of disgust which follows it to me more the disgust at finding the woman already half-naked on his bedsheets, figuratively sullying his sleeping room, after learning it's even way worse than he surmised (up to that point all Straker seems to have thought was that her attempt at keeping her tape had a fishy background).

This take I find confirmed by what Alec says in the closing scene, namely that Straker knew from the get-go that there was something not right about Fraser. And this means he led her on throughout most of the episode.

Lastly, and that is the most logical point in all this, had he been that much sexually attracted, he could have slept with her and then send her off without the tape. He had her at home, already undressed in his bedroom, no peeping photographer around anywhere. Nothing could have stopped him acting on a real sexual attraction, if he so wanted or had been.

So I hope now it becomes clearer why I do not follow your opinion on Jo Fraser. I agree with you that she indeed was there to thematise certain aspects of sexism of the time, also the sexual revolution taking place at the same time. Possibly there's a distinct criticism to be found there, of women exploiting themselves or others to even out the gender gap. Maybe this episode contains first hints at the break up of the Andersons' marriage too.

Regarding to your take on story arcs, I might tender that it does work because it is less of a "story arc" per se and more of a "character arc" that they have done there with Straker. It has created a couple of continuity problems though, but I agree the whole format and concept was darn innovative for the time.

Do you have any other such great articles on UFO on your backburner or in your portfolio? It has made me very interested in reading more Grin
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Normandie
Captain
***
Offline


UFO Rocks!

Posts: 132
Location: In the veg patch...
Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker
Reply #5 - Nov 3rd, 2010 at 1:26pm
Print Post  
Alba wrote on Nov 3rd, 2010 at 6:20am:
Lastly, and that is the most logical point in all this, had he been that much sexually attracted, he could have slept with her and then send her off without the tape. He had her at home, already undressed in his bedroom, no peeping photographer around anywhere. Nothing could have stopped him acting on a real sexual attraction, if he so wanted or had been.

I disagree. What would always stop the character of Ed Straker doing that was that wasn't who he was. Paul or Alec, yes - behaviour would have been in character - but not Straker.

Lord Brett wrote on Nov 3rd, 2010 at 12:47am:
Straker's look of digust when he discovers her past is a fabulous piece of acting by Ed Bishop, and it could be argued represents self disgust, as he has allowed himself to be caught in a vulnerable situation with a woman he was suspicious of almost from their first meeting.

Agree completely. I have always thought that he was (albeit reluctantly) attracted to Jo Frazer - it has never occurred to me to consider otherwise. And now I have considered it, it doesn't compute - for me.

It is endlessly fascinating, though, how different people interpret different scenes.

I enjoyed reading your article, Ian.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Guina
Ex Member


Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker
Reply #6 - Nov 3rd, 2010 at 1:37pm
Print Post  
Hi Normandie,

Quote:
I disagree. What would always stop the character of Ed Straker doing that was that wasn't who he was. Paul or Alec, yes - behaviour would have been in character - but not Straker.


I didn't say he would, I answered Ian's assumption (and yours by the way) that he is sexually attracted to Jo Fraser.

If he were sexually attracted, it would make no sense to forego following through with that simply because he finds out what he suspected already even before he kissed her (actually even right at the beginning of the episode when she managed to leave the running tape).

Quote:
Agree completely. I have always thought that he was (albeit reluctantly) attracted to Jo Frazer - it has never occurred to me to consider otherwise. And now I have considered it, it doesn't compute - for me.


Could you explain this a bit more, please? Why do you think he is attracted (after he realized she is out to get him or SHADO) and what does not compute?
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Normandie
Captain
***
Offline


UFO Rocks!

Posts: 132
Location: In the veg patch...
Re: FDK; The Women of Ed Straker
Reply #7 - Nov 3rd, 2010 at 1:53pm
Print Post  
Alba wrote on Nov 3rd, 2010 at 1:37pm:
If he were sexually attracted, it would make no sense to forego following through with that simply because he finds out what he suspected already even before he kissed her (actually even right at the beginning of the episode when she managed to leave the running tape).

Guina, I can only refer you to my original comment:

Quote:
What would always stop the character of Ed Straker doing that was that wasn't who he was. Paul or Alec, yes - behaviour would have been in character - but not Straker.

Once he knew exactly what / who she was, any interest in her on any level would disappear.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Add Poll Send Topic
Bookmarks: del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Google+ LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Yahoo