A few good men

Following in the footsteps of Teresa Morgan, who followed in the footsteps of Sally Quilford, a post about a few of my favourite fictional heroes. Not all by any means and in no particular order, and in many cases it’s a pair or a team, as I can’t imagine one without the other or others.

The all time coolest hero – Han Solo

Han Solo
Han Solo

I was 10 when Star Wars came out – which may be the perfect age to first see it. I was never happy with the remastered versions of the first trilogy and The Phantom Menace ended things entirely for me and Star Wars. But this man remains one of the coolest fictional characters ever, possibly only rivalled by Virgil Hilts in The Great Escape.

The both in and out of his element hero – Richard Sharpe

Sharpe with eagle
Richard Sharpe
A warrior right to his bones, who you can’t keep down no matter how much you try. A man with all the common sense of a concussed sheep in matters of the heart. A guttersnipe made up to an officer, so now he doesn’t quite fit anywhere – except on the battlefield.

Hero and sidekick – Holmes and Watson

Holmes and Watson in BBC Sherlock series
Holmes and Watson in BBC Sherlock series

I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes, the stories, the novels, the movies, the TV adaptations. I’ve used the picture of the new BBC show Sherlock, which has a modern version of Holmes and which works beautifully, showing that a good character will work wherever you put him. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch is cute.

Knightly heroes – The A-Team

The A-Team
The A-Team

The show was pretty redonkulous at times. But Stephen J Cannell and the actors created characters who had something more to them than a quick glance at the show would lead people to expect. I call them knights, because they embodied many of the knightly virtues and in particular stood up for the weak and defenceless. Like with Sherlock there’s a new version set right up to date and it still works!

The reluctant hero – R.J. MacReady in The Thing

Macready in The Thing

MacReady doesn’t want to be a hero. He’s gone to one of the most isolated places in the world to get away from, well, the world. But when an alien shapeshifter drops in, somebody’s gotta fire up the flamethrower. One of my favourite movies.

The realist hero – Stu Redman in The Stand
Cover of The Stand
Sometimes when disaster strikes people deny it’s happening. It can’t be happening. It can’t be as bad as it seems. Someone will save us! The people who make it out of the other side are people like Stu who quickly decide, yes, this is happening, now let’s deal with it. I know there’s a miniseries of The Stand, which I own, but I’m not keen on the casting of Stu in that one. To me he looks more like a cowboy…

Both heroes – Kirk and Spock

Kirk and Spock
Kirk and Spock

Either is a hero in his own right. Together they make an unbeatable team. Like many long-time Trek fans I was dubious about the 2009 reboot movie. But I loved it. It was a new way to tell stories about characters I loved. Characters that still worked, even played by different actors. Like Holmes and Watson Kirk and Spock will work wherever you put them, because the characters are just that good.

Unappreciated heroes – Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson of I Spy

Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson of I Spy
Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson of I Spy

Have I mentioned before that I love The Man from U.N.C.L.E.? It’s a well remembered show. I Spy was better and it deserves more attention. It was a more realistic look at the life of a secret agent than the campy fun of U.N.C.L.E. Glamour was in short supply, nasty consequences were not.

The woobie hero – Archie Kennedy

Archie Kennedy
Archie Kennedy

Also ensemble darkhorse and various other tropes, but goodness me, a woobie first and foremost. Valiant yet vulnerable and about 95% not canon for the Hornblower books where he has little more than a walk on part. He stole the show and paid the price. Crumpeteers still mourn.

The teabag hero – Shaun Riley of Shaun of the Dead

Shaun Riley of Shaun of the Dead
Just so you know this isn’t all eye candy – Shaun, from the eponymous Shaun of the Dead, an ordinary guy facing a zombie apocalypse. Why “teabag”? Because you don’t know how strong the character is until you get him in hot water. I love teabag characters.

Another time, there will be heroines!

11 thoughts on “A few good men

  1. Oh my post was a little about being eye candy 😛 An excuse to put as many shirtless men on my blog as possible – I confess!

    I nearly put Sherlock Holmes, too, because I loved the film with Robert Downey Jr, which has made me want to read the books – they are on my kindle waiting! Then, recently, watching Sherlock and it’s modern version, has me fascinated. But as I hadn’t read about him yet, I thought best to leave him off.

    Wow, must be catching with all this hero talk. Sally’s certainly started something here. It didn’t help that my previous blog post had Hugh Jackman plastered all over it… which was another reason for creating a ‘heroes’ post.

    Thanks for sharing and linking to my blog!

  2. I agree with a number of these, although I would add a few more to my personal list. Come to think of it there would be a number of rogues on my list, too. I’ve ever had a soft spot for a good rogue. *g*

  3. These are great, Becky. Strangely I liked Gary Sinise as Stu Redman. I thought he was cast well. Horses for courses I suppose. Will link to these later when I’ve been out for breakfast.

      1. Oh Molly Ringwald as Fran was awful, wasn’t she? Far too shrill and silly. I feel like I want to watch it again now though. Or read the book. The book (unexpurgated version) is better.

  4. Here I thought I was the only one who loved the movie The Thing. The original black and white didn’t do it for me (primitive effects of the time), but I loved the one with Kurt. I thought the bit with the sled dogs was the most shocking. I’m a total Trekkie, so I’m with you on that. I was a little worried about the new movie, but I did like it, too. It could have gone Galaxy Quest on us, and not intentionally, but it didn’t. And thank you! I know everybody loves the new prequel Star Wars, but I like the original three. I don’t care what they did with the renumbering; they’re still one through three for me. Who didn’t fall in love with Hans?

    1. Yay, another fan of The Thing! They’re doing a remake – I’m reserving judgement… 😀

      I will never refer to Star Wars as Episode IV. Not even at gunpoint.

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