Thursday, 6 March 2014

Derren Nesbitt, Actor


Derren Nesbitt is one of the great British characters, capable of creating hugely interesting characters wherever he goes, especially when it comes to bad guys. A powerful presence and scene stealer, he pinches everything that isn't nailed down in a 1964 episode of 'Gideons Way' called 'The Tin God', playing a super-confident, super-smooth psycho bastard with great hair called John 'Benny' Benson. Benson breaks out of prison in order to kill his his wife, who turned him in because she realised he was a monster - and, true to form, the bastard plans to ruthlessly uses his adoring son as bait to bring her to him. 

Dez is great - at first he's charming and funny and likeable - although clearly something of a rogue. As soon as you warm to him, however, he commits an unnecessary, furtive murder and you realise that you've fundamentally misjudged him: he's a psycho. 

Just for company, he takes a seemingly pre-pubescent John Hurt along for the ride. Then makes him drive. Then shoots him when things don't work out. Hurt looks ridiculously young (he's actually 24, which still seems ridiculously young to me given my advanced age) and hasn't yet developed his trademark voice, equal parts whine and gravel. 

The son is played by a 14 year old Michael Cashman, later to become Colin in 'Eastenders' and, since 1999, a Member of the European Parliament, although I always think of him as Terhew in 'Unman, Wittering and Zigo' for some reason.

All these older people seen when much younger gives me an idea for a new feature, but I think the title will need some work. 

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