I was going to write a more serious entry this week, but decided against it. I have been at the epicenter of some of my favorite shows in the past few days, so that’s where my mind has been. Since I believe in following my literary impulses, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite male characters. (I will avoid spoilers as much as I can.)
Actor: Peter Woodward
Series: Babylon 5: Crusade
Wizard, British, wry sense of humor, and black leather coats…what more could a girl ask for? Galen is a techno-mage, part of an eclectic order that uses an ancient advanced technology to simulate the effects of magic…and is pretty odd and mysterious even by the standards of that order. He’s highly independent and powerful as well as irritating to other characters in Crusade because he “shows up when he’s least wanted and most needed,” not to mention having a habit of withholding information. I love Galen’s wry, often cynical sense of humor, his crisp, precise way of speaking, and his eyes are some of the most expressive I’ve ever seen. He’s also one of my favorite character-types, what I call “the Tortured Soul.” Characters of this type have hidden histories, often tragic, that slowly comes to light over the course of the series. Galen is one of those who tries to be completely self-sufficient, but his efforts only highlight his isolation and loneliness. Which only makes me want to give him a hug. ^_^
Actor: René Auberjonois
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
For some reason I’ve always been drawn to shapeshifters and outcasts, and here’s a character who offers both. Odo, affectionately known as “the Constable” on DS9, is head of Security for the space station. He’s often unintentionally funny (at least from the audience’s point of view) since he is very serious, even naive at times. He’s simultaneously cynical and child-like. On top of that, he appears to be the only member of his race this side of the wormhole, perhaps the only one of his kind period, which gives the word “alone” a whole new level. I find Odo’s interactions and relationships with the other inhabitants of DS9 range from amusing, especially his spats with the Ferengi barkeep Quark, to heartbreaking. Odo’s isolation and mystery of his origins render him fascinating and my favorite character on Deep Space Nine. As I progress through the series, I can’t wait to see how he develops and what secrets will be uncovered.
Actor: Peter Jurasik
Series: Babylon 5
Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic is usually not the kind of character I normally latch onto. He is a selfish, egotistical debauchee who will manipulate, threaten, and annoy those around him to get what he wants. At least at first. The nice thing is that a lot of Londo’s essentials do not change; he’s still willing to sell you out if it would benefit him. But over the course ofBabylon 5, you see an evolution. You don’t really see much of Londo’s backstory, which is unusual. Normally it’s a character’s mysterious past that intrigues me, but with Londo, I was more interested in seeing where he was going, what kind of person he would become, the choices he would make and the consequences of those choices. He is very real, very complex, and very compelling. Londo is good for some laughs, but he’s also a dedicated patriot. Everything he does, he does for the good of the Centauri Republic. Granted, that usually involves him getting something out of it as well, but there are a few key times where to save the Centauri, Londo makes some pretty tough and altruistic decisions. The story of his fall and redemption is one of the most compelling I have ever seen in fiction.
MALCOLM “MAL” REYNOLDS
Actor: Nathan Fillion
More long, awesome trench coats! (Seriously, it makes men look awesome and impressive and women look sexy.) Captain Malcolm is awesome due to his mixture of practicality and kindness with a liberal dose of humor. Because Mal is a practical man; he just wants to earn enough to keep flying. To stay free. Unfortunately, that means he has to deal with a lot of thieves without honor, which requires a lot of ingenuity, bluffing, and luck for some truly amazing escapades. Mal can be ruthless when he has to be, but he’s very protective of his crew. They are his family and seeing how he defends them (and how he tries to maintain his tough-guy persona) is very endearing. Now if only he could learn to talk to Inara without getting into a fight…^_^ (Firefly and Mal were also my introductions to Nathan Fillion, who is a funny wonderful person in and of himself, and to the creative genius of Joss Whedon.)
RICHARD “RICK” CASTLE
Actor: Nathan Fillion
Yes, another role played by Nathan Fillion. Last one, I promise. I can assure you that while Mr. Fillion’s name drew me to watch Castle, I’ve come to love the character of Rick for his own sake. Rick Castle is a crime/mystery novelist who uses his friendship with the mayor to follow Detective Kate Beckett (played by Stana Katic) around on murder cases, much to Beckett’s dismay. While Castle is a rather wealthy playboy with a big ego and acts irreverent towards a lot of things, there’s a lot going on beneath the surface. He loves his daughter, Alexis, even though a lot of the time she acts more responsibly than he does, and slowly worms his way into the affections of the detectives he works with. What really fascinates me are Castle’s and Beckett’s interactions with each other. The banter is witty without feeling forced and can make me laugh or cry, depending on the situation. (Most of the time I laugh, but some of the misunderstanding that develop can also make me cry and hope for a speedy reconciliation.) Castle seems puzzled by the fact that Beckett isn’t throwing herself at him like almost every other woman and just when Beckett thinks she has Castle pegged, he does something that confounds her expectations. The chemistry is wonderful and a real joy to watch.