Friday, April 2, 2010

Nerd Girl of Note #56

I must admit that prior to Absolutely Fabulous I had no idea who Joanna Lumley was. I have mentioned her here before, primarily in regard to ideas for a female Doctor Who.

Lumley's nerd-cred starts with some Bond-age, that is, she was one of Blofeld's "Angels of Death" in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Later she appears alongside Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in Hammer Film's The Satanic Rites of Dracula as Jessica van Helsing. Then came her role as Purdey in The New Avengers. While I have never seen The New Avengers, I would imagine it takes a lot to be the fourth in a line of iconic females; Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale, Dianna Rigg as Emma Peel, and Linda Thorson as Tara King.

Her most notable role is obviously as Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous. Patsy is a former model turned fashion critic; a drunk and drug addict, and may have formerly been a man. She wears a giant beehive that Amy Winehouse would be jealous of, and smokes like a furnace with the hand not holding the bottle of Stolichnaya.

While I am not a fan of The Daily Mail, columnist Suzanne Moore said of Lumley in 2008, "[she] is that rare being, a woman everyone loves. If she stood for election tomorrow I can’t think she wouldn’t win...She is beautiful, fun, continually surprising, free-thinking and, at 62, an unusual example of a woman who has become more, not less, visible as she has got older." [via]


Mickey Glitter said...

La Lum! She's fantastic, absolutely fabulous, if you will...and IMO, a much worthier inheritor of the Gale/Peel crown than Tara King could ever hope to be. It's like Tara King's just a weird alternate-reality blip in the universe of The Avengers or something, don't you think? Of course, I prefer Mrs. Gale over any of them, truth be told. =)

Mickey Glitter said...

Also, she would make an effin' tremendous Doctor. Then I could transfer my companion crushing to actual Doctor crushing.

Sorry. I'll stop now. LOL

Darius Whiteplume said...

I tend to think of poor Tara King as Steed's rebound girl. Even though Emma Peel was the second female companion (so to speak ;-) she was on during the show's height. Poor Tara had to try living up to the legend, and she wasn't even British.

As for The Doctor, I will always support la Lum as the best choice for a female The Doctor. In many respects she has a great deal of experience playing a man trapped in a woman's body (did they ever come out and say Patsy was born a man?).

Anonymous said...

Late to the topic, but oh well. There's a very funny visual joke in one of the AbFab episodes where Edina is having a flashback to the 70s (Saffie's birth, I think) and Patsy is shown dressed in her full "New Avengers" Purdey gear. Patsy Stone, super spy!

Darius Whiteplume said...

I think I have seen that one, but they did so many Patsy flashbacks. Did they ever divulge if she had been a man, or was that just a running gag?

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