Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.
~ Harry Dresden – ‘Storm Front’
Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is the hero of the Dresden Files novels. I’m fairly sure if you asked Harry he wouldn’t see a hero, at nearly seven feet tall, with a vast amount of magic at his disposal, Harry Dresden should cut a pretty frightening figure. However he actually proves to be goofy, clumsy, terrible with women and never really the holder of a very solid plan. I am speaking of the Dresden books. The television series has been seen, appraised and ignored, sometimes I can be a snob.
Harry grew up in the system following the disappearance of his wizard mother (male and female are not differentiated in these books, a witch is instead a different level of practitioner) and the death of his magician father (magician really is a stage performer in this case). He survives the system, not aware of his power, before being picked up by dark wizard Justin Du Morte, and netted completely by his first love Elaine, a fellow care kid, Harry’s ill treatment by Justin eventually results in Harry killing him with dark magic, and being placed in front of the white council sentenced to death. Harry is spared and grows up to train others, his grasshopper, Molly Carpenter, and thus save their lives as well as his own.
What so many people love about Harry is his vulnerability, his love of animals, his loyalty to his friends, and his willingness to die for what is right…Shame about the genocide mind.
DI Alec Hardy, from the TV series ‘Broadchurch’ is a new favourite of mine and is – surprisingly, I know – played by David Tennant. Unsociable, abrasive and unyielding, lacking the people skills that allow him to understand the needs and feelings of others, Hardy doesn’t initially scream ‘likeable’ but through his interaction with partner, DS Ellie Miller (the wonderful Olivia Colman), a direct contrast to both professionally and personally, and Tennant’s portrayal, it makes Hardy likeable and very believable.
An experienced and clinical detective, Hardy’s name was tarnished quite publicly when he found himself at the centre of a scandal surrounding a major case he was investigating – in which the suspect was released free of charge after crucial evidence was lost. As is learnt at the end of the series, Hardy actually took the blame for a female officer within his team. The officer in question lost a piece of evidence – stolen out of her car – while having an affair with a fellow officer. She was also Hardy’s wife.
On arriving in Broadchurch, Hardy is faced with his first case; after 11-year-old Danny Latimer turns up dead on the beach. Haunted by the scandal of Sandbrook, Hardy knows he’s facing another tough case, but this time he’s determined to get it right. Sandbrook left him a broken man, both physically as well as mentally when you take into account his heart condition and, as we learn in series two, the fact that he was the one that found the body of Pippa Gillespie – who was the same age as Hardy’s own daughter at the time. Erin Kelly’s short stories – released as ebooks during the airing of series two – sheds even more insight on how affected he is by the case. I would certainly recommend them, and the novelisation of the first series.
With series two of ‘Broadchurch’ delving into the botched case, Hardy becomes more and more revitalised (especially post-operation) and we begin to see hints of the copper he used to be before Sandbrook and with the news that a third series is to be made, I can’t wait to see how he (and his friendship with Miller) progresses further. In the meantime, here’s one of my favourite Hardy quotes from series one:
Miller: Are you religious?
Hardy: Yes. I pray nightly that you’ll stop asking me questions.