Monday, 25 November 2013

Lesley Ann Warren Appreciation Post

Really this is a Peter Graves appreciation post. Aren't they all? But I was just looking at a couple of photos of Peter Graves with Lesley Ann Warren, his co-star in Mission: Impossible through Season 5. I know that she isn't always looked upon very favourably, but I like Dana as a character. Yes, she's young enough to be his daughter (she was born in 1946), and yes she was different to the women who came before, but she had a presence of her own, and I liked the slightly more hippy feel to her.

It sounds like she had plenty of problems of her own, though, the hippy feel of her character not being the least. The Mission: Impossible Dossier mentions how she simply did not fit in with the rest of the cast, and all the while she was being controlled by her then-husband Jon Peters, urged by him to such things as not wearing a bra. It sounds as if she got on well enough with the cast, but knew that she didn't fit in, just as they did. It's worth reading the Dossier to get the whole story.

In the end she was only there for one season, being replaced by Lynda Day George as Casey, who really is a far superior character, but I still like Dana.

The Turtleneck Shoot

The photo that started me off on this post, which came up as a TV guide cover (below). I edited the text away, and got this.
Here's the TV guide cover, from 1970, with all that nasty text to distract from the pretty faces. Peter/Jim looks suave. Lesley/Dana looks moody.
Another from the same photoshoot, I assume.

And another.

I have to guess this is from the same shoot. Same turtleneck, same handsome man. No Lesley, but there's a photo later without Peter Graves in it, so it evens out.

Another from the same, I think.
And another...

The Buckle-Collar Shoot

I'm getting a feeling of dappled sunlight, outdoors, and oh that lovely jacket with the buckle on the collar. I have one of these pictures captioned as being from 'Butterfly.'

Another of the same. Peter's looking happy, Lesley's looking cautious.

Almost identical to the above, but not quite.

The Check-Jacket Shoot

Peter's looking serene again. Lesley's looking brooding again. And they chose the right background to go with those eyes.

A little black and white...

Some more colour. Shame it's such a small image.

The Outdoor Group Shoot

Here we all are, Paris, Barney, Dana, Willie, and Jim. And Dana's looking moody. Again.
Another group shot, and - and - Dana's smiling!

I think this is a close-up of the same photo, but I have it down as 'very large,' so here it is.
In colour again. Dana's looking moody again. Paris looks like he's about to go and tick someone off.

The Indoor Group Shoot

Here they all are in colour, with Doug in on the action as well. Doug looks suspicious.
And the same in black and white, with just a little more teeth. Except Doug. Doug looks even more suspicious.

The Anomalous Weird Shoot with a Picture of a Clock

No idea what was going on here. Someone must have said, 'Oh, put your hands together and we'll hang a photo of a clock over your wrists. Really. It'll be cute.' They obviously thought it was amusing (except PG who is just daring you to laugh), and it's very 60s/70s.

And some other miscellaneous promo shots...

Peter Graves, Lesley Ann Warren, and Johnny Bench in Catafalque, Sept 10 1970.

Peter Graves, Lesley Ann Warren, and Johnny Bench in Catafalque, Sept 10 1970.

Leonard Nimoy and Lesley Ann Warren in Flip Side, I think.

With Peter Graves, Peter Lupus, and Greg Morris, in Butterfly May 25, 1970

With Peter Graves in Butterfly May 25, 1970

Friday, 22 November 2013

So, I Had a Dream

Life has been a little s***ty lately. I haven't been having good dreams. But then my brain decided to favour me with the best dream ever. Perhaps I can take this as a sign. The last dream I took as a sign (an impromptu flash mob in the supermarket car park where everyone ended up singing Paul McCartney's 'We All Stand Together') didn't work out well for me, but I'm sure this one will. Unfortunately I was woken by the padding of children's feet at the crucial moment, but god it was a good dream up until then. I tried to go back to sleep and carry on dreaming it, but to no avail. All I have is my memories.

So here it is. All I have to say is, if you're a relative of Peter Graves please don't read further, and I am terribly sorry that my brain intrudes on a real person's life. I am sorry. But he was made so beautiful.

I was up on a kind of Californian mountainside. I thought perhaps it was somewhere near Lake Tahoe, but then I thought I might be mistaken and it might be closer to LA. It was a place with lots of long, rather wiry grass that was yellowed with the winter. It was a ski resort, and although a lot of the snow had gone there was still snow left in the paths, which people were skiing down. Then I noticed Peter Graves sitting at a table near the top of the slopes, where there was a building and a kind of cafĂ© and things. He was sitting at this table outside, and later when he got up I saw he had a hefty wooden stick (a kind of dark, rather knobbly rustic thing) and he was limping. He'd broken his left ankle and he was having a lot of trouble getting around. He was trying to walk along a concrete path by a wall and having to heave himself up the steps with this stick, moving it from hand to hand depending on which way he was going.

I went up to him and got talking to him and there was an immediate connection. A kind of sexual magnetism. We were sitting at the table talking almost as if we already knew each other, but in a way it was just because of the sexual magnetism, because I felt a little nervous and hesitant about being this stranger who'd just come up to him. He explained how frustrated he was. He'd come here to ski and almost immediately broken his ankle, and was in a lot of pain. He was a strange kind of combination of older-Peter-Graves and younger-Peter-Graves, as if he were neither or both. He wasn't very white-haired, but not enormously trim, either.

I was trying, delicately, to find out about his loyalty to his wife, because it was obvious we both wanted to do something. I mentioned F***** and how much she liked him, and that she/we were worried about the fact that he'd obviously slept with other people. (I had a weird sense that I'd come back into the past. I knew he was dead in my present, and I didn't want to mention that, but I think he knew that both F***** and I were from the future.) He seemed very guilty and ashamed and was trying to explain how hard it was as a man, how he had a strong sex drive and sometimes he was away for months at a time, filming, and he loved his wife dearly but he just needed to have sex or it drove him a little crazy. You could see how bad he felt about it. There were tears in his eyes. But he really was consumed by the urge to have sex with women.

We got to his car, or a car, and he could drive at least. We were driving along a road that was a dream-version of the R**** road, and he wanted to stop. I kept seeing places he could pull in and he'd go past them, not realising I'd meant there. I was saying how there's a lovely place where you could stop and see the river, and another layby around the corner that was really pretty, etc, but he kept missing them, partly because he couldn't step on the brake quickly with his ankle, I think. I knew it was awkward because I knew these places, knew where was boggy, where was okay to stop, etc, but he didn't. There was this strong, overwhelming knowledge that all we really wanted to do was to stop and have sex somewhere, but we didn't know where we could go.

Eventually we stopped the car in the layby on the hill on the way up to home. He got out and it was beautifully warm and sunny and he lay back on the ground while I tried to massage the knots out of his back and hip from walking with this broken ankle. He was very smooth and un-hairy, and rather pink. The massage was really helping him feel better. It was taking away a lot of the tension in his ankle. He didn't have a cast on, which seemed troubling to me. I accidentally rubbed the broken ankle and then realised and thought it must have caused him tremendous pain, but he said it had helped, because it was so tight.

We spoke about his films and I told him how much I liked Fort Defiance. He seemed a bit vague, because he'd done so much stuff, but then he remembered and said something like, 'Oh, yes, that was the one that used that colour thing. The technicolor or something.' I was a bit disappointed he didn't remember it better, but the more I talked about it the more he remembered. I was saying how it felt a bit disjointed, and it would be wonderful to redo it, to rewrite some of it and refilm it and it could be made into a really good film. I was looking up at him (we were kind of lying on the grass together while I rubbed his back – he was lying on his back but I was pushing my hand underneath him) and I could see his face from Fort Defiance but also older, all at the same time.

All this massage was getting us both to the feeling that we really needed to have sex, soon. But I didn't know where we could go. It was very difficult. We got up and started walking up the lane, he leaning heavily on me because of his ankle. It was a difficult walk and he kept needing to stop because of the pain he was in. We stopped outside a kind of dream version of G*** and W****'s, where someone else lived and there was a different house. They let him sit down outside the house and I think were bringing drinks or something. He was very charming to them. He was explaining about the broken ankle and they were very sympathetic.

There was music on the radio, Radio 1, I think, and it was some kind of dance or electronica and we were talking about how awful it was. I was worried for a minute in case the woman or her daughter there were actually listening to it because they liked it, but they seemed to agree, even if just out of politeness. We sat there for a bit and talked, and then carried on up the hill. The biggest thing in all this was the closeness, the feeling that we could talk, and were very close, physically and emotionally. He seemed to have such a huge guilt burdening him.

We carried on up the road and the hill above G*** and W****'s was a kind of strange enclosed mall. We were walking up through it and there were electronic kind of advertising boards all along the sides. I was saying how awful they were, and what a waste of electricity, but then I remembered it before it was renovated and it was all just empty units – an abandoned Woolworths and other abandoned shops – whereas now it was open shops and these advertising boards. So I supposed it was better.

In the end we got up to mum and dad's house and they were a bit surprised to see us but didn't really say anything. They didn't have any idea who he was. I took him up to my bedroom so he could lie down, and so we could give in to our urges. I was trying to lock the door, but the clothes peg wouldn't work to lock it. I was trying to lock it with wire and string. Nothing would work properly. I knew L*** was there in her bedroom next door and that mum and dad were downstairs, but I also had a kind of knowledge that they wouldn't come in. In the end I just did all that I could to secure the door. I put the radio on and I was desperately looking around for some swing CDs instead, but I couldn't find any because I'd taken most of them away. I was saying I wished I had my ipod, or a dock for it, but I didn't. And then miraculously swing came on the radio, a Christmas song, and then another non-Christmas swing song after it. It felt like destiny, and it was obvious they were going to keep playing swing, and we both smiled.

He was lying back on the bed (his head was at the wrong end – he'd just kind of collapsed down there with the pain in his ankle.) His shirt was off and his trousers were loose and pushed down, and I just started stroking his chest, and then I moved my hand down and I was stroking his penis, and he was lying there with his head back kind of quivering, trying not to get aroused, but he couldn't stop himself.

And then a child woke me up.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Whiplash E13 The Solid Gold Brigade

I decided to screencap some Whiplash, a tricky business since the dvds won't run in my laptop computer, which means being uncomfortable at the desktop. But it's worth it for Whiplash, which is an excellent little series. Full of humour and drama, full of Peter Graves riding horses and getting wet and doing manly things.

Today's episode is The Solid Gold Brigade. It doesn't have Anthony Wickert in it, Graves' character Chris Cobb's sidekick, which is a shame, and I don't know if it's the best episode, but it certainly has the most nearly-naked-and-wet Peter Graves in it, which is a hell of a bonus. If only it were in colour. For a 25 minute long episode I managed to take 98 screencaps, and nearly all of that was due to Peter Graves being half-naked and wet with sea water. So, without further ado, let's forge ahead into the episode.

Here we are, watching Whiplash. I don’t know why I have the urge to say that in a David-Attenborough-esque undertone, but I do. Maybe it's because of all the natural beauty we're about to be exposed to. To set the scene, Whiplash is filmed in Australia, and is about a guy who owns a stage line. These two things are neatly brought together in the opening titles. Look, a kangaroo and a stage coach!

It also has (contain yourself) Peter Graves with a whip and an Anzac hat and a lot of horse-play. Oh my god.

See? I cannot quite put into words how wonderful these things are.

We also get a little bit of historical insight at the start, although I believe Peter Graves was frustrated by the fact that they essentially transposed the Wild West onto Australia, rather than committing to real accuracy. He would be frustrated by this, because he’s an all round top bloke.

Here he is. Chris Cobb, an American who came over to Australia to run a stage line, and based on a historical figure, Freeman Cobb. And oh my, he gets to wear hot Victorian clothes and use a quill. Hoo ya!

Look at those clothes. I wonder if they had to keep women off the set to stop them rushing him? (Incidentally, he’s having a discussion about running his stage up the coast to get gold from gold miners and bring it to the bank.)

Look, look! Hand in the pocket, quill in the other hand, leaning casually on the table. He stands to make 5% of the cost of whatever gold is deposited in the bank. A good deal.

Meanwhile the assayer, Mr Dodgeworth Fenton (wow!), has been sent on ahead to assay the gold and do all those things that an assayer does. He’s having himself a cup of tea from his billycan in the bush on the way.

Mr Dodgeworth Fenton was not long for this world. There are dirty deeds afoot from an assailant who knows every detail of where Mr Fenton was going, and why. The killer and his friend are so coldhearted that they drink Fenton’s tea next to his dead body.

Meanwhile, Chris Cobb is on his way up the coast.

‘Some sea,’ he thinks. ‘How refreshing!’ (Warning – there may be an increase in screencaps-per-second from now on .)

‘Is there anyone around?’ he wonders. ‘Oh no, no one but that camera crew… And that sea looks so very refreshing…’

But while Chris is bathing (woo!) the face of evil is waiting on the beach…

Look, he’s cavorting in the sea!

Trying to do a little body surfing. Possibly wondering if he should have invited brother Jim over to teach him how to surf.

All wet and running out of the waves…

Oh hell, he’s in wet, clinging longjohns. Where do I look?

I mean, look at that thigh muscle through the wet fabric.

Oh good lord, these things are form-fitting.

He’s not awfully happy about the visitor on the beach. (And, look! Nipples!)

Even the waves are doing some kind of orgasmic celebration behind him.

He’s suspicious about the visitor, especially since the man knows his name. He looks towards his rifle, which I could cap, but I’d rather cap Chris looking at it. (There’s a bit of a myth that Chris Cobb never carries a gun. He does. He has a rifle. But he tries not to use it.)

In case you didn’t believe me, there’s his rifle.

And here’s Chris moving towards his rifle. He has chest and nipples and things.

Here is a side view of Chris Cobb moving towards his rifle. Hair. Arms. Flanks.

And here is rather more of a back view. Um. Yes.

Watch out, Chris! He’s got a gun! A gun on a chain that he pretends is a watch!

Chris is shot! (Oh, ankles, buttocks, back.)

Still being shot… (More buttocks, arm muscles, back muscles.)

And falling… (Thighs!)

And falling still. Oh, those longjohns are tight and wet…

Still falling. Oh lord.

Falling in earnest now.

Continuing to fall.

Plop. (And may I mention, feet! Oh, and that juncture between thigh and pelvis)

There he is on the sand, showing a pleasing looseness at the waistband.

Aaand, he’s down. (Feet!)

You bastard, you unknown assailant! But thank you for all the wet buttock time. (Somehow this shortish, portly guy thinks he will fit in the muscular, slim, 6’3” Chris Cobb’s clothes. Somehow, he is right.)

Ouch. Film blood is a lot more convincing in black and white.

So our portly friend rolls into camp in the guise of Chris Cobb. How the hell did he fit in those clothes? He meets up with the guy who took on the role of the assayer, and has a letter of introduction he stole from Cobb, so who’s going to believe it’s not him?

‘Well, if you ain’t Mr Cobb I reckon you’ll have to do until something better comes along,’ one of the miners says on reading the letter, not realising the irony of his words. There’s good writing in this series.

The bad guy (I'm sorry, I never catch his name) has set Chris up for trouble by saying he ran into a bush ranger.

Luckily for Chris, he wasn’t left to be drowned by the tide. He was rescued due to the kindness of a lovely Scottish fisherman.

Chris looks somewhat puzzled and as if he’s recovering from being unconscious – which he is.

He’s quite pretty in his blanket.

His longjohns have dried, more’s the pity.

Chris continues to be confused when the man tells him he’s ‘Adam Douglas from the border.’ When he asks what border he tells him there is only one border – between England and Scotland. He must be wondering for a moment how long he was unconscious and just where the sea took him.

Poor Chris.

Chris runs off to see if he can see the stagecoach. I gaze at bare ankles and feet in the washing tide. Adam quietly thinks he’s delusional.

Delusional or not, there’s some lovely light-play on his longjohns there.

Dear god, that’s good light-play.

Adam is still dubious, but he does give Chris his whip, which would seem to prove Chris' story.

I was torn between capping the hand and what’s behind the hand as Chris gets his whip, so I did both… I mean, look at that hand!

Chris is a polite type and thanks the man for pulling him in, even if Adam does have doubts about his sanity. Adam offers him some old boots and fisherman’s clothes, again proving that due to the Australian climate clothing can stretch to fit any body type.

In he goes to get the clothes, making us wish Adam had not been generous enough to give him that blanket, or any clothes.

Chris emerges with the clothes.

And walks down from the shack. (Are these shots gratuitous?)

And continues to walk…

Sits down to put the jumper on…

Starts getting the jumper on…

Damn. It’s on. There ends the gratuitous screencapping. I’m sure plot details have been going on while I was doing this. I think it’s that Adam is agreeing to take Chris across the bay in his dinghy so he can get to Fury Creek (where the gold miners are) more quickly.

Meanwhile, the darstardly villains are doing their thing in other men’s clothing.

Chris and Adam are making their way across the bay. This is just quite a pretty scene, begging to be made into a watercolour.

Chris is pleasingly soggy again.

He's also thankful again, and just a little flirty.

Off he goes, up the dunes.

I do wish this were remastered, and in colour. How pretty he looks atop this rock. He’s spied a lone gold miner.

The gold miner was just getting some of his bags of gold out ready to take them back to Fury Creek. Understandably he’s suspicious of this man in fisherman’s clothing who's telling him he's actually Chris Cobb, the stagecoach owner.

Chris is dappled by Australian sun as the man tells him he’s lying about who he is.

So here he is sitting on the ground with his hands on his head being peeved at how thoroughly the thief has convinced everyone he’s actually Chris Cobb.

But the guy hasn’t banked on Chris’s skill with the whip. Look. Attitude of surrender…


Getting ready to strike…

Almost there…


And he has the gun!

He can even start standing up from that position without using his hands.

Mission complete.

How does he convince the man? Once he has him at his mercy, he hands his gun back. The miner lets him take the horse.

So we get to see a little riding.

Go Chris!


In Chris rides on the horse. Of course the bad guy tells everyone it’s the bush ranger approaching.


Captured! The miners insinuate things about how bad he smells.

So, off rolls the bad guy, leaving the miners to string Chris up.

Quick justice. He’s on horseback with a noose around his neck before you know it.

Luckily Chris has just spotted Baxter, the miner they think he’s killed, coming into camp on foot.

Meanwhile, the fake Chris Cobb stops, ostensibly to rest the team, and sends the miner escort off to fill their canteens. Then he and his partner shoot them in the back.

Chris sticks a borrowed pistol into the waistband of his trousers and rides out after the stage. He’s still peeved at all the miners, except for Baxter. After all, they've told him he stinks and then tried to hang him.

Off he goes!

He looks out from the cliff but can’t see the stage.

Back to the stalwart Adam. He does a bit of leaping down the dunes.

Back into the boat again. By god those trousers do something for his rear!

Running along the beach!

The bad guy betrays even his own partner, who dies with gold in his hands.

But Chris catches up with him, and he’s too quick for the bad guy. He’s not falling for the gun-on-a-watch-chain trick again.

Just desserts.

Chris is not happy to have just killed someone. But still, he looks very pretty in his ethical mire.

He takes some gold out of the other guy’s hand, pondering, and then throws it on the sand. He’s a good guy. He’s sad about killing and disdainful of the gold that provoked it. But he'll be back next week to look pretty and hopefully get wet, so all will be well with the world.