Monday, November 30, 2015
Cult-TV Theme Watch: Eyepatches
A few weeks ago, I liked at the cult-tv faces of trench coats, and concluded that these jackets make characters look positively bad ass. The same, ultimately, is true of eyepatches. An eyepatch covers one eye, and makes a character look absolutely tough, and possibly evil.
Characters on cult-TV shows have often worn eye patches…especially villains.
For example, in the Jon Pertwee Doctor Who (1963-1989) era, The Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicolas Courtney) wears an eyepatch in the serial “Inferno.”
In this story, the Doctor moves between parallel universes and encounters a fascist, evil version of the beloved military man. So, eye-patches are to Doctor Who what a goatee was to Spock in Star Trek (1966-1969), you might conclude.
In 2011, the era of Matt Smith’s eleventh doctor, the eyepatch returned in “The Wedding of River Song,” worn by multiple characters, and intended as an homage to the recently passed-away Courtney.
Another popular British science fiction series, Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7 (1978-1981), also spotlighted a villain with an eye-patch. In seasons one and two of the program, the one eyed Travis, played first by Stephen Greif, and later by Brian Croucher, pursued Blake and his rebels across the galaxy.
In an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993 – 1999) that parodied the James Bond films (and titled “Our Man Bashir), Chief O’Brien (Colm Meaney) wears an eyepatch as the holodeck character the Falcon.
The final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) witnessed the kindly, harmless Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendan) is wounded by a minion of The First Evil, Caleb (Nathan Fillion), and one eye is gouged out. For the remainder of the series, Xander wears an eye-patch, which makes him Nick Fury-esque, in his own eyes (or rather, eye).
Recently, on The Walking Dead (2010 – present), The Governor (David Morrissey) proved super evil by wearing both a trench coat and an eye-patch, possibly making him the most evil character in cult-TV history.
And also, on Game of Thrones (2011 – present), Beric Dondarrian wears an eyepatch.