Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Strange Mystique of Harry Pearce. I Worship His Sirship.

At first I thought it was all about Peter Firth. There is no question that Firth is adorable in interviews, intelligent, self-depreciating, direct and a wonderful actor.  But it is not Peter who is enthralling me and stealing all my free time . . . it is Harry Pearce -- that's Sir Harry, to you. Yes, I've found that I worship his sirship and I'll tell you why.

Its not just those wonderful pouty lips that Harry and Peter Firth share, but rather the expressions and emotions he conveys with them that have me hooked. Here is a guy who is unabashedly able to express how he's feeling. How many heads of British Security Services can you say that about? He shows anger, frustration, grief, anguish, complete and utter contempt and insanely deep love. Sometimes all in the same moment.

Lips aside, I will admit publicly that he may not be the very  handsomest of men. But he has a great warm open and expressive face of the kind you maybe just don't expect from the head of the British Security Services. (Or have I mentioned already that he is Head of the British Security Services?) What makes him so very manly and attractive is his humanity, combined with that serious power and authority he has going for him. Think about the resources at Sir Harry's disposal (status is built right into the name.) He has a staff of amazingly talented and brazen individuals who will do his bidding and follow his orders. But he doesn't tend to abuse that. He makes measured, thoughtful and very difficult decisions all the time and stands behind them with a shocking amount of integrity, with just a touch of "I will do whatever the hell I want" thrown in.

His necktie is a lethal weapon, he can hold out against torment and torture, and he will shatter a glass to gouge his lunch companion if needs be (which also brings out something we don't see often - his very attractive smile).

Though he is unquestionably at a high level in government, he doesn't spend much time hanging around schmoozing people and attending fancy events. He is almost always in his office working. And when he's not, he's home walking his foo-foo dog, rocking the quiz shows on tv, making tea for colleagues or going to the dog races with their kids. No driving around in midlife crisis red convertibles for this one.

He is tough as nails, but he cares about real things and real people. Not superficial, Harry, but deep. And in love.

If he were a character in an American show, he would almost certainly be with many empty-headed young women. Thank heavens he's not. Instead, he is completely besotted with fabulously appealing and intellectual Ruth -- who has more gorgeousness in her eyes than any Hollywood actress can match in her whole body. Yes, I admit Ruth is a much younger woman, but one who, at 40 years old and slightly frumpy in style, is not your typical eye candy. She is a woman of compassion, substance and conviction. And she is brilliant.

I love it when powerful men adore brilliant women.

If he weren't attractive enough for all the reasons above, his unlimited capacity to desire and adore Ruth, despite continuing rejection is enough to secure a place in my heart forever.


  1. First, "I worship his sirship" is an inspired sub-head. Second, thank you for mentioning the lips. Not the pursed, prim lips of a stereotypically uptight character but the considering, pondering pucker of a sensitive guy who is never very conflicted; he is on the side of right and he has a clear idea of what is the next best thing to do. And, finally, you put your fine, insightful finger on it when you point out how his intelligent passion for super-smart Ruth makes him that much more loveable. I'm just wild about Harry. Great post, Amy.

  2. And Kudos ;) to you Anneagain for that I'm just wild about Harry line! Nice. I do love that we share a brain. It makes it so much more fun inside my head!

  3. Oh. My. God... Thank you so much for putting Harry Pearce in words. I have been trying and failed. I am completely and utterly in love with this short, older, half-bold and slightly pudgy man. And would follow any order he gives...

  4. I get it, the Harry Pearce worship. I do! And I'm so glad you've put this into words. I had a crush on nearly every other Spooks character until I came to realize that he is the ultimate male in the show. As for those lips … oh, so British, those lips. YUM.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I am thrilled you have seen the light :) Not that the other Spooks aren't crush worthy too, but, yes, he is the ultimate male.

  5. Ah man. You have summed up how I've been feeling for the last fortnight since I finished series 10. I've smashed all 10 series since Christmas and well and truly fell in love with Harry. Which I've been a bit confused about seeing as how, as you say, he's not conventionally handsome, and I'm 26, and I'm probably supposed to be in love with Adam/ Lucas/ Demitri etc. But something about him - the no bullshit attitude towards the politicians, and yet the awkward tenderness towards Ruth, the wonderful pouty lips and the undone top button...
    I love too that he doesn't let other people do his dirty work. He knows when to stay on the grid but he also knows when it's down to him to get out there and save the world.
    It bugs me in interviews when Peter blames Harry for being the reason H&R never made it. As much as I love Ruth to bits (one of my all time favourite female TV characters) I get so frustrated with her when she rejects his advances. Yup, agreed, proposing at a funeral, bad timing. But she was always too scared to let herself let him get close. And ahhhh, they could have been such a wonderful couple, and then the writers wouldn't have broken my heart by killing her off so needlessly.

    1. Thank you for your awesome comment. I love what you said about Peter Firth in interviews; that has always struck me too - that he assigns the blame to Harry - for the couple's floundering. That has rubbed me the wrong way too, though I don't think I've ever verbalized it.

      If you've finished the whole tv series then you might want to check out my alternate reality post where I describe how it *should* have gone. I'll warn you that it is very VERY long. Sorry. But you can find it here if you're interested: http://lostinbritishtv.blogspot.com/2016/01/a-revisionist-harry-and-ruth.html

      Thanks for weighing in

  6. Yep I have read it several times! I don't think I've ever been quite so taken with a series before that's it's still stuck with me for weeks afterwards! I binge watched all 3 seasons of Last Tango to make myself feel better after the Ruth grief and I've started compiling a list of PF films I need to watch, but as much as I am definitely completely in love with him, no other character matches Harry I keep coming back to read your blog posts because you've been able to put into words that which I'm really struggling to do. Don't apologise for the length of the post, I love how dedicated you are in how much thought you've put into this series, it makes me feel better about how much I'm obsessing about it!
    I love seeing interviews with Peter when he smiles because we so rarely saw Harry smile. I like to imagine that there's a side to Harry that we were never allowed to see, where he brings out that cheeky sparkle in his eye.

    1. Thank you so much for saying so! It made my day to know you enjoy my posts on the way it should have gone :)

      I have long felt that an intelligent team would quickly snap up PF and NW and cast them in some wonderful production to take advantage of their great chemistry! I don't see why no one has done that yet.

      No director really seems to realize Firth's tremendous romantic potential now as a grown-up man and I personally like him so much more at the age he is now then the way he was a dozen years or more ago. Anyway, I keep waiting for someone to cast him in a standout role with some sex appeal!