Stillness and acting

I have really enjoyed Ann Cleeves series of books set in the Shetland Isles about Detective Jimmy Perez. I know I had a critical comment to make about one of the endings of one of the books but really, that’s just my opinion of one little bit of the whole series. They are excellent and  I’m sure they have done wonders for the Shetland tourist industry; the main character of the novels is the group of islands themselves. By the way, as I’ve never been to the Shetlands, I’ve used a picture of a lighthouse as my featured pic, knowing that there is a lighthouse in the latest episode of the series which is actually set on Fair Isle.

I was greatly excited that the books were going to be made into TV films, but then puzzled at the casting of Douglas Henshall as the main character. Perez stands out on the island as being different, because of his Spanish name and because of his dark hair… Douglas Henshall has fair hair… Putting that aside I really enjoyed the series, the latest, series 2, more than the first… but that’s sometimes the way.

There has been some fantastic acting in this series, and some famous faces have cropped up, most memorably, Brian Cox who was almost unrecognisable as an elderly recluse. However, in the last episode of the latest series, Blue Lightening, there was an actor who only had quite a small part, but who I couldn’t take my eyes of when he was on screen. David Ireland who is an Irish actor, played the part of Finlay Caulfield, an ornithologist, a shy and bumbling man, who observes and photographs more than just avian birds; Caulfield is a voyeur, but whether he is harmless or not is part of the suspense. David Ireland plays the part with a stillness, a tension that makes the character realistic and believable. I knew the story, having read the book, but it was still possible to think that Caulfield might be responsible, might be dangerous, but also that he might be just be a gentle, sad, lonely man, with a desperate need for love. Ireland reminded me in the way he acted of Alec Guinness, who also had that stillness, that watchfulness in some of the characters he played.

Here’s a link to the BBC series site:

…and here’s a link to Ann Cleeves:

… and here is some information about David Ireland:

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