As for HH, I watched the first film, ‘The Duel’, rewatched ‘The Duchess and the Devil’ (my personal fav), and finished up with ‘The Wrong War’. So, I got the full Archie angst arc before he got his life back together then died. I have to say that in reading fanfic before seeing all the films, I can see where there was a lot of drawing conclusions and how fanon seems to have become canon. Though. I guess I would have to agree that Archie suffered more than physical abuse at the hands of Simpson. The “Jack’s missed you boy” combined with the leering, the fits triggered by Simpson‘s presence, and Simpson’s resentment of Horatio’s relationship with Archie are a pretty clear indicator of the worst kind of abuse. It seems that Horatio was a potential new victim and, maybe I’m reading into things, but I wonder if Clayton suffered in the same way too.
My overall problem with the Simpson storyline is that he was only one man and not a particularly physically strong one from what I could see. Not to mention, he wasn’t an officer, so why couldn’t a half dozen men stand up to him and end his reign of terror?
Then again, one of my overall problems with these films is that a lot of information isn’t provided and the you have to do a lot of filling in the blanks with the characters. Horatio, in ‘The Duel’, transitioned quickly from being so miserable he’s contemplating death to leading a unit and taking command of a ship. And I just read today that apparently in an A&E interview with Jamie (I’m going to have to see if it’s still up on their site) he mentioned a scene cut from TDatD in which Archie conveys his bitterness towards Horatio for being so fortunate while he has suffered so. I think that would have been extremely interesting to see and would make a lot of sense. In TWW, we see hints of Archie’s lingering feelings of disappointment when he half-heartedly jokes with Lieutenant Hornblower that as acting lieutenant his first command is of a donkey cart. Another tough reminder of how much time he’s lost. My guess is the cut scene could have taken place after Hunter asks Horatio how his walk with the Duchess was and he respond with “Insufferable”. Let’s see, Archie has been presumably raped, left to drift at sea, spent two years in prison, and is near death. Let’s compare who’s having the tough time here.
I have to admit these movies have been difficult for me to watch, not just because of the sea faring stuff which bores me to no end, but seeing poor Archie suffer. It’s not that I haven’t watched characters go through hell before, but they weren’t so innocent. It’s why when people use to go “poor Spike”, I couldn’t get too choked up because, hello?, mass murderer. And even characters like John Crichton and Fox Mulder could act like an ass or screw up big time which could mitigate my sympathy. But Archie was just such a sweet, good-hearted, exuberant soul and Jamie Bamber just hit every note right. It just hurts to watch sometimes.
‘The Wrong War’ was probably my least favorite of the films. I only half paid attention to it. I’m not sure if it was all the military campaigning or the gag inducing love story. I usually like the schmoopy stuff but it just seemed out of place and artificial here. And it didn’t help that I kept thinking he should be kissing Archie. ;p (Btw, the shot of the two of them running away from the exploding bridge? Best shot of the movie.) Maybe I would have actually felt some of Horatio’s pain at losing Mariotte (sp) if not for their relationship consisting of a few kisses. Or if they had hired a better actress. As it is, I felt that Horatio just saw it as another failure on his part.
Anyone else watch Rome? I wasn’t blown away by it, but it is only the first ep.