Richard Briers November 16, 2009Posted by General Zod in Heroes, Movies, Television.
From time to time, I like to talk about one of the many individuals I consider to be a personal hero. When you say the word “hero” it usually brings to mind images of Superman, Captain America, Batman, and Spider-Man. I will admit that I am a disciple of the Tao of Peter Parker, but that’s not necessarily what I’m referring to. I’m talking about a person (or group of people) that made an impact in my life.
Richard Briers is an extremely talented English actor whose body of work is nothing short of impressive. For years, I had only known him as the creepy “Caretaker” in the Paradise Towers serial of Doctor Who. Until the day came where I first laid eyes upon a TV show called The Good Life in which Richard portrayed Tom Good, a 40-something draughtsman who can no longer take his job (of designing plastic toys for breakfast cereals) seriously and decides to excuse himself from the wage slave life to attempt self-sufficiently. The sheer joy that this program brought into my life was beyond measure. I don’t go for situation comedies too often, but occasionally I find one that I do like. However, this one I absolutely loved. For this alone, I would place Richard and the rest of the cast as candidates for my hero list… but wait, there’s more.
From time to time, I will search IMDb for some of my favorite actors to see what projects they are presently working on. My search on Richard Briers is what eventually brought me to the theater to see such films as Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet. While it is true that Richard’s involvement in these projects were only as supporting roles, I do have to give credit to him for leading me to them. These films (and others) had managed to rekindle the admiration I originally had for the plays of William Shakespeare when I had first read them during my high school years.
Then, many years later, I was feeling very tired. My wife and I were dealing with the challenges of raising 3 small kids, and we were starting to wonder if the fun part of our lives had passed. One evening as my bride was elbow deep in washing baby bottles and I was working to clear the toys off the family room floor (YET AGAIN), I had caught a glimpse of Richard as I was channel flipping. I stopped, not knowing exactly what I was watching, and fell in love another TV series known as Monarch of the Glen. The main storyline of this program revolves around the MacDonald family who are struggling to keep control of their debt-ridden ancestral estate in the Highlands of Scotland. The family’s patriarch, Hector (played by Richard), is an eccentric, elderly gentleman who continues to embrace life with the wide-eyed excitement of youth. Richard’s energetic performances in this role have given me the comfort and confidence to believe that there is life after children… and you are only as old as you allow yourself to feel.
I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Briers personally, but I would relish the opportunity should it ever arise. I feel that Richard has always lent to me good advice and guidance (albeit indirectly), so imagine the wisdom he could imbue upon me on a more personal level. However, were that meeting to ever occur, I would only have one thing to say to the man…