Tag Archives: Sharon

The Archers: I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky

SPOILER ALERT! Contains speculation about future plot twist that actually you have probably also guessed, as I have, because it’s not exactly been foreshadowed in particularly subtle a fashion.

What I love about the Archers is the way they can so easily wrong-foot me.  I’d just settled in for the duration, expecting nothing more from the next few weeks than a boring string of episodes about Cloive being dull-ly menacing, the Bridge Farm rebranding, and Linda’s death-where-is-thy-sting Christmas show. Then they sprang a Kylie/Sharon/John reversal on me and it got all interesting again.

For those of you who had better things to do than listen to the Archers when you were young, here’s a quick primer on these unfamiliar characters. Back in the day, a young slapper named Sharon with a cracking West Country burr lived in a caravan in Ambridge. She was the type who called people ‘Moi bird, moi duck, moi lover,’ when she was just buying fags down the shop. Her small daughter was called Kylie (pronounced ‘Koylie’), which dates it. I must have missed the episode in which this child was revealed to have been fathered by Cloive (pronounced ‘Cloive’).  Who knows, perhaps I one time went clubbing instead of sitting under a duvet with a transistor radio pressed to my ear.

Anyway, Sharon had long-eschewed Cloive and was having an unpopular affair in her caravan with John Archer, son of Pat and Tony, who some years later had a series of misadventures, nearly married Hayley, then slipped underneath a large Massey Ferguson and thus never had to hear his sister Helen whinge again. Are you still with me? Any road up, long before John got tractored, Sharon had packed up her lovely accent and her daughter and disappeared, much to my chagrin, as she was – remains to this day – the only character I could reliably imitate. When in my cups I can sometimes do Joe Grundy saying ‘afternoon,’ but there’s little call for it, I’ll be honest with you.

So imagine my delight when, after all these years, Susan rang Sharon last week to tell her that Ivy had snuffed it. Ivy being Cloive’s ma, she was thus Koylie’s grannie, not that she’d had much (anything?) to do with her. I had a quiet little wake all by myself when I realised they’d got some Equity Card-punching  nonentity to play Sharon, rather than the real Sharon, and her accent WASN’T RIGHT so no-one would be impressed at the accuracy of my take-off this time round. Not that they were last time now I think on. But I soon got over it when Koylie popped up, being all grown-up now, a student, how time flies etc, and having a good old shout at Cloive at the funeral for being the crappest dad this side of Felpersham.

And then, to runneth my cup right over, Pat started asking pointed questions about the age of Koylie’s younger brother and I realised with heart-stopping delight that this must mean JOHN FATHERED A BABY WHICH NO-ONE KNEW ABOUT! Or Pat’s barking up the wrong tree, but either way we’ll still have all the scrummy DNA testing/family arguments/ Pat and Tony having awkward meetings with Sharon! I CAN’T WAIT! BRING! IT! ON! And get the real Sharon back while you’re at it.

Posted by Qwerty

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Filed under Radio, The Archers

Kick ass women: President Laura Roslin

I confess to having found myself surprised to be watching Battlestar Galactica (the 2003 NBC mini-series) and even more surprised to be enjoying it. It came about after I’d been watching Jake Yapp’s highly amusing clips about The Apprentice on The Poke and started following him on Twitter. A conversation ensued about how good he thinks Battlestar Galactica is. I raised as quizzical an eyebrow as I could manage over Twitter, but he was clear on the fact that 1) it really is very good and 2) his girlfriend likes it. And so it was I promised to give it a go.

I admit, I was dubious. I enjoy Dr Who, and loved Blake’s 7, but in general, I hate sci-fi and what I view as ‘space tosh’, especially boysy, fight-based intergalactic nonsense, and I feared that’s exactly what this would be.

But not so. The fact that most of it takes place in space is not the point, or at least not all of it. This is quality drama; sexy, dynamic, well-written and highly engaging. And it’s not boysy, at least not in an unbalanced way. There are a wealth of strong, interesting female characters. Impressive, feisty, muscular pilot, Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace, is the obvious choice for a kick ass woman. And you really wouldn’t want the terrifying, gorgeous blonde bombshell Cylon Number Six (Cylons being the baddies) as your babysitter.

[Her lover in this, by the way, is Dr Gauis Baltar, played by James Callis, who I knew as the adorable male bezzie mate in Bridget Jones]

But I’m going to plump for Laura Roslin (played by Mary McDonnell) as my top kick ass woman. She starts the mini-series as a slightly mumsy Education Minister who has just been given a diagnosis of terminal cancer. She ends up (after the Cylons wipe out most of the population of Kobol with a nuclear attack) as President of the Twelve Colonies (thank you PF) when all the other 42 in line have been killed. And she steps into this role with calm, compassionate aplomb. She’s brilliant, and is an elegant counterpoint to the rugged masculinity of Commander Adama and chums.

She’s one of the reasons I’d recommend Battlestar Galactica to anyone, and particularly women who are dubious about space-based drama. This is all very human and beautifully drawn.

Now I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of Series 1.

Posted by Inkface

For other kick-ass women posts, see here

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