Some years ago Your Humble Narrator entered a contest on the late lamented online journal Topless Robot. "Tell us about your own ideal set of (currently non-existent) action figures," invited the contest organizer. I am not a big action figure collector, but at the time I had just finished re-watching a certain classic BBC series, and noticing how often very talented British TV actors wind up taking second-string (and occasionally leading) roles in SF and fantasy movies. This contest submission grew out of my post-viewing reveries. Sad to say, I didn't win, but I think the editor found my entry mildly amusing, and I suspect some of my readers will, too.
At the top of my (rather short) action-figure wish list (I wrote in 2009) stands a set of I, CLAUDIUS / Sci-Fi crossover
figures, in which each of the principal characters of the '70s BBC
series dually appears as a character played by the same actor in a SF series or movie. Examples would include:
Dual-action Augustus / Vultan figure, with optional speech
module - pull the string and he alternates between bellowing
"Quinctilius Varus, WHERE ARE MY EAGLES?" and
Dual-action Livia / Reverend
Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam - each with its own unique methods of
poisoning your other action figures!
/ Jean-Luc Picard. Carries a death warrant
in one hand and a cup of Earl Grey in the other. Optional wheelchair for X-MEN crossover action.
Magenta action figure - can either shag your Sejanus (q.v.)
figure or swan about your Frank N. Furter figure dressed as a
Caligula / Cain figure. Accessories include
face-hugger alien figure and aborted fetus carved directly from
sister Drusilla's womb. Rosy-Fingered Dawn costume and play-set
And Macro / Maximilian Arturo figure -
comes with centurion's uniform, three-piece suit, vortex timer,
and extra helpings of smug. Also included: detachable limbs and
dwarf axeman costume for transformation into Gimli from LORD OF
I anticipated that this would inaugurate a whole
series of action figures based on BBC historical dramas and light
comedies. So far my vision has remained a fantasy, but the century is still young.
(In case you don't already know, Gaius Helen Mohiam
was Sian Phillips' character in DUNE, Magenta was the maid in
the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, and Maximilian Arturo was the snotty
professor in the SLIDERS TV series, played by