Saturday, 1 October 2016

Bloofer Gent: Ralph Bates

George Phwoarleggan
I was looking for a lady for this year's Bloofer choice as we've had gents two years running, but then I watched The Horror of Frankenstein and decided only Ralph Bates would do as 2016's creeptacular crumpet. Due to his sadly early death, if you're under 40 you probably won't know who he was, and if you're in your 40s you might only know him as the star of 1980s divorce-sitcom Dear John and some biscuit adverts, but, like Led Zeppelin, Laura Ashley and kids' TV, he was in his best in the 1960s and 1970s.

Ralph Bates was television's original George Warleggan, bitter and ambitious beneath a charming surface, thwarting Ross Poldark whenever he could. “But that's not horror,” you cry, “What makes him a Bloofer Gent?” The Horror of Frankenstein, remember? Oh, before that raised the undead as rakish Lord Courtley in Taste the Blood of Dracula, but as Baron Frankenstein he excels.

While he was able to convey ruthless ambition with ease, there was also something incredibly seductive about Bates, and his Frankenstein is no exception: his mentor's daughter falls in love with him, unaware that housemaid Kate O'Mara is providing a few out-of-hours services to the Baron. (And who can blame her?)

As the most seductive Baron Frankenstein
I really enjoyed The Horror of Frankenstein; while the script was nothing especially new, it was a satisfying version of the story, and I very much liked both Frankenstein's idealistic friend and the cheerful graverobbers who collect, erm, raw materials for the baron's work. The end of the film left me hoping there would be a follow-up, but sadly Bates' next horror outings were the dreadful Lust for a Vampire (which he himself called 'one of the worst films ever made') and Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde. Never mind those, we'll always have Poldark and The Horror of Frankenstein.

Charming and sinister, Ralph Bates, Bloofer Gent for 2016, we salute you!

18 comments :

  1. Mr Bates looks like the absolutely swoon worthy cross between Colin Firth and Oliver Reed. Nothing will quite measure up to Clive Owens though, welllll except my dear hubby the Sheikh.

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    1. And that's as it should be :-D

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  2. We watched repeats of Dear John a few years back and all I can see is his character there! I don't believe I have seen him in anything other than that! xxx

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    1. I hated Dear John - my mum watched it - but he was wonderful in Poldark. Best thing in the old show, I reckon.

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  3. Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, not there was a film. I am s sucker for all those old Hammer Films and can definitely see what Kate saw in the Baron. I have never watched "Dear John" as I had given up on watching TV by the 80's but I am pissing myself laughing at your Led Zepp comment. Awesome! Xx

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    1. The worrying thing is that the Baron preferred dim girlikin Elizabeth when he had The Rani waiting for him at home. Baron F, should've fitted yourself with a bit more brain...

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    1. Great, isn't it? People can be sniffy about it but I love it.

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  5. Cor that photo took me right back to the 1970s and the original Poldark. Lovely stuff, thanks Mim! I'm not sure I know what a bloofer is. Have I missed something? 🤔

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    1. It's from Dracula - in the book, the abducted children Lucy feeds on say they were taken away by a 'bloofer [beautiful] lady'.

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  6. the highlight of Poldark back in the day

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    1. Yup, best thing in the original show. Though I do also prefer that show's foppish Francis.

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  7. I think I've only ever seen him in Poldark ... Oh, and Led Zeppelin were indeed at their best in the 1960s and 1970s, that's for sure! xxx

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    1. If I had a time machine, I'd deffo go to a 70s Zep concert.

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  8. His character of George in Poldark is quite different from the character in the modern series, judging from just that one photo. The modern George is quite foppish and is all delicate features. Looks like the original George was very different. Interesting!

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    1. Original George was sexier, that's for sure. He was still a character bound by class aspirations, but whereas modern George seems to want Elizabeth primarily for her old family name and to tick Ross off and seems a bit embarrassed by the physical attraction, original George definitely had the hots for his Elizabeth and didn't care who knew it. Original George was more confident.

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  9. I had to Google "bloofer", I'd never heard the word before.
    Loved Ralph Bates in Poldark, watching Dear John in the 1980s changed the way I felt about him after that! x

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    1. It's a Dracula reference.

      He should never have done Dear John! All that sauce, wasted!

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