Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Fantasy Girlfriend - Lt. Gay Ellis

I think my first flesh-and-blood crush may well have been on yet another Gerry Anderson character, Gay Ellis from UFO (Anderson's first live action series, after all those infamous SuperMarionation shows in the '60s). What was it about those crazy Gerry Anderson shows??

She was played by the lovely Gabrielle Drake, who cropped up repeatedly on British television during the 1970s and was, I think, really quite a decent comic actress (as well as being achingly pretty), although always, alas, confined to tiny roles as wife or girlfriend. I think she may well have been partly responsible for my lifelong fascination with willowy redheads.

But in this show, you couldn't tell she was a redhead. She always wore that ridiculous purple wig (surely the wackiest of all of Sylvia Anderson's rather avant garde fashion ideas!). Well, I think there was one episode where she was on leave down on Earth (ordinarily, she commanded the control centre on the Moonbase of the Alien Defense Oganization - perhaps the metallic wig was some sort of radiation protection??). And I saw most of this show in black & white anyway, at least originally (we didn't get a colour TV until 1974, by which time I think it had finished; although I almost certainly caught some re-runs later on).

So, what was her appeal? Not the wig, I hope! Possibly the skin-tight silver catsuit. And the pretty face and great figure, of course. But I really rather think it was the fact that she was a lieutenant that grabbed me most: she was always so impressively cool and calm and unflappable. And I think I somehow liked the idea of being ordered around by a woman.

Well, perhaps on that basis I should have swooned even more for Col. Virginia Lake (as played by the generously proportioned actress, Wanda Ventham, who I know was a great favourite of The Mothman), but, well, somehow the Colonel always seemed a little bit too (forgive me, Mothman!) mumsy for me. And I think I find the junior rank more alluring: you know, it's status of a kind, but it's not impossibly remote and unattainable.

10 comments:

Mothman said...

All those months of expensive analysis and you put your finger on it in seconds :-) Yes, the key to MY inner torment is that I seek unattainable 'mumsy' types...

So, if there are any unattainable mumsy types out there (preferably brunettes with brown eyes ;-))please get in touch. We can break the ice with a discussion of the dating (and other) mores of our mutual friend, The Froog :-) And possibly Llamas...

Swordsman said...

The main reason I watched the Kelly Monteith show for all those years. Hmm, Kelly Monteith - there's a "where is he now" question.

Then I discovered things about a British B-movie called Au Pair Girls and have cursed being in the US ever since...

Mothman said...

The only slight dampener on the Drake fantasy is that she subsequently went on to do the 1990's revival of that rather dire Midlands motel soap opera 'Crossroads':-( Did you know that she was born in Lahore in Pakistan in 1944? No - neither did I until I checked out IMdb...

Froog said...

Ah yes, Mrs Monteith. Sigh.

I always thought the fascinating question with Mr M was not where did he go to, but where did he come from.

Froog said...

I never knew she was Nick Drake's sister. What a mine of information Imdb is!

And Mothman, while noodling around the Internet for more sources on all things Anderson, I found some pictures on the Sixties City UFO tribute page that make me think I may have to revise my verdict on Virginia Lake.

Mothman said...

Hmmm...thanks for that heads-up on the 'UFO' tribute site, Froogy. I'm not sure what grabbed me most about La Ventham - was it the slightly crooked smile; the smouldering green eyes or the huge bazongas? Or just the combination of all three? Sigh....either way, they don't make women like that nowadays, worst luck :-( Aye, and a BLONDE!!!!

By the way, did the earth move for you today?

Froog said...

No, it was only felt in tall and wobbly buildings.

Brittnee said...

Great work.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that animated TV insurance spokes slut Erin Esurance is a Gay Ellis rip off. The pink hair is a give a way!

Froog said...

Well, I'll have to take your word for it. The ad is not known to me. Perhaps I'll have a look on YouTube.