If Richard Armitage played every role at a Friday faculty research seminar

[Read into this what you like, except, of course, that I admit I spent the afternoon in a faculty research seminar. Someone writes a research paper, usually 40 pp. of original research, and then everyone who attends is supposed to have read it in advance and then asks questions, makes comments, etc., etc. This is how we advance the content of human knowledge. Cough. It’s chiefly, in my experience, a wonderful place for the observation of the foibles of one’s fellow humans — including one’s own.]


The earnest presenter strides with excitement toward new knowledge:

Claude Monet (Richard Armitage) leads his contemporaries into the forest to discover new light and color in episode 1 of The Impressionists. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The person who “asks the first question” (which is usually not a question), is frequently a supercilious know-it-all who’s eager to display his authority and hide his own insecurity, or else ready to accuse the presenter of some kind of intellectual malfeasance.

Captain Ian Macalwain asserts his right to see the personnel files of Red Troop in Ultimate Force 2.2. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Servetus’s head starts to ache, prophylactically:

Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton in episode 4 of North & South. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The seminar host jumps in ineffectually to try to protect the presenter from the first, supercilious questioner:

Lucas North (Richard Armitage) moves to grab at Dean Mitchell after he’s been shot in Spooks 7.6. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The presenter, enervated by the exchange between the first questioner and the host, leans in to make his point slightly more forcefully:

Lucas North (Richard Armitage) tries to convince Gillian Calderwood to help Section D stop Alexis Meynell, in Spooks 7.5. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

As the seminar proeeds, we meet:

The scholar who asks the first judicious question, usually about twenty minutes in:

Harry Kennedy (Richard Armitage) puzzles over the failure of his doorbell to ring in Vicar of Dibley: The Handsome Stranger. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The scholar who tells the presenter stuff he already knows, presenting obvious information under the guise of advising the naive:

Craig Parker (Richard Armitage) tries to convince Lara Stone that what she wants is a weekend in a nice hotel with room service, in Casualty 16.17. My cap. Nice use of the frontalis in an expression I like to call “Richard Armitage’s pedagogical forehead move.”

The grad student with the crazy conspiracy theory that’s going to explain everything he’s convinced the presenter has missed in the sources the presenter has mastered and the grad student has never seen:

Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood 3.1. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The faculty member who’s convinced he has a question to articulate — if he can only figure out what it is! Semi-incoherent hand-waving de rigueur for this role:

Richard Armitage narrates a bedtime story in CBeebies. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Servetus, of course, remains beyond thrilled to be there:

Ricky Deeming (Richard Armitage) being interrogated regarding the murder of Billy Lister in George Gently: Gently Go Man. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

At this point, Mr. Judicious Question from earlier tries to get the seminar back on track:

Harry Kennedy (Richard Armitage) discusses potential wedding gift registries with Geraldine Granger (Dawn French) in Vicar of Dibley: The Vicar in White. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

But it’s clear that all the important questions that anyone can think of have been asked, along with plenty of incoherent ones. So now, we move on to the stupid questions, since we still have twenty minutes of seminar scheduled. Two faculty members get involved in arguing over a question completely unrelated to the research paper under discussion.

Round One: Scholar A raises a side point:

Peter Macduff notes that Macbeth doesn’t even know the names of Macduff’s children in ShakespeaRE-told: Macbeth. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Scholar B, however, disagrees thoughtfully:

Richard Armitage as Dr. Alex Track in The Golden Hour 1.1. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The presenter knows the answer to their question, but they ignore him, and he is appropriately sullen:

Richard Armitage as Ian Macalwain in Ultimate Force 2.4. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The non-question still not answered to the satisfaction of Scholar A and Scholar B, they go a second round:

Same as above. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Although he has nothing new to add, Scholar B adds his own coda:

The same as above. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The seminar presenter looks at his watch and calls time:

Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) checks his watch at the end of shift in episode 4 of North & South. My cap.

Servetus is just relieved it’s all over …

Richard Armitage as John Porter in Strike Back 1.1. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

… because she’s been dreaming of doing this all afternoon:

Heinz Kruger (Richard Armitage) prepares to detonate his bomb in Captain America: The First Avenger. Source: Richard Armitage Central Main Gallery

Pleased to have survived the clash of the titanic egos unscathed, the presenter leaves the seminar, looking forward to a glass of wine at home:

Lucas North (Richard Armitage) leaves the UN Special Envoy to talk to Ros in Spooks 7.6. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

~ by Servetus on November 18, 2011.

63 Responses to “If Richard Armitage played every role at a Friday faculty research seminar”

  1. Servetus,
    This is priceless! Great spot on observations about academe with insightul analogies to Richard Armitage’s roles. What a giggle. Great job!
    Cheers! Grati ;->
    P.S. I’ve seen every one of these conference attendee characterizations at my institution. Ha!


    • Thanks — I figured it’s mainly people who have extensive exposure to academia who will really appreciate this post.

      I love my job, I love my job.


  2. Oh, and I’ll leave you to figure out which one of these people I am, when I’m not staring resentfully at the table in front of me πŸ™‚


  3. πŸ˜€ This made me recall teacher in-service training and newspaper workshops. Hours of my life I can never retrieve, at times mind-numbingly boring and occasionally quite amusing (generally unintentionally, alas) during which I kept thinking about how I was going to get caught up at the job I was actually paid to do . . . and if there was some way I could teleport myself somewhere, almost anywhere else.

    Perhaps if Mr. Armitage had been utilized as part of the presentation, we would have had a much better time. *muses over that possibility*

    As an aside, thanks for the screencap from Casualty, that’s a new one for me. This appears to be from his “Handsome Man with Too Much Hair Product” phase . . . πŸ˜‰ And a great example of his trademark crinkle, indeed.


    • I got my hands on a relatively obscure file lately πŸ™‚ You can see everything he does in that episode on Richard Armitage Online, but I wanted to see the whole episode. It’s kinda awful, but everyone has to start somewhere. I have to say, I totally got why the doctor was interested in the other guy and not Armitage’s character — our man does a good job of being such a softie that a little danger would seem attractive.

      This all raises the question of why the way that education, esp. continuing education, which I agree is important — I learned a lot today even if i was annoyed — is organized in such unpleasant ways. If Richard Armitage were at our faculty seminar, though, I know that my annoyance would be cut in half.


      • Yeah, many are the actors who appeared in less-than-stellar projects early in their career. You have got to get your foot in the door somehow. I smile over the fact Richard had a bit part in an earlier series of Spooks and then went on to become one of its stars.

        I agree about the importance of continuing education . . . when it goes well, it can be extremely helpful. But somehow we need to overhaul the whole approach to make it a more enjoyable experience for all. You know, medicine doesn’t have to taste nasty to do you some actual good, so to speak.

        Not that I have any suggestions on how to do that. πŸ˜‰ I also know we need to do something about health care here in the US, but . . . *sigh*


  4. Oh no, I attended a few legal seminars that degenerated in just that way. It’s almost the expected formula. Meh.


    • Too bad Armitage has never played a lawyer.


      • That would be AWESOME. *daydreams*


      • Atticus Finch, Atticus Finch, says the girl from LA (Lower Alabama) . . . Seriously, he has played soldier, spy, accountant, doctor, businessman, con man, sheep farmer, massively sexy henchman (I watched the good parts of the first half of S3 of RH last night–i.e. the parts with Guy, of course),– I think he needs to play a lawyer, too.


        • I realise TKAM is a classic, and that Gregory Peck made Atticus Finch his own, but after all these years it would be nice to see a remake. There are so many B-grade movies recycled time and again but a superb story such as this is ignored. There must be a director out there somewhere with the courage and talent to tackle it, AND the good sense to take on Richard as AF! This reminds me of a post on RAConfessions where someone wished that RA could play Captain von Trapp. It wouldn’t have to be a musical, although it would be lovely to hear RA sing, but the story itself is worth the retelling.


          • I think he has the gravitas, the presence to play Atticus Finch so beautifully. My husband and I rewatched it a few months ago and although I dearly love Gregory Peck in that role, I would also love to see what Mr. A could bring to it. Having seen him play Lexie’s dad in Strike Back and convincing me thoroughly this character was not just a tough, brave soldier, but a loving father, too, I think he could do great things with the role.

            It could introduce a whole new generation to Nell Harper Lee’s classic book. And I would love for him to try a southern accent. And I would be most happy to serve as his dialect coach, of course. πŸ˜‰ After all, Maycomb is really Monroeville, and it’s in my neck of the woods. πŸ˜€


      • Well Judiang,
        I have a story where he is a lawyer. Ha!
        Cheers! Grati ;->


    • Do you suppose the law of the self-fulfilling prophecy is in effect?


  5. It’s been a looong, long time since I was at a teachers’ inservice training or seminar, but the only thing I remember of them is that I often felt that way too!! *yawn*

    Great choice of caps, I laughed out loud when I reached that one of Heinz. AND you managed to include a thumb shot!One of my favourites, with JT’s hand and arm! πŸ™‚


  6. servetus, you are of course Harry Kennedy! Love pic #1 Monet (you might be Monet,too). Hate #4 Dean ep Spooks 7.6- awful angle, all the worst angles we never saw before; reminds me of most of my photos, um, do I have a good side? Apparently not…
    The Dr. Track cap emphasizes the upper lids, which are, and are not heavy, because there’s an upward tilt to the lower eye, which makes the eyes so much compelling. As always, the face and it’s structure are replete with indefinable contrasts.

    Above all, thank you for the Friday post! πŸ˜€


    • Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve been all of these except the first questioner. Although since I’m now growing long in the tooth, I may soon become the first questioner as well.

      I’m starting to realize I need to spend more time with Alex Track. He’s very neglected here.

      Thanks for the kind words, fitzg.


  7. This is a scream! But I just noticed something while gazing at the hair…in the UF cap…is his hair parted on the right side? Isn’t it usually parted on the right? Or am I hallucinating? How COULD I have missed this for so long? Ahhhh, these and other important facets of RAFandom/physicality/geekness will be discussed I’m sure. πŸ˜‰

    Atticus for sure. He’s been my future character of choice for RA since my first viewing of N&S. I’ve often pondered just why it is that we have version 2 of so many movies but this one…THE Classic TKAM…has not been remade.

    I hadn’t seen the Casualty one either…nice turtleneck! =0)


    • No, you’re not hallucinating, NB, his hair is parted on the right side. I would never have picked up on that if you hadn’t mentioned it!


      • LOL..I meant to say it looks like it’s parte on the right side instead of the LEFT! Does it scare you that you knew what I meant?!! Bwahaha!! I’m going to bed….


    • excellent analysis from the lips of a woman who probably had a fair amount of experience getting boys cowlicks to lie down πŸ™‚ that is definitely not his natural part.

      and — it’s the right side of his face, the left from our perspective πŸ™‚


  8. I had a good laugh at this post, thanks Serv! I like how you made yourself Ricky Deeming! And Porter before the makeover! You rebel you!


  9. LMAO! This is applicable to Board and staff meetings, too, trust me! Especially Board meetings.


  10. I have a teacher in-service Monday night that I have been dreading. Now at least I can kill time by playing “which RA character is this person?”

    However, on the off chance that my boss reads this, “No, boss, I absolutely will be listening to every word you say” (NOT!)


    • Another favorite game I play in unpleasant meetings is: what would each of these faces look like in the throes of orgasm? I got through a lot of the second part of graduate school that way.


      • LMAO!! Now, I have played the “Imagine everybody in their underwear” game but sexy time faces?? I have a pretty good poker face when i want to employ it but I fear I might get the giggles doing that.

        We were having an inservice program at ASB once and my friend leaned over and said, “Have you noticed our presenter looks like Grandpa Munster?” I should add the presenter was a “she.” πŸ˜€


        • Annoyed by your foreign research director / sponsor ? Imagine him in bed with his wife. Calmed me down every single time.


      • OMG!!! I don’t think I’ll be able to keep a straight face in that meeting now. Thanks, Serv, my outlook just got a lot better


        • I think the assumption that underlies this is that everyone looks silly / vulnerable / human when they’re coming. That’s kind of what you need to see to get over the annoyance.


  11. Brilliant, Servetus, as always!! My favorite participant in your day is the crazy grad student!! OMG, that is PURE GENIUS what you’ve written!! Um, not that any of my housemates over the years would have ever been so obnoxious… but the picture of Guy of Gisborne as grad student is such a hilarious depiction… I just about spit out my coffee when I read your description…


    • well, I’ve been the crazy grad student, but there’s crazy (trying to convince people of your new idea) and then there’s crazy — and no one does crazy like Guy of Gisborne πŸ™‚

      Yesterday it was a grad student who was convinced the fact that the KGB had infiltrated some Christian world organizations in the late 1950s meant that the course of decolonization had been decisively influenced by communist ideals …. uch, uch, uch. This is really crazy, not an innovative new idea, just conspiracy theory crazy.

      Hope all is well with you, UK Expat.


      • Thanks, Servetus, I’m hanging in there! πŸ™‚ Sorry I’ve been under the radar, but I just got broadband installed in my apt in South London yesterday and have been embroiled in the SLOWEST APT MOVE EVER. Was also surprisingly choked up to leave my old ‘hood of London Fields as I really grew to love it there.

        I’d actually wanted to post on your ‘Please Slap Servetus’ blog but you’d already closed comments before I got there. But I would have said the following: 1. I am sorry you suffer personal doubts from time to time, but none of us wants you to EVER get over this – since that would mean the rest of us would be DEPRIVED of the creative and hilarious and meticulous genius that is this blog and 2. Actor Michael Fassbender (another London Fields resident) can hardly ever be found WITHOUT a cigarette hanging from his lips and yet this has had little effect on his popularity or fitness (egads – have you seen his cover for GQ?) This is what I would have posted (and yes, I am also asthmatic with an allergy to smoke) πŸ˜‰


        • hey, I still don’t have home internet and I’ve been moved three months next week πŸ™‚ No rush.

          re smoking: I’ll say I don’t want to talk about it any more right now. I had a draft post on this topic but since feelings run so high it may be wise of me to wait.

          I imagine I’ll get over this eventually — but not any time soon, I fear. πŸ™‚ Poor Richard Armitage πŸ™‚

          Hope the rest of your move is ok, UK Expat.


          • Servetus,

            While there are times when the mania wanes a bit for me, it always waxes again. I watch a bit of Guy or study screen caps of Lucas or listen to that marvelous voice in an audiobook or read one of his interviews in which he is so intelligent, articulate and good-humoured–and zing go the strings to my heart. πŸ˜‰

            And really, what a blessing he has been in my life and he doesn’t even know it.


  12. Something about that Casualty shot that is so Robert Mitchum? Like it more and more.


    • MItchum–I do see it, NB! It’s the combination of the product on the hair–gel vs. the hair oil men used to us–and the crinkle and set of his smile . . .
      always had a bit of a crush on RM.


      • When we compare RA with other actors it always seems to be with those wonderful classical (and classy!) leading men such as Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, etc. And now Robert Mitchum!! πŸ™‚


        • Yeah, he has that classic silver screen matinee idol appeal–an allure, a presence that marks him as different from lesser actors. A magnetism . . . I think that is part of the reason I want to see him in remakes of some of the famous roles of the past . . . and of course, original material all his own.

          But he has said he likes to work in productions based on novels rather than original screenplays. Hence . . . To Kill a Mockingbird?
          And I would be so happy to see him play a role from a book written by a fellow Alabamian that has become a worldwide classic.


          • And like the others, he is really coming into his own with maturity. Apology for the bounce between posts, but with reference to grati’s comment on serv’s next post about keeping up the momentum in his career, I agree with her, it’s important, but I also believe that his age is not really against him, because he does bear comparison with those classic matinee idols so well.


            • Good point, Mezz. I have noted in several of my vids that Richard grows better–better-looking, an evermore consummate actor and master craftsman–as the years pass.

              What a hope is his age works for him rather than against him-that his maturity will bring an opportunity for more interesting and complex roles than the standard blockbuster action hero or cookie cutter romantic comedy love interest.

              I would like to see him in a variety of roles, as hero, villain, comedy, drama, period, contemporary. I know I am biased, but I think he can do it all. πŸ˜‰ And yes, I do hope he manages to work in some additional screenwork, either a good TV role or a supporting role in a motion picture, during his hiatuses from Hobbit filming. Of course, we know he will bring nuance and detail to each and every role he plays. Look what he managed with 10 minutes onscreen as Kruger. πŸ˜€


              • I totally agree, but selfishly I sure would like to see him do just one silly romantic comedy. I could easily see him in the Colin Firth role in Bridget Jones. I need to have him in one of those feel good movies (where he doesn’t die at the end!) that I can pull out to relax after a boring meeting (where I’ve spent far too much time imagining people’s faces as they are having an orgasm).


                • in a way, given his growing status as a ladies’ favorite, it’s a bit odd that he hasn’t been offered a role like that yet.


                • Cindy, I would love to have at least ONE dvd in my RA collection (aside from N&S) where he gets the girl and doesn’t die, and maybe even dances a little! πŸ˜‰


                  • Well, we DO have Harry and Gerri–he gets the delightful vicar, definitely doesn’t die and lots of laughs along the way. ;D

                    I am not arguing against him doing a GOOD romantic comedy–see emphasis on good. There is just so much drivel out there these days in that particular genre, I would hate to see end up in some of the stuff that, for example, Gerard Butler has done.

                    Trust me, I dearly want to see him in a role where we get to see that fantastic smile, hear that voice in a teasing purr, where he does ride off into the sunset with the girl he loves (who clearly love him in return) . . .

                    Servetus, I wonder if he has been offered such roles and turned them down? We know he doesn’t think he’s funny (I disagree). Then again, he doesn’t seem like a guy to turn down work . . .


                    • How remiss of me, totally forgot VoD, still half asleep here! I’m not long up, and always check my inbox before I start the day.
                      I might add, I’d love to see something of Georgette Heyer’s work onscreen, I’m surprised it hasn’t yet.

                      Angie, I’ve often wondered too about just what kind of roles Richard has turned down, either because he feels they don’t suit or because of other commitments.

                      Must push myself away from here and get to the gym. (know where I’d rather be, though!! πŸ™‚ )


                    • The problem with VoD is there’s nowhere near enough Geraldine and Harry! Ohh, to have a follow up…and Richard has said he would like to take part in another. Plus, it wouldn’t be too time consuming.


                    • Oh, I agree! More Harry and Gerri, please. I have this vision in my mind of them adopting twins, a boy and a girl . . . a radiant Gerri in her poncho and beret and Harry in his peacoat with a colorful scarf wrapped around his neck, a proud and sunny smile on his face, pushing the double pram with the kiddies tucked inside around the village, enjoying all the oohs and aahs they get.

                      Harry reading stories to the children at bedtime, singing lullabies.

                      Makes me feel warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. πŸ˜€


          • My all time fav book. I read it at least once a year. And the movie…another one that gets the “You’re watching that AGAIN?!” comment from SO. Can you imagine RA playing AF? *sigh* Hold on, gotta catch the action between K State and UT…we’re winning BTW. More later…


            • I’m typing with one hand so bear with me—yes, TKAM is a classic that resounds with so many . . .it’s an iconic book and movie. And Atticus is one of the most beloved characters . . . a quiet hero.

              (Did you know each year they put on the play in the courtroom of the old Monroe County Courthouse? I always think I am going to get down there to see it . . .)



  13. Question for Serv: How the heck are you going to be able to sit through another one of these things with a straight face?!


    • One of the most important job skills in being a professor is keeping your face totally impassive while people (students, colleagues, administrators) say the most ridiculous crap in the most earnest possible tone. So keeping a straight face usually isn’t that hard for me — it’s more shaking off the annoyance afterwards.


  14. O no no stop Servetus,you are cruel,cruel women! πŸ˜€
    How to erase these images from my mind?!


  15. This post is just brilliant and extremely funny (knowing, to sit in there is quite a torture most of the time which the majority of us undergo in one way or the other through own experiences in everyday work. You find this assorted types in nearly all proceedings. Alas I’m quite sure I’d have problems with keeping my face straight if I start fantasising: what would each of these faces look like in the throes of orgasm? Very tricky…).
    But back to the important things…..:-) It’s amazing how you detect all the apposite caps/scenes for every different participant. Actually I’m dumbstruck, see me waving??? IΒ΄m totally flummoxed that Richard conveys all this characters so precise or at least we can read it into it. I know he is good (indeed phantastic!) but once again realising how broad his range is blows my mind. Oh, my innermost part is longing for new RA food……
    Thank you Servetus for beeing Ricky (very convincing!) and all the others (I love the storming Monet) and a BIG THANK YOU to all the commentators. I had a joyous evening reading all this witty and humerous inputs.


    • Thanks, linda60 — I’m amused just because I don’t think of myself as funny. All of the amazing expressions on our man’s face make posts like this a lot of fun to write, though — and you’re absolutely right that the commentators are just as much or more fun than the original posts.


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