Armitage incompletism

I love this embrace, but I’ve never actually seen it: Richard Armitage as Alex Track in The Golden Hour 1.4. Source:

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I have to reveal a dirty little secret. I’m suffering from Armitage incompletism. Even apart from his ephemeral theatre activities of the past, I haven’t managed to view all of Mr. Armitage’s work. Here’s a list of my symptoms.

Have access to, but haven’t completed (links to clips at RichardArmitageOnline if available):

  • The Golden Hour, episode 4. I have a DVD copy and a soft copy. I can’t get my region-free player to play the hard copy, or I probably would have watched it while I was living in Texas. Having watched ER on and off for a decade, I find The Golden Hour boring.
  • Ultimate Force, final episode. Have DVD and soft copy. I know what happens, and I’ve seen that scene, but I haven’t been able to make myself watch the whole episode. Don’t really have an explanation for this, as I actually liked most of the episodes I saw.
  • Homes from Hell 2009. Have a soft copy. Listened to first episode. My explanation for not having seen all the TV narrations is that I often only have a soft copy, I don’t like to listen to narrations from my computer, and using my computer for work and writing means I tend not to want to take it with me to bed or to watch stuff.
  • Homes from Hell 2010. Have a soft copy.
  • Forest Elephants. Have a soft copy. I’ll admit that I have never especially liked shows about wildlife.
  • Lost Land of the Tiger. Have a DVD and a soft copy. Watched first episode.
  • HMS Ark Royal. Have a DVD and a soft copy. Have watched three episodes. The subject of this interests me a great deal on multiple levels; not sure why I stopped watching.
  • Fraud Squad 2011. Have a soft copy. Have listened to part of first episode.
  • Fraud Squad 2012. Have a soft copy. Listened to beginning. My, is his voice deep.
  • Robin Hood series 1 audiobooks — have listened only to the first one. No real explanation. They’ve been in my car for ages.
  • Robin Hood series 3 audiobooks. Again, no real explanation.
  • The Inconvenient Marriage. Had it loaded up to listen to, and then I had a silly trauma associated with it.
  • Lords of the North — have listened only to first three discs. Someone told me that the fourth disc brought her to tears and I can’t make myself go further at the moment. Also decided at some point that I needed to read the books.

Don’t have access to (unless otherwise marked, have seen clips on

  • Boon. I’m not sure what the point would be. But click on that link anyway — the writing there is a marvel of early Armitage studies.
  • This Year’s Love. Have seen clips on youtube. Doesn’t seem worth buying or stealing.
  • Epiphanes. Have seen screencaps. After Frenzy’s send-up, I won’t be able to make myself.
  • Doctors. I would watch this, but only if I could steal it.
  • Empire’s Children: have only listened to first episode (a version scrubbed of video). Of all of the television narrations he’s done, this one has the topic that would interest me most. Found a place to download it all online, but then lost track of it. I.e., ineptness is the reason this one’s on the list.
  • Trouble in Lemur Land. Would buy. Haven’t found a soft copy.
  • Leopards of Dead Tree Island. Would buy. Haven’t found a soft copy.

So, while there are logistical reasons for not having seen this stuff, is there an underlying cause, especially for the really good things on the list that I haven’t finished?

Servetus’s id says: completism makes Armitagemania likes work. I reject it.

Servetus’s superego says: laziness. I hate Servetus’s superego.

Servetus’s ego says: Two reasons: first, on some of these, I’m avoiding seeing an unhappy ending. Secondly, I’m afraid that if I have seen it all, a day will come where I really need something new badly and I will have nothing. So I am saving some stuff just in case another really, really bad day comesAt least one friend would say this is an example of typical Servetian extreme delayed gratification. She might have a case.

Are you suffering from Armitage incompletism? What haven’t you seen? Why haven’t you seen it?

~ by Servetus on June 11, 2012.

45 Responses to “Armitage incompletism”

  1. What is a soft copy?


  2. I have a confession: I am still so enamoured with Thornton, I’ve not felt the need to watch much else, let alone listen to his recorded work. I’ve seen Sparkhouse, VoD, a few Spooks episodes, one RH episode, and Captain America.
    My main excuse is that I can’t find the time to watch/listen to much of anything at my house, when most my spare time is spent on writing.
    I do like knowing I have a library of RA entertainment waiting for me ‘someday.’ I’m the type that likes to savor slowly anything I’m afraid may come to an end.


    • I think UK Expat might be in a similar boat. We end up watching the stuff that is most meaningful to us. And I feel the same way about having something available for a rainy day.


      • Indeed, I AM still stuck on Thornton, Servetus, thanks for noticing! Could it be all the subtle hints I throw in for additional ‘analytic’ posts on Thornton or the time period / era? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I love how we all set up ‘rules’ for ourselves on expected behavior (ie, your being a blogger somehow presupposes your expert knowledge of RA’s complete canon of work – oh wait, see “id” response above).

        I guess I’ve always just been okay not seeing most of RA’s work.

        While strolling about the Musee d’Orsay last year, I noticed a few paintings … none by any artists well-known … where I literally stopped in my tracks and said, ‘What the… who painted THAT?’. It’s hard to describe their effect, really, except to say they literally stopped me in my tracks (RA’s portrayal of Thornton figuratively had the same effect). Now I haven’t gone on-line to see if there is a blogging community for those long deceased artists… but it makes those paintings no less vital in their remembered imprint and impact. In fact, I may have to hop to Paris now to re-visit them! ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Trudy,

      I fully support all decisions you make that result in an uninterrupted devotion to writing Thornton-plotted material!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Particularly when you release – and we have to wait for – each chapter incrementally! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  3. There’s loads of his work I haven’t seen. It would probably easier for me to say what I have seen! I only just watched him in Shakespeare Retold: Macbeth. Watching him at the end of that was rather disturbing I found!

    As for Lords of the North…I’ve just finished listening to that. I loved it. No tears here ๐Ÿ™‚

    Things I really want to watch are:

    Malice Aforethought – I have it to watch on my PC but that means sitting uncomfortably at my desk to watch it which is why I haven’t.

    The Golden Hour – not got round to buying it yet

    Captain America – was too lazy to go to the cinema so now waiting for a vast reduction in the price of the DVD

    The Impressionists – bit concerned about the weird beard but really want to watch it…just need to buy it.

    There are a couple of RH audiobooks I don’t have yet so I’d like those. I love hearing him read stories…I especially loved the Georgette Heyer novels. Having never read them meant the abridgements didn’t bother me.

    Less bothered about the documentary narrations but that says more about me than it does about him ๐Ÿ™‚


    • It interests me a lot, how the logistics affect this question. There’s stuff on my list that I have but haven’t consumed and it’s definitely because of logistics problems.


  4. Oh, Trudy…I don’t think Richard’s career is going to come to a sudden end! I’ve been watching him since 1999 (yes, Servetus, in “Cleopatra”!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and I never get tired of repeats ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to read through this post again a little later as I’m supposed to be in bed still as it’s 5.29am Tuesday in my house


    • I tend not to get tired of repeats, either, although it varies wildly. I can’t imagine I’d ever start watching Cold Feet obsessively, whereas I can continue to watch Strike Back in that way without any problem.


  5. Don’t worry about the rest but do put Lords of the North in your car – I listened to most of it on a long drive. It’s fab. I’m about to start at disk 1 again.


    • yeah, you’d think with my regular 1500 mi drives it would be perfect. But I always stop after a few discs. On the up side, I know Sylvester almost by heart ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. I haven’t seen loads of RA stuff, especially from his early years. I guess it’s because I find him much more attractive post N&S.
    I feel like this whole Armitage experience is a form of journey. I’m in no rush to complete it. As long as I have a list of things left to watch, I can savour the emotion and not worry that it’ll burn out any time soon.


    • the early role that’s really worth seeing is Standring in Sparkhouse. The rest is mostly incidental I would say, although he is still brownhaired then and I love the brown hair.


      • I agree with John S. I though about him when I was reading Carson McCullens ‘Ballad of the Sad Cafe’ and the notion of being a slave, of sorts, to your beloved. It seems that because this was Armitage’s first serious role, he really dove into it. I can see a similar emotion with N&S. Both these ended up being pivitol moments in his career. I have a feeling Richard will push himself even further with Thorin, ushering a new phase in his career.


  7. Sorry for keeping you from ending “Lords of the North”, Servetus. You can listen to disk 4 without crying, just RA’s voice made the story much more vivid and real for me, than it would probably have been while reading it as a book and so I cried ;o(
    Just take enough time so that you don’t need to stop after disk 4 or 5 and everything will be fine.
    It just made me teary imagining RA in that position. I am completely over-protective. But you must see, I even cried while reading “Strike Back”, imagining RA in the position of the book-John Porter, so I am really teary and no measure for you ;o)


    • it’s probably a logistical problem. The only place I listen to the audiobooks anymore is in my car and I can’t cry then. You weren’t the only person to tell me this.


  8. Wow, Servetus–I’m impressed. But I’m not surprised by your thoroughness.
    I agree with the other folks who have found it easier to list what they have seen rather than what they have not.
    I’ve watched N&S (natch), VoD, Impressionists, some RH (parts of series 2 and all of 3),George Gently, Marple: Ordeal by Innocence, and all of Spooks. I’ve also seen bits of Between the Sheets–the ones that are on YouTube–and the Marie Lloyd story, and one episode of The Golden Hour.
    I’d like to see Sparkhouse, but I am not trying too hard because I just don’t like Carol (the protagonist; I think that’s her name).
    And I have no interest in Strike Back at all, because it seems too violent. I feel like I should apologize for that. I’m sure RA is great, but…sigh. I had a hard time even getting into Spooks at first, because it gets pretty rough in places.
    I loved RA reading Venetia and Sylvester, but I haven’t scraped together enough cash to get the Convenient Marriage yet. I will, because Georgette Heyer is an all-time favorite of mine and even though I am so sad that the audio versions are abridged, Richard’s voice makes up for all the clever bits that are sacrificed in the interests of time. (Now, I do have every book that Georgette Heyer ever published–except one. Almost complete!)
    Recently, a few minutes of Lords of the North were posted on facebook, and I listened but once again, it sounds more violent than I usually enjoy so I’m not anxious to listen to the whole thing.
    Hmmm. Maybe I should add that it’s not that I have any righteous objection to fictional violence–it’s just that it distresses me and I’d rather not add any unhappiness to my day.
    Fun question! Glad you asked.


    • yes, I’m afraid that’s the scholar in me. I remember my undergraduate mentor telling me with pride that in the fifteen years after his monograph was published, no one had found any source on his topic that he hadn’t considered in his work. We historians can be a pedantic crowd.

      I understand about the violence. It took me a long time to get used to it in SB.


  9. Don’t feel too guilty Servetus! We all have our failures! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Despite buying them all, I haven’t listened to any of his “Robin Hood” audiobooks. I still haven’t finished “Clarissa”, and haven’t even started “Venetia” and “The Convenient Marriage”, but “fought” with Uhtred “The Lords of the North” twice, which was a very special and in the core gripping experience!! You have to surrender yourself to Uhtred…..

    I watched “Fraud Squad pt 1” last summer, when I was in London (exciting!!) and considered it really interesting, besides it covers a more than sad and annoying subject. Where did you get “Fraud Squad pt 2” ? Haven’t found it anywhere so far.

    I didn’t like “Golden Hour” particularly, though Dr. Track was very attractive and a devoted doctor, whom we all would love to encounter… I never ever watched ER or the like hospital-TV series. It’s not my cup of tea to see all this bloody close-ups.

    The final episode of “Ultimate Force” left me utterly shocked, this unbelievably nasty and brutal bunch of buggers. Capt. Macalwain never deserved such a sly assassination. It left me crabby for a couple of days.

    Haven’t heard or seen any of that stuff you mentioned in the second part of your listing and I couldn’t bring myself to watch “Captain America” and “Malice Aforethought”. Maybe if the DVDs get very, very cheap…

    Bought “The Lost Land of the Tiger”-DVD recently, but it’s still on my to do list.

    “The Impressionists” – absolutely recommended!!!! Yes, Richard does have an undescribable fuzzy thingy/beard in his face, but his radiant smile, and those blue eyes combined with a certain determination are smashing.

    If anybody hasn’t watched this:
    I loved the programme “Race of the sperms” (BBC). It’s witty, informative and the pictures they found to illustrate the story are distinctly unique. The best of all: Richard’s voice sounds mightily erotic here (at least one can interpret it like that, when we listen to all this specific words….. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    And a whispered confession at the end: Still not watched further than episode 4 /”Spooks 9″. It is somehow a bit embarrassing, that I continuously fail to view the rest, procrastinating it until… ????

    You see, there is also enough left on my shelf for emergency cases, the extremely rainy days or when I’m getting more courageous..


    • Agree that the “Great Sperm Race” is probably underappreciated and really worth the effort to obtain it.

      Fraud Squad 2 (cough) I plead the fifth.


  10. Got “Convenient Marriage” from Audible after enjoying “Venetia” and “Sylvester” a great deal. Hated it, though was very impressed with RA’s depiction of a character with a bad stutter.


    • I didn’t like the plot of the novel of “Convenient Marriage” anywhere near as well as I liked the others. That may play a role for me — I already know that I’m not going to enjoy that level of the piece. Although I knew that about Clarissa, too. There was something with Clarissa about the “you have to listen now” or it will be gone thing.


  11. I cannot bring myself to watch season 9 of Spooks. I heard the writing was atrocious. ANd the element of surprise is gone for me anyway. Also, I am sloooowly watching Season 3 of Robin Hood. I know, I know. It is just that I am thoroughly bored with it. It is only exciting when Guy is on screen. This is reflective of my nature. If it is boring, I am outta there. Might explain some of the drama in my life. lol


    • Armitage fans found the Spooks 9 writing implausible — Spooks fans weren’t as negative.

      It would be fun to write a piee about watching RH 3. The episodes without RA are so excruciatingly awful that I almost stopped watching. I can imagine everyone was glad to be done with that series.


      • As a Spooks fan (I got used to the violence after a while) I’ve got to say there were parts of Series 9 that were good–but not the story lines that involved Lucas/John. Still, Richard Armitage was impressive in his commitment to making that ridiculous story work.
        I kept waiting them to show a scene where Lucas walks into the Grid and tells Harry, “I had the worst dream….”


        • The solution ร  la Dallas, except that you know with Spooks they’d make the suffering from the dream evidence of some strange Russian plot … but never say never. I saw that new episodes of Dallas are airing on TNT as we speak.


  12. Still haven’t seen Strikeback. I keep hoping Netflix will see the error of its ways, but no such luck. ::weeps::

    Bought “An Inconvenient Marriage” months ago but haven’t cracked the seal yet. Not a fan of audiobooks in general but perhaps this will change my mind.


  13. I haven’t seen Malice Aforethought, Cleopatra, Doctors, HMS Ark Royal. Trouble in Lemur Land, Leopards of Dead Tree Island. Out of the audiobooks I haven’t got round to buying LoTN (it’s very expensive) yet, plus I’m afraid I wouldn’t like it as the excerpt I listened to didn’t sound like the story would be my cup of tea really. I have all the other audiobooks except RH season 3. Have to say The Convenient Marriage is my least favourite of the 3 Heyers he did! Hate to admit it but I did obtain some of the documentaries by downloading them from “certain sites” on the internet. I quite enjoyed watching Golden Hour on YT, but don’t think I’ll buy the DVD. I adored all his narrations of wildlife documentaries, Elsa the Lioness and the Lost Land of Tigers both made me cry (but it does not take much to make me cry, so maybe I don’t count). Listening to his narrations made me realize how in love with his voice I am. It’s like a drug. The more you listen to it the more you crave it.


    • I think if you like wildlife documentaries, you’ll love Armitage narrating them. I’m just not that interested in animals. I watched Elsa because I had seen Born Free as a kid, and the excerpt I saw from Leopards of Dead Tree Island did make me want to cry.


  14. I went on an Armitage marathon because I knew I’d spoil myself to much otherwise and I enjoyed myself very much. Yet I didn’t realize how much I’ve seen already. I haven’t seen ((i) means I’m interested in watching it): Captain America, Ordeal by Innocence (i), Marie Lloyd (i), George Gently (i), The Impressionists except ep.1 (i), Frozen, Malice Aforethought, The Inspector Lynely Mysteries, gaps from Youtube Between the Sheets (i), Ultimate Force & everything before Sparkhouse.
    I plan to buy audiobooks and have only heard the Ted Hughes Letters and “A War Less Ordinary” completely. Until then I already read Venetia, Sylvester & N&S. I wanna get Strike Back too.
    I would love to watch Trouble in Lemur Land. I was always interested in Madagascar + RA’s voice & the music are stunning.
    I guess I’m in savouring mode now too.


  15. Well, I’d tease you about a lot of things, but I think I’d be right about the delayed gratification. I also forgot to tease you about the N&S designations 4(a)6, etc.

    I think the important thing is that you’ve got such a precise list detailing your incompletism. Which reminds me again how much I love you.


    • Posts like this always make me think, hmmm, maybe you really are a scholar like everyone says ๐Ÿ™‚

      I love you too ๐Ÿ™‚


  16. I have got & watched & listened to everything mentioned apart from Malice Aforethought can’t get the DVD for my region. Loved most things LOTN is my favourite audiowork can’t say which is my favourite acting wise although N&S and Sparkhouse are up there.


    • Too bad about Malice Aforethought. He has a small role but it was fun to watch if you like that kind of thing.


  17. Reading this I realised how much I have actually seen!

    Strike Back, first season only.
    Spooks, all of it, and own the dvd of season 7.
    Robin Hood, all of it, including all the commentaries and special features, and also own the dvd of season 1.
    Vicar of Dibley, seen all the bits he is in, including the special features and even the Christmas special.
    North and South, own the dvd.
    Between the Sheets, own the dvd.
    Sparkhouse, watched it on youtube.
    George Gently, watched it.
    Captain America, seen at the movies and now own on dvd. I probably wouldn’t bothered with the dvd but my husband is into superhero movies and bought it.
    I don’t really have any raging desire to see anything else from the past except maybe The Impressionists and the Malice Aforethought.
    My eldest daughter is 15 and couldn’t give a fig about RA, but she is a huge Sherlock fan, so she is desperately looking forward to The Hobbit for the Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch aspect. She and I will be first in line together when it screens in Adelaide.


  18. […] with pain. And you know, there’s still plenty of beauty available. I still have stuff on my incompletism list, and maybe this is a jump start moment of the kind that caused me to save some stuff. My time […]


  19. […] of your pieces available on media that I haven’t seen or haven’t finished. Gulp. Sorry, Mr. Armitage! Something to look forward while we’re waiting till […]


  20. […] show is quite violent. I saw it early on, when the spectre of completism was still on my horizon, something that eventually evaporated (or maybe it’s just extreme delayed gratification, and I’m afraid of a day when […]


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