I’m Going Back to the Start

Warning: The following may cause hyperventilation and faintness.

Still examining Toby Stephens’s body… of work (almost got you there, didn’t I?), I’ll cover three of his earlier offerings from 10 or so years ago. I’m afraid there won’t be much objective analysis on his performances here, because I’d have fallen to the floor in a faint!

First of all, Onegin. It’s the Fiennes family treatment of this Russian tragedy, and admittedly Toby only has a small part in it, but he sure does shine.

As a film it is beautiful, but these Russian stories are never very uplifting – Toby’s Lensky is definitely the most uplifting thing about it.

He does a very fine duel scene though.

But I’m pissed off that he lost!

Now, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was the first time I noticed Toby. I saw it when it was first aired (in the wake of my newfound love of period dramas following Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy) and I admit that I kept my recording of this for 10 years because I thought Toby’s Gilbert Markham was adorable!

It’s a good series, based on Anne Bronte’s novel. Quite confronting after Pride and Prejudice but I liked its realism. Gilbert is not exactly the most sophisticated romantic hero on the planet, but he was earnest, handsome, and passionate.

Also, the first time I saw Toby’s impeccable kissing technique!

Quick! Pass the smelling salts!!

And from my first Toby find to one of my last – Twelfth Night!

Why, oh, why didn’t I know about this film earlier? Toby again doesn’t have a huge part in it, but oh gawd, was he gorgeous! It brought us some memorable moments such as:

The strut.

The love song.

The bath!!

The near-kiss! Gaaaaaah!

After all that, I think I need a long lie down. Preferably in front of the TV, with a bottle of red wine, and my entire Toby collection!

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