Friday, July 10, 2015

One to Ponder: Picard or Pearce?

I know I would like to make it so . . . And I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else on this matter. For romantic purposes, who would you pick: Jean-Luc Picard or Harry Pearce? I have been pondering this one all day and have been pleasantly, ahem, engaged.

          Here's the easy part. Both of em. Yum.

To fully appreciate the dilemma maybe you have to be someone who admires 50-something men. As I fit square in the center of that group, I am up to the challenge.  For the uninitiated reader, let me just briefly state that Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, is captain on the flagship of the futuristic planetary federation's space fleet in Star Trek The Next Generation which aired on American TV from 1987 through 1994.

[And because there are so many people who are (extremely) so, I always feel compelled to announce that I am not a "real" trekkie and you simply must not hold me accountable for my failings to properly appreciate and index all the dimensions of that universe. What I will lay claim to is being a deep appreciator of Captain Picard. And who that knew him wouldn't be?]

Anyway. . . to continue with the background . . . on the other side of the ring is Pearce, played by Peter Firth, the fictional head of British Security Services in the powerful television program Spooks from 2002 through 2011, (as well as in a recent feature film based on the series. Oh yes, I guess, then, that I should also mention that Picard was a film character as well. . .  bla bla bla.)

The point is: both characters are extremely sexy, and neither got nearly enough of the opportunity for romantic encounter that they deserved in their shows. . . . One must use imagination to fully develop ideas about a romantic partnering with either of these men . . . .

Oh, excuse me. You're still here?  Well, yes, um, lets get back to it.

I guess we can start with the things Picard and Pearce have in common, beyond that they both start with 'P'. Both are played by men of roughly the same age (at the time of their respective series'). While Stewart, born in 1940, may be currently approaching old age, Captain Picard will be forever preserved at the height of his sex appeal and charm as fit, bald and 50-something, a powerful and intellectual captain. Meanwhile Firth, a dozen years younger than Stewart in real life, is likewise ensconced in our hearts as 50ish Harry Pearce at the peak of his pouty, intense, and slightly rogue powers.

Both men are extraordinary leaders -- men who make you feel safe despite outrageous danger. On the down side, both are fundamentally married to their jobs. Which probably explains why neither got to have enough love affairs, although both did get to dabble in an almost-romance with a deeply appreciated and cared-for coworker; in each case, they remain single and alone -- probably in better position to do the difficult work the world needs done. And speaking of that: both tend to be a magnet for evil dudes and kidnappers (think Borg; think Russian spies) who want to change the way of the world our heroes are seeking to preserve. Both leaders are intense and enigmatic. Both have b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l voices and both are played by amazingly talented British actors.

Wait. Isn't it time for another picture or two?

These men are high up in their respective worlds, brushing shoulders with the biggest decision-makers and political leaders in their spheres, but, still able to (more or less) act on their own, with independent judgement, in most of their everyday encounters. Both lead teams of highly talented people whose respect they get to enjoy at an instant and deep level. And part of what makes them so appealing is that incredible authority they wield so well, handling stress and calling the shots with total facility and masculinity.

In fact, both are honestly most appealing when they are just a bit ticked off, raising their voices, barking orders and scowling - which (luckily) they do quite often! and which only makes it that much sexier when they do find an opportunity to relax, smile or speak softly, as they (luckier still) sometimes do when flirting with their attractive favorite co-worker, who, interestingly enough, and sensibly enough, in each case, is a woman who is somewhat outside the rank and file officer norm, women of their own unique position and power.

But which would I choose? Thats the point here and that is certainly the hard part.

For looks, I'd have to give the nod to Picard who is perhaps the more conventionally 'hot' guy. He is certainly more fit - and has more classically handsome movie star features.  It would be easy to spend time looking at him.  But, to give Pearce his due, I'd say that he has such an open warmth about his face and such an amazing mouth, that I'd just as eagerly gaze at him for a few dozen years.

And actually, I think that this is what this decision would come down to.  In a word, I see Picard as sharper/colder man (yes, I know that is two words) and Pearce as a warmer and more open temperament.  I choose Harry.

Further, I see Harry as a bit more of a renegade, doing what he wants and not always following rules and protocols. This is more exciting than a stricter/military hierarchy that the Captain almost always adheres to and demands.  And for icing on the cake, it also seems that Pearce is more over-the-top in love with Ruth than Picard ever was with Beverly, or any other woman. I see this as a good sign -- of someone who is capable of truly giving his heart, soul and body to a woman - even though he may not choose to do it or live in a world where he was ever allowed to.  And maybe, lastly, the 'reality' of the backdrop is a little more stark in our everyday world of real threats found in Spooks, than it is in a high fantasy world set hundreds of years in the future and in space to boot.

Not that this game needs to have any reality about it! but sometimes a fantasy that feels more 'possible' is a fantasy that feels more worthwhile.

So I choose Harry Pearce and though the decision may have little impact on the fate of the free world or the flow of space, (nor even the power to effect my continued enjoyment in re-watching The Next Generation), I do have to say that is feels worthwhile to have this issue resolved for good.