Armitage teacup redux

So, here another example of an Armitage character holding a teacup.

Pay attention, this photo is EXTREMELY significant.

Bill Chatford (Richard Armitage), Gwynfryd Rattery (Orla O’Rourke), and Felicity Torr (Hannah McCabe) drink tea after the Chatfords’ return from their honeymoon in Malice Aforethought. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com. Here’s the scene in question at youtube.

Note that Bill is holding his teacup correctly in this photo. Differently than Mr. Thornton in the famous tea scene, discussed here, in which discussion readers were divided over whether this was a characterization move or an Armitage tic. Now there appears to be evidence that Mr. Armitage is in fact capable of holding a teacup correctly, although without what Americans consider the affectation of extending the little finger. Exhaustive research on this topic reveals that some authorities say that it is rude to extend the little finger while others say it is a polite way of balancing the teacup in your hand.

With this additional evidence, what can we conclude about Armitage and his holding of teacups? What exactly does Mr. Armitage wish to let us know here about Bill Chatford and his relationship to the colonial / post-colonial milieu?

Of course, we cannot fully address this issue until we’ve moved onto a detailed examination of the way that Mr. Armitage purses his lips while sipping his tea. The study of this is complicated by the fact that there is not always liquid in the cups from which Armitage drinks his tea in these productions, a fact with deep Freudian undertones. We have not even touched upon whether the tea or non-existent tea in question comes from India or from China. There’s also the matter of the holding of the saucer in the left (sinister!) hand, which much be treated at length as well. I foresee weeks and weeks of stimulating analysis of this topic, with many contributions from eager readers.

This discussion may be the most significant thing I’ve stumbled upon in months. I’m sure I’ll dream of it tonight.

~ by Servetus on June 23, 2011.

64 Responses to “Armitage teacup redux”

  1. LOL! You are feeling very good lately, aren’t you? Well, it is good to know RA can hold a teacup properly. Watching Richard purse his lips while drinking–and that satisfied little pucker as he sort of smacks his lips afterwards. Oh. Dear. Me.
    Can we also discuss Bill’s lovely pajamas in this one? ๐Ÿ˜€ Does the color have some sort of symbolism? And what does that mustache represent?

    Like

    • I realize that I neglected to mention the china pattern as well. I’ve been remiss. I need to write at least another thousand words of claptrap!

      Like

      • LOL!! I think it can be concluded that the position of the teacup in N& S was indeed part of his characterization of Thornton. God love him. : D

        Like

  2. Ah yes, Serv….but the real question is…does he take it with sugar/sugar and cream/cream/straight. That, my dear, is the real conundrum! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Like

  3. I note that the teacup has a largish handle! So it’s easier to hold properly.
    We need to do a comparative, cross-program, cross-character cup handle analysis to illuminate the handle as a factor of practicality!

    Like

  4. Well, you know no one can hold a teacup to Mr. Armitage! And he’s just our cup of tea, isn’t he? Yes, some research into brands of tea would be interesting. Inquiring minds would like to know which one he prefers. For instance, my daughter introduced me to Yorkshire Tea which is truly wonderful stuff! Luckily we have found that Boots Drugstores sells it in Canada!
    Carry on Servetus! Your detailed examinations of RA suit me to a T and my cup runneth over with glee! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • I’ve heard that PG tips are big in Great Britain! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I personally prefer first flush Darjeeling (corrupted into this by my last ex-SO), but if I am drinking a blend I especially East Frisian. Yummm.

      Like

      • Oh, yes, East Frisian is totally yummy. Very strong too, so just the thing one needs in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

      • Yorkshire tea, PG Tips or any other popular brands aren’t exactly subtle! Darjeeling or Ceylon for me, or Fortnum and Mason’s Smoky Earl Grey is good for a treat. And what is this nonsense about CREAM?!

        Like

        • The first time I visited London I made a point of going to Fortnum and Mason. That tea was amazing.

          Like

      • PG Tips and Tetley’s are very average brands of tea, but Yorkshire Tea is definitely a cut above. Earl Grey is lovely – probably my favourite tea, but I like it with milk and some people say it should be drunk only with lemon.

        Like

        • Kaprekar, I agree with you, Earl Grea with milk is just delicious. Though I like a strong brew with lemon in winter as well. But with milk it is just so comforting.

          Like

        • Just indulging in a mug (sorry, I’m Brit but don’t possess a tea cup!) of the aforementioned F&M’s Smoky Earl Grey with milk. I don’t really like it with lemon and am not a big fan of infusions although I gallantly try and, as for iced tea…no offence to those of you across the pond.

          Like

          • Fortnum’s Tercentenary Blend ist delicious too – a blend of Yunnan and Assam, the original teas. It was available in 2007, when Fortnum’s celebrated their 300th birthday, but they mix it for you on request. Yum.

            I love green tea as well, and white, of course.

            *Off to kitchen for a cuppa…*

            Like

          • Iced tea: I only started to “get it” after moving to Texas. It seemed superfluous to me before that. Now I think there’s nothing better when you’re thirsty than a wonderful great glass of cold, unsweetened iced tea with a wedge of lemon. Of course, most of my south’en friends would say that’s heresy, of course it needs to be sweetened. I also like iced green tea now, since STarb***** started offering it, which surprised me a little initially. It’s really great when cut with lemonade (the “Arnold Palmer”).

            Like

        • I recently found out that Earl Grey, which is one of my favorites apart from Darjeeling, is named after Charles Grey, the British PM who had an affair with Georgiana Cavendish who is an ancestor of Diana and also Fergi. Fascinating.

          Like

    • LOL phylly3…you ARE on a roll tonight!!

      Like

    • LOL!

      Like

  5. I’m sorry, it will take me a while to read, ponder and extrapolate the implied and stated social constructivist meanings of this post…because I can’t stop laughing at the capitalization of the word EXTREMELY in the post’s beginning…heeheeheeheeheeheehee….

    Like

  6. I am not sure about the finger (pinkie), but as far as I can remember from reading long time ago, I think that in the Victorian aera it was still considerd to be elegant to stick the little finger out. As it was used as sign to point someone out, I think it became impolite before the first WW time and at least speaking for Germany is considdered impolite and unexperienced in social surrounding nowadays.

    Like

    • the American stereotype of a British aristocrat is someone with the extended finger; we like to make fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    • I wasn’t really a tea drinker but was introduced to Chamomile? tea durig my 1st trip to Germany… cause I developed an upset tummy due to eating green apples. It did the trick, it’ also help to have a good night sleep. Ever since, everyday I enjoy chamo tea but I like Earl Grey too. I like them plain and weak.

      Here they also practice the “pinkie’ thing in some social circles but not much on everyday life. Nowadays, we use more of the mugs for coffee & tea especially the young ones but it’s nice to use our cups & saucers every now and again.

      Servetus, are you already home with your parents? I could just imagine the delight in their faces for your reunion.

      Like

      • We were indeed happy to see each other, but I got in at 3 a.m., so it was a more gradual reunion. I saw my dad when I got up and my mom when she came home from work. I think we’re all relieved I’m here, all three of us ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  7. That so many of you don’t like milk in their tea I wonder, as we consider it to by the correct British way from the viwpoint of the continental drinking tea pure or with lemon or with something a bit stronger than that ;o)

    Like

    • I learned to drink tea very strong with milk, no sugar, while a student in London in the 1980s and now don’t like it any other way. I like PG Tips and have never seen many of the brands mentioned here in the U.S.

      Like

      • Yeah, I have no idea where you’d get East Frisian blend in the US. Probably from a specialty shop on the internet.

        Like

  8. I immediately dislike this man, just by the way he sits, the part in his hair, the expression on his face, and by the way he holds his tea cup. Amazing how he can create a charactor, and unlike our dark hero G of G, this baddie is just bad.

    Like

    • Nice job of staying on topic, @Rob! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have something to say about this too. I’m having a hard time deciding what to write, I have so much to say …

      Like

  9. But so interesting ๐Ÿ™‚ I like Porter, but find the RA baddies more complex, and that they linger longer in the imagination. Though Mr. A did bring some complexity to the Porter character.

    Ah tea! Yes please! Love the smell of coffee, not the taste.

    Cha cha cha – and chai, chai, chai!

    Like

  10. btw, I laugh at the way the nose tends to get in the way of cups, glasses, etc. The champagne glass in S7!! So human…

    Like

  11. I find it amazing that in this one picture he reveals so much of the Bill Chatford character. It’s not just the eyes which are always the first thing that captures our attention, or even the mustache but the whole facial expression and body language. It’s a pity the clip is such poor quality but even so his menacing demeanor is very much in evidence and his temper palpable. Makes one shiver!!

    Speaking of tea – has anyone tried Lapsang Souchong? Really different with its distinctive tarry flavour – and smell!! I believe it is supposed to be drunk with lemon but I prefer it with milk. I’m also surprised at how much I enjoy Star***** iced teas. My favourites at the moment are Shaken Iced Passion Tea Lemonade and Black Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade. Very refreshing!

    Like

    • yeah, I feel like it’s a bait and switch — smells good, tastes like barbeque sauce, or is that the other way around? I had it once ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  12. Bridgehead cafe’s hot or cold chai’s!

    Murchie’s lapsangs, Ceylons, Gunpowder!

    And of course, the humble Irish Breakfast tea. And don’t forget to warm the pot first! (I do forget; the family would be horrified…)

    Like

  13. All this tea talk and this morning my waking dream was of my husband on the phone with you, Servetus, discussing what new tea he should buy!!!. It was all very confusing… 1) he doesn’t drink tea and 2) how did he get your number??? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: