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December 26 2007

Brand new BBC Torchwood trailer with more Marsters! It's up at a Freema (Martha from Doctor Who) Agyeman fanpage (who, by the way, is pretty awesome in her own right).

This series (at least if one judges by the trailers so far) keeps looking better and better...

[ edited by annagranfors on 2007-12-26 19:53 ]

And (by the way) wasn't the Doctor Who Christmas Special wonderful yesterday? :)
Groovy; Marsters is lookin' sharp! Crazy outfit; can't wait to see what his character's like.

(And I agree that Freema is awesome, but that's a fansite devoted to her, not her own page, as the post suggests).
More screencaps of him here:
http://freemaagyeman.com/news/2007/12/19/torchwood-s2-trailer-martha/3/
Does his fake english accent actually pass in the UK? Just curious.

Now if they'd just make Amber Benson the new Romana III, the six degree separation of Buffy vs. modern Doctor Who would be complete ;-)
I've never seen the show, and the first trailer they put out didn't impress me, but this looks interesting... Might have to give it a shot. And not just 'cause James is in it! British people are fun. And my hat (if I had one, that is) is off to James if he can fake the accent well enough.
Ghalev--thanks, and changed to reflect that. (I was probably influenced by the Whovians over at Outpost Gallifrey, who often refer to it as "her" page, as it's probably the best of the lot. but you're absolutely correct.)
Also, the "Hey, kids. Did you miss me?" reminds me of Buffy in When She Was Bad a lot. :)
First I wanted more James in the trailer, now I'm complaining that there isn't enough Martha. I guess some people just can't be satisfied. ;)

Also, the "Hey, kids. Did you miss me?" reminds me of Buffy in When She Was Bad a lot. :)


Oh, me too. Not the first time Torchwood gives me Buffy deja vu. James checking out the poodle, haha. Nice.

Great streaming video. I have issues with most programs used in streaming online, but this was just perfect. Is it flash? The picture looked gorgeous.
Must be the best copy of the trailer I have seen. Freema's site is wonderful. I hope she has some sceens with James, then my day would be complete.

Not that I am not looking forward to the James and John sceenes, cos I am sure they will be awsome!
woman_of_, I love your nickname.
Thanks for the screen-caps. And. He has a sword?! They better have him use it.

*eyes zero in on woman_of_* Hey, there, girl! Fancy meeting you here *winks at fellow slasher*
Interesting scene from the Doctor Who Xmas Special last night:

Old alien man: "and they (Great Britain, France and Germany) are all at war with Hamerica...?"

The Doctor: "no. well, not yet...you could argue that one..."

It made me smile, albeit a painful and wry smile, as an American. Wish the Doctor'd stop by here and sort things out...
woman_of_, I love your nickname.

Thank You!

Thanks for the screen-caps. And. He has a sword?! They better have him use it.

*eyes zero in on woman_of_* Hey, there, girl! Fancy meeting you here *winks at fellow slasher* #

And so much Captain Jack and Captain John to look forward to! I know my flist will be full of it! *happy sigh*
When does Torchwood season 2 premiere in the UK?

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2007-12-26 21:46 ]
16th January for the UK.
Psst! wanna really *big* pic of Jack'n'John?

http://www.torchwood.de/media/galerie/season2_promo/02.jpg
'S nice!!!!!
Wow! Just Wow! Thanks, annagranfors.
Absolutely delicious. I haven't seen the first season but will surely tune in for the second - looks great!
It's funny...I post at the Doctor Who forum (which I erroneously referred to earlier as Outpost Gallifrey, its old name) as well, and I'm currently talking Buffy over there.

It's a small world aaaaafter all... :)
Psst! wanna really *big* pic of Jack'n'John?


Hello HD! they do put a lot of make-up on actors, don't they?
Wow. Thanks for the trailer!

Love the final shot of them all walking down the street (I was going to say alley but I'm not sure) ... very Angel-y.
Great trailer! Looking forward to the season premiere.
Wow, that looks good, I can't for the new season.
I really do think (and hope) the second season will be better than the first.
Damn, It doesn't start here in the U.S. until Jan. 26th, which means I'll have a ten day lag time when I'll have to stay off all sites and threads except the " BBCA Spoiler Free" threads I've started myself.

And I guess I'll also have to watch more Dr. Who to keep from getting too lost (Martha whosit???)although I really don't like the show that much. Which is putting it politely. But I'm totally in love with Torchwood and already doing a big WTF??? over whatever it was in the jar that made Captain Jack vanish at the end of the season one finale.

Glad to see I'm not the only one relating Torchwood to BtS. Way to go with the keen observiness, fellow Jessica Fletchers ;-)
Wow, I must say this looks fantastic. I have given up watching Torchwood halfway trough season one, but I might give it another try. :)
I'm still amazed that anyone can compare torchwood to buffy, Buffy was well acted and frequently brilliantly written - Torchwood is a steaming pile of badly written talentlessly performed sophomoric rubbish. Sure the kids love it because of the sex and swearing, but that any adults do - well its no wonder the planet looks like it does.
I'm not a mod just a Torchwood fan speaking for myself, but Pumps, how about taking it down a notch or ten? You can express your opinion without being confrontational and insulting.
Many people are fond of Torchwood despite its acknowledged flaws in the first season; and much of the cheese was deliberate, in an Avengers-y sort of way. They certainly seem to have taken it up a notch or two in the second - brilliant guest stars, good looking special affects and from the look of that trailer, some snappy lines. I was a fan before they employed Mr Marsters, but I can't wait to see him and John Barrowman riff off each other.
I can't wait to see him and John Barrowman riff off each other.

Hee, that sounded naughty. *bows head a little shamed* I'm a little unbalanced regarding slash intake vs. output. Must remedy... ... too lazy.
Oh Mirage , I rather think you'll be more than happy with the Slash factor, both intake and output :)

Omnisexual space adventurers !!

Season one of Torchwood was very much finding its feet and came in for some well deserved criticism , season two looks like a whole new ballgame.

plus

James Masters buckling his swash!

[ edited by debw on 2007-12-27 13:09 ]
'Poodles!!'...that is all.....:0
16th January for the UK.

Are we now certain that it's the 16th it starts ? Cos the trailer on after the 'Doctor Who' Christmas special (wasn't that impressed unfortunately though it had its moments) just said "Coming Soon". Where's the 16th info actually from ?

Does his fake english accent actually pass in the UK? Just curious.

Not really, it's an honourable attempt (especially with the valid fan-wank that Spike - and possibly Captain John - have travelled a lot so that his accent will vary) but I doubt many (or, indeed, any) Brits would be fooled.

(Martha Jones is The Doctor's companion in series 3 of 'Doctor Who' [2005] BTW Shey/others - . Great character, like her a lot. Hopefully they'll have some fun with her telling the 'Torchwood' lot just to quit their moaning and get the Hell on with it - she's a pretty down-to-Earth, face the facts, no bullshit kind of a gal ;)
The poodle joke is much funnier if you understand his character is from the 51st century (like John Barrowman's character) where apparently all the men have become omnisexual. Essentially they will hit on anything that moves (also apparently they no longer have poodles in the 51st century?).

I'm actually looking forward to the new season despite the terrible finale to season one. I'm a sucker for punishment. Fell for that with Heroes too. Oh well.
Shey you really do need to watch the Dr Who episodes with Capt. Jack to get the full continuity for Torchwood. Sorry.

This does look good. Now how to see it. That is the tricky part.
As newcj says, if you want to understand Captain Jack, you'll need to watch the Doctor Who episodes in which he is involved. I would also recommend the Doctor Who episode Tooth and Claw, as it explains the genesis of Torchwood.
Does his fake english accent actually pass in the UK? Just curious.

Not really, it's an honourable attempt (especially with the valid fan-wank that Spike - and possibly Captain John - have travelled a lot so that his accent will vary) but I doubt many (or, indeed, any) Brits would be fooled.
Saje


I dunno, I'm a Brit who still has to explain to fellow Brits on a regular basis that James is neither British, blond nor 25 :)
Yes, for every one of us who winces each time he mangles a vowel, there's another ten who say, if I mention him, "Oh, the British vampire".

But I do think it's funny that Captain Jack has an American accent done by a Glaswegian and Captain John has a London(ish) accent done by a Yank.
I dunno, I'm a Brit who still has to explain to fellow Brits on a regular basis that James is neither British, blond nor 25 :)

Shhhh, let some have their fantasies. Not me. I've known almost all there is to know about the guy after his talent swooped me like a maiden off my feet the first time I saw him on BtVS.

debw, I think I will be VERY pleased with the slash. James kisses have been promised and they know rabid-fangirls better than to back down from that! Plus, John has teased us with the goodness the naughty boy. Now if only I can get my muse into gear and out of this slump, I wouldn't feel so guilty to get so much goodies and not give any back ;)

[ edited by Mirage on 2007-12-27 20:34 ]
I'm an adult and I love many things other adults pish-posh and poo-poo. Torchwood among them. Anyone wants to take me to task for it can bite me, because I'm too busy enjoying life to listen.

All hail Captain Jack and his wacky band of do-gooders!
I haven't quite gotten my fangs fully into Torchwood. Yes, the acting is cheesy on occasion and some of the stories appear to be poorly written rip offs from elsewhere (Fight Club for instance). But, I will give Torchwood one more season before I decide to move on or join Captain Jack's team full time. BTW, this series is no where close to Buffy or Angel acting or writing levels...
I've been waiting for James to have another bigger than life role. He does them so well. The roles on Saving Grace and Without a Trace have been a bit dull for my taste.
Perhaps it has to do with James' stage acting but he can be charismatic and authentic all at the same time and the "normal guy" characters feel so surfacey to me.
I don't think it has to be either/or, thepikey. Buffy and Angel were great. Torchwood is a lot of fun and it's on now. And it has had the sense to hire a guest star who previously lit up the Jossverse and will bring in new watchers on both sides of the pond, so it's all good to me.

(edited for sense)

[ edited by roadrunner on 2007-12-27 21:51 ]
It took nearly two seasons for Angel to start living up to its real potential, IMO, so I maintain high hopes for Torchwood.

I think its main problem is that it's a bit self-conscious and tries too hard to be aggressively "adult" (complete with the Obligatory Squick Per Episode). But it has a lot of heart and wears it on its sleeve, and that alone will keep me watching (that, and Gwen's eyes - dear lord).
I'm still amazed that anyone can compare torchwood to buffy, Buffy was well acted and frequently brilliantly written - Torchwood is a steaming pile of badly written talentlessly performed sophomoric rubbish. Sure the kids love it because of the sex and swearing, but that any adults do - well its no wonder the planet looks like it does.


Well, I'm not comparing Torchwood to Buffy, and I didn't see anyone else here doing so. I think we're just noticing the Buffy (and Angel) homages, which shouldn't be a secret to anyone who knows that R.T. Davies is a huge Whedon fan (hell, I even see Firefly homages in Torchwood). Just like anything in its genre, it references what came before. Nothing wrong with that. I find it a great compliment.

And for those who didn't make it past the first half of season one, well, you're missing out on the best part.
I dunno, I'm a Brit who still has to explain to fellow Brits on a regular basis that James is neither British, blond nor 25 :)

Bloody hell. Have they heard, y'know, other Brits talking out loud ? Like I say, it's a good effort but it doesn't sound like any Englishman i've ever heard (Alexis Denisof's was much better). Clearly though, opinions vary ;).

(I think i'm gonna stop giving anyone credit for anything in general terms - I only end up disappointed by the, ahem, "outliers" of the population ;)
Saje said

Bloody hell. Have they heard, y'know, other Brits talking out loud ? Like I say, it's a good effort but it doesn't sound like any Englishman i've ever heard

Well yes, they're sort of British and thus quite used to the huge variety of dodgy accents to be found in these fair isles .


The best comment I ever read on Spike's accent was in the NME
( New Musical Express) where, well before "Fool For Love" aired, the reviewer said that that Spike sounded like a posh kid trying to sound tough and working class

Then Fool For Love aired and we discovered that Spike was indeed posh little William adopting a working class accent in order to sound tough, even Angelus asked him when he started speaking like that :)

Spike

The Nigel Kennedy of the vampire world :)

But oh dear I did wish he'd learn how to say " bollocks" properly , it is not spelled with an X :)
Of course Alexis' accent was good, he lived here for 15 years.

James' accent is pretty damn good actually. I knew the London accent was false but I did think he was English. English people can do dodgy accents themselves too you know. My brother does the worst Scouse accent in the world and he's from Liverpool.

Can't wait to see this. I was LMAO over the poodle line. Also, apparently the viewing figures were around the 15 million mark too.

deb He managed to say it just right in Why We Fight. Just as he was about to climb the ladder he muttered it under this breathe and it was just right. :0)

[ edited by JuliaL on 2007-12-28 00:07 ]
I definitely won't be watching the BBC America airings because they edit for commercials. I like my episodes pristine and unedited. I also like them as soon as I can get my hands on them.
Well yes, they're sort of British and thus quite used to the huge variety of dodgy accents to be found in these fair isles .

Yeah, my comment was sarcastic debw (something else we have in these fair isles ;), actually had a smiley straight after the question mark originally but took it out and just went with one at the end (cos, y'know, Brits are kind of likely to have heard other Brits talking so I figured i'd get away without "hanging a lantern" on it - mea culpa ;).

As i've said, I didn't think it was shite but it certainly wasn't "pretty damned good". Maybe because i've heard various English accents as a "foreigner" living down here for going on 26 years (yikes ;) i'm more sensitive to the nuances ? That said, of the 7 or 8 people I know that watch Buffy (all bar one being English) the responses range from "Good attempt" to just laughing at the rubbishness of it (bit harsh that I reckon) so maybe it's nothing to do with that - dunno anyone that ever wondered if he was English (though it's a fair point about English actors having trouble with regional English accents, Cockney, Scouse and Geordie probably being the ones bollocksed up most often). As I say though, mileage obviously varies ;).

His "Oh bollocks" in 'Chosen' was fine I thought BTW, not the "bollix" version you sometimes hear from Yanks.

(and despite, as mentioned, living in England for 26 years, my "English" accent is the object of much hilarity among friends so I reckon Alexis Denisof still deserves a lot of credit, however long he lived here for)
i've been bouncing up and down since we heard about it in jersey. i can't wait to see the whole thing!!!
Thank god Alexis can do an English accent, because he sure as hell can't do American. Weirdest way of speaking I have ever heard, and I've been all over this country.

Having met many English James fans at conventions and such, I am astounded how completely different every one of them sounds. England isn't that big! How the hell did that happen?
I think there's something in the water ;-).
Xane, that blew me away the summer I spent in London. People who grew up 20 miles from each other had different accents. Those wacky Brits.
Xane, we had a thousand years plus of separate cultural development in the days when transport even fifty miles away was slow and expensive. Then add layers of social snobbery and a rural class legally prohibited from leaving their home villages for around four centuries (this ended a while ago, not long after the Black Death, but these things have an impact.)

It's a valid point that many good Brit actors can't do regional accents particularly accurately. Marsters isn't as good as David Tennant (whose natural accent is a very long way from The Doctor's) but he's not bad, especially during seasons when he was able to work with ASH, whose natural accent is less posh and closer to Spike than Giles.

Sometimes it's the speech rhythms that give him away - stress on the second syllable of "lilac", for example, or sometimes stress on the first word of a two-word pair not the second. (You say Robin Hood where we say Robin Hood, for example.) The biggest weakness is the tendency to use open "a" as in "cat" where a Londoner or upper class Victorian would both have used the long "a" (As in "Marsters, as it happens, without the sounded "r").

He's way better than Dru, though, and it's easy to argue away the problems by saying he's picked up a trace of American through proximity, just as Angel lost that accent. Now if we want to attack accents, what planet called Ireland was that one from anyway? ;-)

The quality of the acting makes up for minor vocal flaws anyway. Not to mention the eye-candy.
JM does a terrific accent as Spike; unfortunately, accents are such a high-wire act that just one slip of pronounciation, emphasis, or intonation screams out by contrast with all the correct vowels et al.

But I agree with Gill, we can certainly rationalize why Spike should have a mish-moshed sound. I have one myself, after 11 years here in Cali, and Spike has been moving around for a lot longer than that . . . :-(
In the commentary for the Christmas Doctor Who ep, the exec was having a drink with James at a bar they all fequent and introduced him to Kylie so they must have been filming at around the same time. They also mentioned that it was the first time in years Kylie and Alan Dale got to meet (he was her father in law in neighbours). So that must have been a fun time with all these weird and wonderful guest stars spread across the two shows.

As for Torchwood last year... They had a concept and they had ideas. Very like Buffy Season 1 in that regard. It was all about figuring it out. What works, what doesn't work. There was some cracking good eps and some awful ones. I think this year will be more focused on what works than trying things that don't.
I'm just hoping they don't kill James off, cause both Doctor Who and Torchwood have a habit of doing it. Doctor Who is one of the most bloodthirsty "kids" TV shows in history. It's a very rare episode when someone doesn't die.

James accent is fine. In Buffy it kinda meandered from RP to Cockney to something that was unique yet English sounding. I think it fitted the character who was essentially a traveller for a very long time, so his accent would be all over the place. The one thing it wasn't... was American. I often wondered if James listened to Tony Head and tried to copy him. The same accent will also work for Torchwood since his character is from the 51st century where things are decidedly... different.
Saje said
Yeah, my comment was sarcastic debw (something else we have in these fair isles ;), actually had a smiley straight after the question mark originally but took it out and just went with one at the end (cos, y'know, Brits are kind of likely to have heard other Brits talking so I figured i'd get away without "hanging a lantern" on it - mea culpa ;).

My response was equally non serious Saje :) Sadly I forgot to use my patented " not serious" font ,though I did use a smiley.
OK, I have to admit this. I was a late comer to BtS, so I caught it all for the first time on FX reruns, two eps a night, five nights a week. And I had no idea that James wasn't really British until I got my first DVD sets and heard him on one of the special features. I was totally floored.
I've seen so many British movies & TV series & heard so many British actors interviewed, what I'm most aware of is the dizzying array of regional accents, so I just figured that James (as Spike) was one more.

As for Dr. Who .... thanks for the info, Saje. I am trying to catch more of Dr. Who, now that I've seen the arc where Captain Jack was introduced. SciFi has run a couple of mini-marathons in the last couple of months and I hope they and/or BBCA do more. I enjoy it well enough to watch for the plot points that relate to Torchwood, and I already caught the ep that explained the origin of the Torchwood Institute.
Still confused about Martha, the eps I saw from 2005 still featured Rose (Billie Piper). In fact, the first eps I saw from 2005, still featured Christopher Ecclesson (sp). But I'm catching up, piecemeal.

Oh .... the January 16th date, for the U.K., was I'm pretty certain at the end of the YouTube Torchwood trailer. Guess I need to go watch it again, to be sure. ;-)
For the first few eps with Spike I thought that he was supposed to be Australian! I do think that his accent improved dramatically over the years though.

[ edited by MobileHQ on 2007-12-28 10:32 ]
The start date for Torchwood in the UK is unofficially agreed to be almost certainly January 16th, in the slot that was previously Heroes. However, the ever annoying BBC have refused to formally announce it as yet. It should be any day now, though.
Ah, cheers roadrunner, wasn't sure but didn't think there was official word yet.

My response was equally non serious Saje :) Sadly I forgot to use my patented " not serious" font ,though I did use a smiley.

I think we can safely assume then debw, that we're both facetious sods with a serious[ness] deficiency ;). And "not serious" font ? I nominate 'Comic Sans' ;-).

... why Spike should have a mish-moshed sound. I have one myself, after 11 years here in Cali,...

Yep SNT, I also agree with Gill and my own accent is nowhere near as broad as it was and also varies depending on company to the extent that i've been accused of being from all sorts of places (including Ireland, Australia (?!? ;) and Devon). I'm fond of the "travelling man" fan-wank too, it makes perfect sense (kind of like you can - just about - fan-wank Connor Macleod's "Scottish" accent away in the present scenes, him being from "lots of different places", even if the supposedly un-travelled flashbacks are about as Scottish sounding as, well, a French guy. Big Tam's Spanish accent was flawless though ;-).

Don't get me wrong, Spike's accent is absolutely fit for purpose and a fine attempt but (to my ear at least) it's still demonstrably not a genuine English accent (as mentioned though, Alexis Denisof's could be and had me wondering at first if he was an Englishman that'd just lived in the US for a few years and was putting on a posher accent, like ASH's estuary to RP "upgrade").

I am trying to catch more of Dr. Who, now that I've seen the arc where Captain Jack was introduced.

What do you think of him in 'Doctor Who' Shey ? Some people (on here and not) seem to prefer him in DW than 'Torchwood' and I agree (even if - or maybe because - he's a bit more the follower). The character seems less forced and more entertaining (even if I normally prefer the darker, edgier style of hero to the upbeat, "wacky" type).
Saje, I am incapable of logic when it comes to Captain Jack/John Barrowman. I simply adore both the actor and the character, and not just because he's so drop dead gorgeous (which is probably up for debate anyhow, just not by anyone I know). I can't think of another actor in whom I can overlook an acting style as uneven as Barroman's, but he has so much charm and heart and conviction. And the coat. Best coat since Spike's. Best swagger, too.
And I love him as the fearless leader in Torchwood, I think he's far too charismatic to be relegated to a minor role. I don't think I've seen all of the Dr. Who eps he appeared in, otherwise I'd understand stuff that still eludes me. But I definitely prefer him as the leader. I can't imagine anyone else in that specific role, aside from my general Torchwood love, flaws and all.
You're totally smitten Shey ;-).

Yep, whatever you think of his acting, the guy has screen presence and charisma in spades. I just think he seems to be having more fun in 'Doctor Who', seems more relaxed (maybe) because he has the character of The Doctor there to carry the show and that the generally cheerful, happy-go-lucky chancer Jack feels more suited both to John Barrowman and the character than brooding loner does.

(I guess the key 'Doctor Who' episodes would be 'The Empty Child'/'The Doctor Dances' and 'Bad Wolf'/'The Parting of the Ways' to understand what's going on with Jack - those're where he's introduced and exposed to the time vortex respectively though other stuff like the 'Face of Beau' (sp?) reference in 'The Last of the Time Lords' at the end of his three-part appearance in 'Doctor Who' [2005] series 3 won't mean much without knowing the significance of The Face of Beau throughout the series)
Saje I believe you're shamelessly trying to use my Torchwood smittenness to get me hooked on Dr. Who ;-) Which I'm actually liking better, if not exactly mad about it.
But thanks for the episode titles. Now I know that Scifi, as they are prone to do, presented a haphazard mini-marathon. I caught The Last of the Time Lords but not the other eps you mentioned.
As for The Face of Beau, I'm as clueless as I am about the poodle reference in the Torchwood trailer.
I should probably try the Dr. Who "background" threads on .org
Shey, In this case Saje is being straight with you. (I will not commit myself to any of his other actions. ;-) ) I did not know the episode titles, but those sound right. With your JB/CJ love, you would not want to miss the episodes he is in on Dr. Who. They are not walk ons, they contain major information about his character. The Face of Beau (I thought it was Boe.) info is in two or three epis at most, some of which overlap with the Capt. Jack epis if i remember correctly. A lot is available on Youtube...though you didn't hear it from me...
Yeah I always assumed it was 'Boe' (or 'Bo') too but then in 'Last of the Timelords' . No idea what the actual canonical spelling is though (if there even is one).

And yep, the titles and info are straight up though I am still shamelessly promoting 'Doctor Who' ;).

(if I was trying to convince someone that wasn't a fan i'd show them 'The Empty Child'/'The Doctor Dances', 'The Girl in the Fireplace' and 'Human Nature'/'Family of Blood'. If you don't like the show - or at least want to give it a chance - and have a better feel for the poignant mix of camp/cheese and the kind of tragic romance of The Doctor's world after seeing those then you never will IMO)
I'm not exactly one to suggest using Wikipedia for anything other than a source of "possible" fact (depending on the accuracy of whoever the hell entered the info ;)) but it does suggest that the correct spelling for the name is the Face of Boe. It also mentions the info Saje "spoilered" out above as being spelt , but again that would depend on whoever entered the information actually knowing their stuff.

I do seem to remember that the Doctor Who annual I bought my girlfriend's little lass had it as "Boe", so I'd have to assume that Wikipedia is correct. This time. :)
I'm curious now, Saje, where *are* you from originally, if you don't mind my asking?
Concerning the accent: Even with all the oddities that even an American ear can hear, it really had a natural flow that I think sold it. It sounded natural to his mouth somehow. That said, one of the lines that always bothered me is the way he yelled, "Dawn! Dawn!" in the epi when Buffy was resurrected. Does England have that pronunciation? I didn't think California had it. It is more something you might hear here in the NY metro area.

I never felt the argument that the accent was odd because of him traveling for the past 100 years was a fan-wank, though. As is said, many of us have odd accents because of where we have lived etc. Spike is more likely to be the kind to absorb accents around him because he has already acquired the accent he generally uses. I was raised by someone who purposely changed her accent. It gets strange sometimes.

"I'm curious now, Saje, where *are* you from originally, if you don't mind my asking?
Caroline | December 28, 16:18 CET"


Oh, so much snark, so little time!

No, I will be good. ;-)
I'm from Johnstone in Renfrewshire Caroline, small (ish) town near (ish) Glasgow. Been living with the enemy since I was a kid though (kidding of course, some of my best friends are English - they're just like you or me. Sort of ;-).

(and you should make time for snark newcj, where are your priorities, eh ? ;)

Yep, part of what sold Spike's accent was the naturalness of it, JM made it seem unconscious and kept enough of his own vocal quirks to avoid the "smoothed off" sound you sometimes get from fake accents (good as it is - to my ear anyway - I think Hugh Laurie's House voice suffers a bit from this).

From the other side BTW, as two recent examples, Damien Lewis in 'Life' and Johnny Lee Miller in, well, anything but a pilot for a show called 'Eli Stone' is in my mind at the moment both do what sound to my ears to be flawless US accents complete with natural rhythms, vocal quirks etc. Are they flawless though or do they just sound that way to foreigners ?

(and i'm not sure who named it but thinking about it, there's a track on the 'Doctor Who' series 1 and 2 soundtrack called 'The Face of Boe' so I guess that must be the canonical spelling)

ETA: And Spike's accent is a fan-wank I reckon partly because it's never explicitly given as a reason and partly because i'd bet JM was trying his very best to do an actual English accent (and coming close) rather than the accent of an Englishman that had travelled extensively.

[ edited by Saje on 2007-12-28 17:43 ]
Damian Lewis does a flawless yank. Damian Lewis is flawless. *sigh*
The mutation of accents is a funny thing.I had a high school friend who came to the US from Germany at 3 years old, but still had a pretty thick accent.

Until I went to school, at five, I apparently sounded just like my English mother-despite my American father's Pittsburgh accent. Unlike my friend, my accent disappeared the first day of school, when I came home and explained that some kids made fun of me, so I would talk like they did from now on (spineless little sheep that I was).

Maybe because I was so young, the transition was apparently complete, immediate and effortless. My mother, on the other hand, lost her accent incompletely and gradually, so that by the time she was middle aged, Americans identified her as English, while in England, most people thought she was a yank.She was a little confused about it herself, having come here as a baby-faced 20 year old WW II war bride.

I still have an embarrassing tendency to slide toward the accent of people I'm talking to, especially with american southerners.Awful. I always fear it may sound like I'm mocking them, and try to resist, but I suspect it's evidence of the still anxious sheepish kid within!

[ edited by toast on 2007-12-28 18:56 ]
I've never heard a dialect picked apart more relentlessly than Marster's as Spike. I understand the need for verisimilitude. I am an actor kind of snob, myself. But with him, never an issue or problem. I tend to be more distracted by the fact that that voice, especially when in full-on marvelous gravel mode makes my hair stand on end, not to mention ... better not.
toast, It's very unusual for someone to have a thick accent when they moved at 3 years old. Usually around adolescence is the "cutoff" time--if you're immersed in the new language as a child, you sound native to most native speakers, but if you start the new language after puberty, you always sound a little foreign. Of course there's individual variation. And of course, eternal life would allow a lot more time for the original accent to wear off...

But being an accent chameleon is a good thing. Makes it easier to sound good when you speak other languages.
I'm no linguist or dialect expert, but it seemed to me that Spike's variability in hair colour across years was much greater than the variability in accent (except where he was supposed to have 'William' elements infused). He always sounded 'natural' to me - so unlike DB's horrid Irish accent - and the bits from TW also sound 'natural' and slightly different than Spike. Can't wait to see the episode!!!
Agree with Tonya J that I could happily hear him read the phone book in any accent given the register of his speaking voice, but would rather hear Shakespeare and/or his own song lyrics.
Tonya J, Brits can be hyper-sensitive to accents, because we have so many with very precise regional and social implications. But I'd rather hear that voice get it occasionally slightly wrong than most other voices be perfect, so we agree on that at least.

One 'verse actor who does accents amazingly, BTW, is Alan Tudyk. I first noticed him in A Knight's Tale and was gobsmacked to learn he was not a Brit!
Hey, Gill - no worries. I wasn't just referring to this discussion. I meant more over the years since he started appearing on Buffy. One forgets the Boreanaz critiques (well-deserved unfortunately) but I think discussion over Marsters still edges him out.
I am a linguist, or to be strictly accurate someone who's degree is in languages with a healthy dose of linguistics. What I will say is that an accent is reasonably easy to maintain if (and I stress if) one is not trying to wildly alter ones emotional state whilst trying to maintain the accent.

Examples I would use are Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones diary where she achieved a very passable approxamation of a south eastern english dialect without it ever wandering from a very defined (limited) emomtional range i.e. she tended to speak in a quite one note way.

This is something that can be attributed to both Alexis Denisof and James Masters (which again as a linguist and a bi-lingual one since the age of eleven) is not meant as a critcisim at all, just as an example as how hellacous difficult it is to maintain a convincing accent throughout various emotional ranges, unless one has been thoroughly schooled (or practised) from a very early age.

I've just reread that post. Just wanted to add that as someone who has tried to maintain both a convincing accent (in a foreign language) and tried to express a convincing emotional range, in a language other than ones native tongue is that it's bastard difficult and anyone that can make a decent go of it deserves praise.

[ edited by Jack Diamond on 2007-12-29 01:36 ]
jcs-Would that I did speak another language or two. Like so many Americans, I am depressingly monolingual. I have hopes of beefing up my pathetic Spanish a little with an evening class or two, and then getting me some on-site immersion.
I've never heard a dialect picked apart more relentlessly than Marster's as Spike.

Tonya J, I think as well as the reason Gill mentions (accent tells you a lot about someone in the UK - or rather it tells you a lot about the box you might put them in, possibly unjustly) it's because JM's accent was borderline i.e. Alexis Denisof's was pretty good, David Boreanaz's "Oirish" was awful, in both cases there's not much to say. JM's was sometimes great and sometimes not so much, sometimes mistakes were in the words (not his fault) sometimes the accent. Basically, it varied enough to be interesting and worthy of discussion.
I like your analysis, Jack Diamond. Another example would be Gwyneth Paltrow, who was pretty much flawless in Shakespeare In Love, in part because she was playing a period character with a narrowly-defined emotional range, but less so in Sliding Doors, where her register would veer between a broad middle-class and a slightly up-n-coming working class accent . . . Persnickety all this is, to be sure, for reasons stated above. It's fascinating (perhaps more so for us Brits) to dissect how and why and what works and what doesn't. And, of course, JM gave us little else to find fault with. ;-)
I am not familiar with this little else you speak of SoddingNancyTribe ... is it the hair? :>)
Yeah, Jack Diamond's points make a lot of sense. Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft is another one that's too "smooth" to be real (though some accents might basically limit themselves i.e. it might be true to say that characters using posh accents will normally be portrayed as having a narrower emotional range anyway, stiff upper lip and all that).

Clearly though, the true test of a decent fake accent is being able to shout at people in it ;).
Well he's just a deeply unattractive man, isn't he, Tonya J? Thank G-d he can act.
>>>> 5 million zlotys to SNT ... I'm so glad you're back.
It is nice to have you back SNT. I have not gotten a chance to say that as I have been pretty out of it lately.
I'm always a bit perplexed when someone says that Alexis Denisof does a better English accent than James Marsters, because it's really comparing apples and oranges. Wesley's posh British accent is much easier to do than Spike's North London working class accent, since it's a specific, rarely-heard regional accent vs. the standard BBC accent we hear all the time, even in the US. We haven't heard Denisof attempt a North London accent, so all we can really compare is his Wesley accent to Marsters' accent when he's playing human or just-turned William, where, as far as I can tell, they're both equally good.

And so far we've only heard a few words from Captain John, so it's pretty hard to critique his accent from such a small sample.
Saje, I'm not familiar with Johnny Lee Miller but I agree with Willowy about Damien Lewis. His (generic, kinda West Coast) American accent is as flawless as his acting. When I saw him in the mind-blowingly excellent Band of Brothers, I had no idea he was British. And thanks for the names of the Dr. who eps you'd recommend if you were trying to convert a non-fan ;-)

And thanks newcj for .... umm, what you didn't tell me about what's on YouTube :)
Johnny Lee Miller has mainly done UK stuff Shey but he's probably most famous for playing Sick Boy in 'Trainspotting' (decent Scottish accent) and was also in 'Hackers' (reasonable if maybe a tad generic American accent). That 'Eli Stone' show for which I *cough* acquired the pilot is sort of like a male 'Ally McBeal' and was pretty funny/surreal/touching I thought, hope it gets picked up (and then not cancelled in about 20 seconds flat).

Wesley's posh British accent is much easier to do than Spike's North London working class accent, since it's a specific, rarely-heard regional accent vs. the standard BBC accent we hear all the time, even in the US.

Err, non-RP English accents are only rarely heard if you're not British. Which means if you're British (as it seems many of the people doing the comparing on this thread are) then it's comparing apples to apples. And RP may be more widely heard abroad but there are still plenty of aspects to BBC English to trip the unwary (and AD does indeed trip on some of them).

Basically, taken in isolation (i.e. fan-wanks about character histories etc. aside) Alexis Denisof could pass for English to many/most Brits (IMO), JM couldn't (IMO) and therefore, assuming that was both their objectives, AD's accent is "better". QED ;).

(where did you hear it was specifically a North London accent BTW deanna b ? Or do you just mean NOT East London/Cockney ? Because if he was actually going for a London accent of any sort I think he's even wider of the mark, sad to say, his vowels are mostly wrong for instance - if pressed i'd probably put him in the lower Midlands e.g. Northamptonshire but he doesn't really have a specifically regional accent IMO)
I read somewhere that JM said alot of the accent, as it developed, was based on ASH's non-Giles actual North London accent, Saje.I expect deanna b did too.
Ah right, cheers toast ;). I knew ASH gave him pointers, didn't realise the accent was based on his (because i'd assumed JM would've had to audition with it and so needed it before they met).

Based on interviews where ASH (presumably) uses his real accent, I don't think they sound much alike but if this thread has shown anything at all, it's that we all have different ears ;).
Angels.... heads of pins. Got it. All i know is - fire pretty, James good.
My recollection is that JM was told for the audition that they were looking for a North London accent. He was doing a play with an actor from North London and got some quick pointers on the accent just before the audition. He did the best he could on short notice in the audition and the first episodes. From then on it seems to depend on the time he is talking about. Apparently at one point he was trying to keep from having ASH's accent get into his ear while also taking advice on the accent from him. At some point that seems to have changed and he gave up trying and used ASH's accent more and more.

I know it is really difficult for a natural mimic to not pick up things from someone they are spending a lot of time with, and I'm guessing that happened. It would also help explain one reason the accent was apparently such a mish mosh of regions.

I think we in the USA are a lot more forgiving of people doing American accents because our accents are much less defined, people move around so much and a regional accent can be so strongly impacted by parental origin. If foreign actors give it a good try, they can get away with it...though some of those Brits on Youtube who "demonstrate" American accents are not included in that statement. ;-)
Angels.... heads of pins. Got it. All i know is - fire pretty, James good.

Heh baxter ;). I think JM fans do pretty well when it comes to mindless *squee* threads, the odd one or two where we talk bollocks about some other aspect of his work isn't the end of the world. And 90% of the stuff on here is in the region of angel-dancing type wankery, that's part of what makes it fun - it's a safe place to talk rubbish without having to buy rounds ;).

It would also help explain one reason the accent was apparently such a mish mosh of regions.

Cos he listened to two people from north London (maybe one of them was from the "that road behind the butcher's shop" region and the other was from the "nearer the pub" region) ? ;-).

Yeah i'd think he'd get it from all over - TV programmes, people he's met, favourite actors etc. (as well as from ASH - guy's right there, able and willing to help, course JM will use that resource). I'm curious now to see how much his accent changed (note, not just improved) over the years, may have to break out the DVDs. Oh, the hardship *sigh* ;).
I thought Alexis Denisof did an excellent English accent to my American ears. What I have never heard him do is a realistic American accent.Therefore I conclude that the English accent is actually more natural to him.

Again, to my American ears James accent sounded great to me as well, I was surpised to find out that he was American. But honestly, if he did a North London accent perfectly, I wouldn't have been able to understand most of what he was saying! I would have had to use the closed captioning. Like when I watched the Full Monty.

"I think JM fans do pretty well when it comes to mindless *squee* threads, the odd one or two where we talk bollocks about some other aspect of his work isn't the end of the world"
Mindless squee? Maybe you didn't mean to be insulting but oddly enough I feel insulted. Most JM fans have long ago left Whedonesque. Wonder why?
I always thought JM's accent pretty good. It's not flawless, of course - there are problems with some of the emphasis on various syllables quite often, and it doesn't really fit any particular area of London - but I think it's a good stab a pretty generic working class southern accent. What really helps is that his performance makes it fit better than, say, AD's accent which, while technically better, is hampered by the clowning which is being layed on with a trowl. Same with 'Band Candy' - ASH's accent in that is more obviously affected than JMs 'Spike' accent is.

The most interest moment with accents in the whole show is in the last episode though.

ASH is allowed to completely drop Giles normal accent part way through one particular sentence. It makes no sense in of itself (unless Joss is intending to suggest the entire Giles persona is a fake!) - but works perfectly well. It completely underscores the unique and powerful sentiment Giles feels concerning Buffy's plan which could only really oterwise could be stated with an heart-felt 'f*** me, that's good!' - which, while I am sure is what Giles is thinking, isn't something he'd say (and, of course, couldn't anyway). The unique change of accent really underscores the radical nature of Buffy's plan and his feelings regarding it. Really works wonderfuly wall that moment.
All this talk about how James talks. It seems to me that Spike was a unique character developed by James and his accent is also unique as his own. Whatever he says and however he says it, is perfect in my book.
Ocassionally some of the idioms are a bit odd. They're british, but pretty archaic. I don't think, for instance, I've ever heard anyone actually use the words 'nancy-boy' or 'ponce' in conversation in the real world in the thirty-odd years I've been British. I suppose you could put that down to Spike being 140 something years old. But Angel didn't do didn't talk with a lot of ancient American slang, as far as I recall.

None of JM's fault of course - and the writers were occasionally guilty of putting some bizarre things in Giles mouth too. ('dread machine' is a 'bit British'?, wtf?)

Dave
Where you from Dave ? My boss is from West Ham and says 'ponce' loads. If you live in the south you could go a lifetime without being called "mardy" but in the East Midlands it's an everyday word and if I started saying "wotcher" to people in the Midlands i'd get funny looks though it was a standard greeting in and around Portsmouth, up to the mid 80s anyway so I think part of it is just regional (I agree that the word/phrase usage is sometimes either archaic or just wrong though, considering Buffy was written by Yank writers I think they usually do a very good job but it's not perfect).

Mindless squee? Maybe you didn't mean to be insulting but oddly enough I feel insulted. Most JM fans have long ago left Whedonesque. Wonder why?

I don't know why for the life of me, people on here are nearly always extremely complimentary about JM's acting and general decency as a human being, he comes in for much less criticism than, for instance, SMG does. Perhaps they're slightly over-sensitive ?

How you feel is clearly up to you Xane, by "mindless" I just meant comments along the lines of "James is great" (and nothing else) or (no offence luvspike ;) "Whatever he says and however he says it, is perfect in my book.". Maybe unthinkingly adoring is a better way of putting it ?

(i've used 'they' for fans of JM BTW but I absolutely consider myself one and have said many times that JM's Spike had my favourite or second favourite arc of any character on Buffy or Angel, the guy's a great actor and seems, in interview, to be a decent, honest, intelligent and down-to-Earth guy. And i've never claimed any different)
Yep, unthinkingly adoring..that's me, and proud of it.
It would also help explain one reason the accent was apparently such a mish mosh of regions.

Cos he listened to two people from north London (maybe one of them was from the "that road behind the butcher's shop" region and the other was from the "nearer the pub" region) ? ;-).


Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I didn't go through the fact that he also talks about watching Monty Python as a kid, and copying those accents, or the fact that when Americans hear non-posh accents on British shows they have no way of knowing where the speaker is from and so when he went for it on his own he would have been starting with all those things in his ear and then adjusting to try to sound like the people helping him out in a fairly casual way. (breath) As my son says, "SOR-RY!" ;-)

I think JM fans do pretty well when it comes to mindless *squee* threads,

Perhaps you could have been a little more general to keep those toes of yours out of the fire. I'm pretty sure you would agree that many threads dealing with various actors or characters could be considered "mindless squee threads" or "unthinkingly adoring" threads, whether they be about DB, NF, AA, SMG, JS, Willow and Tara etc. through the gambit. I am pretty sure you would not confine your comment to JM fans only if you were being absolutely accurate and had not just been writing on a JM-centric thread...or would you? (cue flames getting closer to Saje's toes) ;-)
RE: JM fans. I'd rather not have them singled out for criticism. Same for other fan groupings as well. We're a broad church here and I intend to keep it like that. Consider the matter closed.
Yeah that is what I meant newcj all the cast(s) get *squeed* over and quite right too, they're all most *squee*worthy.

Sorry Simon, wasn't singling any subset of us out though, reading back, I can see how it might come across like that (and just to be explicit, I wasn't talking about posters, only their comments).
Err, non-RP English accents are only rarely heard if you're not British. Which means if you're British (as it seems many of the people doing the comparing on this thread are) then it's comparing apples to apples.

But it has EVERYTHING to do with how easy it is for an American actor to imitate, which is what we're talking about, remember? Any half-decent actor and most people off the street can do an imitation of a posh BBC accent to some varying degree of success, but ask an American to do a specific regional or class English accent and they'll just look at you funny. It's a MUCH harder task when you don't actually live there.

Basically, taken in isolation (i.e. fan-wanks about character histories etc. aside) Alexis Denisof could pass for English to many/most Brits (IMO), JM couldn't (IMO) and therefore, assuming that was both their objectives, AD's accent is "better". QED ;).

California orange trees are more affected by low temperatures than Washington apple trees, therefore Washington grows better fruit trees, QED.

And what is your opinion of James' RP accent?

(where did you hear it was specifically a North London accent BTW deanna b ? Or do you just mean NOT East London/Cockney ? Because if he was actually going for a London accent of any sort I think he's even wider of the mark, sad to say, his vowels are mostly wrong for instance - if pressed i'd probably put him in the lower Midlands e.g. Northamptonshire but he doesn't really have a specifically regional accent IMO)

In interviews, James has said that at the initial audition, they were looking for a North London or similar accent, plus one other. So initially he was copying the accent of an actor that he was working with in a play at the time, and he also gave them a Southern accent, of a type that you wouldn't have heard a young white man use in the last century, to emphasize the "he's actually very old" aspect. Later he based it partially on ASH's real accent, but wasn't trying to be too specific with regards to region. He said that when he first ran the accent past ASH, he said that it was perfect for the character BECAUSE it had bits of different places thrown in, and that he shouldn't change it. But mostly I'm just using North London generically as "or similar," because that's initially what it was defined as in the casting sides (probably just meaning non-Cockney working class, to try to prevent actors coming in and doing Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins). And I really don't know what a Northamptonshire accent sounds like, anyway, since I don't think I know anyone who's from there.

[ edited by deanna b on 2007-12-29 19:54 ]
I'm always a bit perplexed when someone says that Alexis Denisof does a better English accent than James Marsters, because it's really comparing apples and oranges.

is what I was responding to deanna b i.e. you talked about comparing the two accents as being the same as comparing apples and oranges not how easy they are to imitate.

If JM was deliberately aiming, from the start, for a "well-travelled formerly English" accent then he does a great job - and a job that strikes me as much harder than "just" aiming to imitate an accent, since it involves understanding the changes that would occur as you moved around - but from what you say (and my own previous impression) he was trying for "real" English ("copying the accent of an actor that he was working with"), asked ASH at some point - presumably early - in BtVS' run what he thought of it and ASH then said (maybe out of politeness but he's still right IMO) that it works for the character, leave it as is. In which case it's surely perfectly valid to ask whose accent sounded most like a "real" one ?

(my original response BTW was to to TaraLivesOn's question "Does his fake english accent actually pass in the UK? Just curious." which I took to mean, "Does it sound English to British ears ?" to which I said "Not really, it's an honourable attempt ...". If the question actually meant "Does he sound like someone that might originally be from England and have travelled (and be originally "well-spoken" and putting on a working class accent to boot) ?" then it does indeed pass - though obviously, so do a lot of other people, including, at times, myself depending on who you ask - and i've never been from England ;)

And what is your opinion of James' RP accent?

From what i've heard of it, I don't think it's as good as Alexis Densiof's Geordie ;-).

More seriously, if you mean William's accent (which is only arguably RP) it's pretty good (though for range and so on it's easier to rate Denisof's - he just says more). If he only ever used William's accent (and it was all up to the standard of the few snippets where he does) then I could actually understand people mistaking him for English. So in that sense, fair point.
I don't care what accent he is using in "Torchwood". From the expressions he's had on his face when he talks about "being armed" or gorgeous poodles, I can tell this is going to be a fun ride. James is such a well-rounded actor that he can play any kind of a part and make it believable. But I think he really excels at this comedic adventurer, over-the-top kind of role. And I am so glad that this part has been written (or at least expanded) just for him.
I just had my family round for lunch. My Sister and her brood are big Doctor Who and Torchwood fans and were all excited about the trailer and full of the ohbejoyfuls because "That gorgeous English bloke who played Spike" was joining the show but that, judging from the trailer, the actor had dyed his hair . I quickly found myself explaining yet again that James isn't British and isn't blond :)

So yeah, he 's still fooling some of the Brits a lot of the time.

Squeeeeee ( sorry Simon)

I rest my case :)

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