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Miss Jane Steed and Mr Edward Peel - Laura Wise

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September 9th, 2013


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06:44 am - Miss Jane Steed and Mr Edward Peel
Monday again, I see! (Well, I see through bleary, allergy-hazed eyes, but....)

Off to a crazy-busy day, but first I thought I'd share introductory scenes from the gender-flipped film remake of The Avengers: Miss Steed and Mr Peel. We talked about this yesterday -- Ruth Wilson is Miss Jane Steed, who cut her teeth in Cold War spying in the 50s (younger than the canonical Mr Steed) and now is an agent at large when she's not overseeing her horses or drinking good wine; Tom Hiddleston is Mr Edward* Peel, an extremely youthful widower, consultant (science) in his family's business, martial arts expert and good fencer.

*Thank you all for your suggestions for his first name! I went with Edward for the Old English, posh, upper-crust associations. On the extremely rare occasions where he's nicknamed, he's Teddy.

Anyway! If we're going to remake "The Town of No Return" (Emma Peel's first appearance), and we are, then the opening would involve strange divers coming ashore in a seemingly idyllic English seaside town. And after that --



EXT. WHITEHALL BUILDING. DAY.

Sun on grey stone, the flapping of flags nearby louder than the traffic.

A Bentley, driven with verve and precision, pulls up in front of the building.

MISS JANE STEED, 30-something, faultlessly dressed in a well-cut, pinstriped skirt-suit, her bowler hat at a rakish angle, emerges from the driver's side. She smiles as she shuts the car door. She looks exceedingly smart, and exceedingly dangerous.


INT. WHITEHALL OFFICE. DAY.

Framed photographs of campaigns and units past line the walls of COLONEL MONTCRIEFF. He, a couple of decades older and in civilian armor, sits at a desk tidily organized with files. His hands are folded on top of a file marked TOP SECRET.

Heels CLICK on the floor outside, imperative, strong.

Colonel Montcrieff looks up, not quite smiling.

In the frosted glass of his door appears the silhouette of a bowler hat. The door opens, and JANE STEED arrives.

STEED
Hullo, Jerry. You've something for me?

Relieved, Colonel Montcrieff rises to his feet.

COLONEL MONTCRIEFF
Wouldn't have called you away from Goodwood otherwise, my dear... [a familiar hesitation] chap.

STEED
[smiling]
A noble effort, Jerry. I do appreciate it.

COLONEL MONTCRIEFF
Considering the last time I addressed you incorrectly you threw me over your shoulder and I limped for a week.... Right. Anyway, er, Steed, it's a pretty problem.

She holds out her hand. He gives her the Top Secret file.

STEED
Delightful. Pretty problems, as you know, are my speciality.

As she begins to leaf through the file, her eyebrows raise.

STEED
I'll be going to the seaside, it seems.

COLONEL MONTCRIEFF
Yes, good, right. Except, well... Bit shorthanded at the moment, Steed. The Ministry doesn't have anyone to send with you.

She looks up, eyes twinkling.

STEED
Worry not, Jerry. I know just the fellow.


INT. CORRIDOR, DAY.

The exterior door of a posh flat. Next to the bell, a neat card, which reads--

MR. E. PEEL


INT. OPEN-LIVING ROOM. DAY.

A 1965-modern lounge, with tall windows open to the summer. From one of the doorways emerges MR EDWARD PEEL, a lithe, curly-haired, handsome young man in fencing clothes. He is frowning at a journal he has open in his hand.

PEEL
Really? Armbruster said that? I thought I'd set that idiot straight at the last meeting of the Society. I must write a stiff letter of correction.

He looks around.

A pencil is just visible on the coffee table, next to a black-framed wedding photo of Peel with a young woman in white and orange-blossoms.

PEEL
There.

Before he can reach it, however, there comes the CLICK of heels on a wooden floor. He alerts.

The doorbell BUZZES.

He lounges to the door and looks out the peephole. Then, with a sigh, he catches up his fencing helmet.
It goes on, and then he unlocks the door and leaps back.

Door opens, and JANE STEED saunters in. The corner of her wide, red-lipsticked mouth turns up when she sees Peel.

STEED
D'you have a spare?

PEEL
Oh, I suppose.

He catches a spare helmet and tosses it to her. She catches it expertly, then –

STEED
A foil also would be nice.

PEEL
You are impossible, Jane. [a beat] Behind you.

She turns, taking off her hat and replacing it with the fencing gear as she does. When she turns back, a foil is in her hand. The danger is back.

STEED
En garde, my dear.

He leaps for his foil, and then snaps back into perfect position. The blades engage, and then he slips away. She pursues.

The match -- which she negotiates well, even with her skirt and heels -- involves leaps over low furniture, a dance with the long fluttering drapes, and several hard-fought exchanges, but at last they exchange one last series of blows in front of the sofa, and –

STEED and PEEL (in unison)
Pax. [beat] Seriously.

The blades fall, the helmets come off, and they grin at each other.

PEEL
Hullo, Steed. Did you drop by in order to assure my taking exercise this morning?

STEED
No, my dear. But I enjoyed it all the same.

Together they drop down onto the sofa. Steed, her eyes suddenly serious, touches the edge of the wedding portrait with her foil, then lets it fall away.

STEED
I dropped by to invite you to the seaside.

He hasn't missed the movement, but he settles back against the cushions easily.

PEEL
Did you? I expected the Ritz.

STEED
After the seaside, my dear. But I promise I'll stand you tea on the train.

Peel looks away. She taps his foot with her foil.

STEED
It's a job, Edward. Queen and country.

PEEL
I have a job. And also I need to write a stiff letter to the Royal Society of Chemists about an idiot at large.

She laughs, and a beat later, he laughs too.

STEED
Later, my dear fellow. Because now – Mr Peel, you're needed.


When Hollywood (or the English equivalent) makes this, remember you read it here first. [beams]

May you be ready for all kinds of good surprises today!

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:stevie_carroll
Date:September 9th, 2013 11:04 am (UTC)
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Oh, what fun!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 9th, 2013 12:13 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, Stevie! :) And have a great day.
[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:September 9th, 2013 12:44 pm (UTC)
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Lovely!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 9th, 2013 01:05 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, A! Happy Monday.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 9th, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you! :) [curtseys]

Have a stonking Monday, too.
[User Picture]
From:janus_74
Date:September 9th, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
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I really enjoyed that :) Happy Monday!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 9th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, T, thank you. And a great Monday to you! :)
[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:September 9th, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
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This must be filmed! So perfect!

[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 9th, 2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! [beams]

Cheers and a wonderful Monday to you.
[User Picture]
From:mobile_alh
Date:September 10th, 2013 02:56 am (UTC)
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Yummy!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 10th, 2013 10:38 am (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, ALH!

Happy Tuesday!
[User Picture]
From:stateless82
Date:September 10th, 2013 04:19 am (UTC)
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Definite fun!

I hope the allergies subside.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 10th, 2013 10:39 am (UTC)
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Alas, the allergies are worsening. But we persevere. :)

Thanks, S, thanks twice! Happy day to you!
[User Picture]
From:paratti
Date:September 10th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
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Delicious.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 10th, 2013 09:55 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, L, thanks heaps! :)

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