Thursday, 25 June 2015
RIP, Patrick Macnee
You could say that the gentleman adventurer-spy is something of a British archetype, going back to W Somerset Maugham's fictional character Ashenden, John Buchan's Richard Hannay, and even Leslie Charteris' Simon Templar. No-one does private eyes like the Americans, and no-one does gentleman spies like the British. Steed joins that lineup of suave, moneyed adventurers, and influenced similar ones in popular culture afterwards: if Harry Hart, Colin Firth's character in Kingsman: The Secret Service, wasn't a nod in Steed's direction I'd be very much surprised, especially given the Kingsmen's use of umbrellas.
It's saddening to say goodbye to Patrick Macnee so soon after Christopher Lee - and Macnee did twice play Watson to Lee's Holmes. Here's hoping no more of that era's best-loved actors pass away any time soon...