“You’re nicked for the murder of Delphine Parks, the rape and attempted murder of Nina Akiboa. Anything you say will be taken down, ripped up and shoved down your scrawny little throat until you’ve choked to death. Gene Hunt chapter 1 verse 2.”
Gene Hunt, The Manc Lion, Hunt the C***, but more than anything the bloody Guv. Gene Hunt is the misogynistic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, violent heart of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, that everyone loved. Gene Hunt was always the centre of these two fictional worlds worlds within fictional worlds. A hard man, but essentially a good man, banding together teams and providing bridges for people in flux. Gene is the sun around which many lives orbit, and some, mostly those of filthy scum, crash into the atmosphere and burn up.
*Warning there will be a few spoilers under the cut, but if you haven’t watched these shows, where on earth have you been?
Gene, hard drinking purveyor of man stink and puns, became, for his five series, five books (yes there are books, three fictional and two Gene Hunt how to guides all highly recommended, I own the lot) and even albums goes from being a frightening, restrictive and damaging presence, to a friend, a reassurance, even at times a parental figure. He proves himself capable, smart and caring, but without ever quite dropping the fact he’s at his best when he’s an ‘armed bastard’. He is the counterpoint to the metrosexual and is in some ways far more real than the shiny perfection offered by many characters and real men and lets be honest to Sam Tyler and the eighties expectations that were evolving in Ashes to Ashes.
Even when his final secret is revealed, his enigma is not ended, after all, how did he rescue Alex when she was a child, while she stood in his world close enough to watch him do so. If there is an angel of lost cops, even if it is the evolution of a lost child, as an ex police staff member, I hope we’ll be able to trust the Gene Genie.
I am Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate.
Guybrush Ulysses Threepwood is the protagonist from the LucasArts Monkey Island game series. He first appeared in ‘The Secret of Monkey Island’ as an awkward teenager whose sole ambition in life was to be a pirate. His primary talents are the ability to hold his breath for ten minutes, a razor sharp wit and extremely large pockets.
From learning ‘insult sword-fighting’:
Insult: “You fight like a dairy farmer.”
Comeback: “How appropriate. You fight like a cow.”
– Sword fight insult, written by Orson Scott Card.
to finding the legendary treasure of Melee Island™ (a T-Shirt that reads “I found the Legendary Lost Treasure of Mêlée Island and All I Got Was this Stupid T-Shirt.”), he eventually meets and immediately falls in love with the Tri-Island Area’s beautiful governor, Elaine Marley. However, the ghost pirate LeChuck has long been smitten with her – Elaine told him to ‘drop dead’, so he did. When LeChuck kidnaps Elaine, Guybrush is compelled to try to rescue her from his lair on Monkey Island. She proves capable of protecting herself easily escaping LeChuck’s clutches (unbeknownst to the bumbling Threepwood). Guybrush, surprisingly enough, manages to destroy the ghost pirate LeChuck and becomes a fearsome pirate himself.
Of course, LeChuck respawns several times in the four sequels to try and kill Guybrush and steal his now wife, Elaine, for himself and, yes, I’ve played them all. The first two were available on the Amiga (I feel old) originally but got a revamp – complete with voice casting as with the sequels – in special anniversary releases. Due to being made by LucasArts there are numerous references to Indiana Jones and Star Wars throughout the games and Guybrush himself even turns up in other games.
Fans of the games will know of its links to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, with ‘Monkey Island’ taking aspects of the ride and the POTC films having some rather telling similarities with the games – Will Turner, quite similar to Guybrush, who falls in love with a governor’s daughter, who can take care of herself and an undead, cursed pirate villain.
I still feel sad that the Monkey Island film was shelved and now Disney owns LucasArts, its unlikely to ever happen now. So, I leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the game series, when Guybrush met Murray the demonic skull.
Guybrush Threepwood: How can you see without eyeballs?
Murray: How can you walk around without a brain? Some things no one can answer.