Confession time: I stole this idea from El Capitan at Baboon Pirates, who in turn stole it from someone else. It’s a good idea. And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
No, I didn’t read El Capitan’s list … I wanted to make sure I wasn’t unduly influenced. But since I got the idea from him, I chose to follow his rules. That means, not more than 3 characters from the same source. Since I tend to favor certain authors over others, and certain actors over others, this means that I can’t use more than three characters played by the same actor, or three characters from the same author, even if they appear in different books. Where I can, I’ll link to the book or movie on the web, in case you want more info. Below are 10 … El Capitan came up with 50, but I’m not that ambitious; maybe I’ll add more at a later date.
10. Angus MacGyver from the series MacGyver (1985). Put him on a deserted island with nothing but a Q-Tip and a Hershey bar, and he’ll build you a smart bomb complete with launcher.
9. Philip Kent (Phillipe Charboneau) from The Bastard, by John Jakes. Raised a poor bastard in France, Philip comes to pre-revolution Boston to escape the wrath of his father’s wife, and finds himself caught up in the cause for independence. Given the choice of taking the easy way out (by marrying his half-brother’s widow and claiming his inheritance) or standing up for his beliefs (by fighting with the rebels), he makes the hard choice and makes his own fortune. I’ve read the entire Kent Family Chronicles series by Jakes; I haven’t seen the movie, which I gather was a bomb since (a) I didn’t know there was one till just now; and (b) Netflix doesn’t even have it, and this is the first movie ever that I haven’t been able to find there.
8. Raymond Babbitt (Rain Man). Dustin Hoffman plays this character so well, and makes him so likeable, in spite of his disorder. The scene where Tom Cruise (Charlie Babbitt) realizes that Raymond is the “Rain Man” he remembers from his childhood brings tears to my eyes.
7. Luke Danes (Gilmore Girls – Tuesday night at 8 on The WB). Scott Patterson plays this taciturn diner owner to perfection. His eccentricity complements the rest of the town’s quirkiness, and he’s not hard to look at, either.
6. Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls, see #7) . Played by Lauren Graham, Lorelai is the mother I always hoped I could be, but I don’t have that gift of the one-liner that Lorelai’s scriptwriters blessed her with.
5. Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding from The Shawshank Redemption (played by Morgan Freeman). Red is, above all else, a “man’s man”. A convicted murderer, he’s nonetheless loyal and trustworthy, and he calls ’em as he sees ’em. He also posesses uncanny insight into the motivations of the people around him.
4. Captain Steve Hiller (played by Will Smith) from the movie Independence Day. “I have got to get me one of these!”
3. Idgie Threadgoode (aka Towanda) from Fried Green Tomatoes, by Fannie Flagg. Mary Stuart-Masterson played her in the movie, which also starred Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy.
2. Morgaine from The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. She’s a Druid Priestess. She can do magic. Her brother is the High King of England. And in this version of the classic Tale of Arthur, she’s not the villian. She’s the heroine. Her motives are pure and good, despite the end result. For what it’s worth, the book is better than the movie (of course), but the movie is pretty good, too.
1. Jamie Fraser, from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. This 18th-century Scotsman is every woman’s dream man. James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, was born at twilight on the first of May, in the year of our Lord 1721, at the estate of Broch Tuarach, also called Lallybroch, near the small village of Broch Mordha in the Highlands of Scotland, the son of Brian Fraser and Ellen MacGibbon MacKenzie.