Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The hairline of Captain Martin Crieff - an official statement.

Ok, ok, firstly: everyone keep calm. Take deep breaths. It's all going to be okay. We got through Doodle-gate, we can get through this. 


So, I've been getting some emails...

Male pattern baldness. Which does not necessarily = unattractive, may I just point out.

Right. My rule has always been: if something is mentioned in a broadcast episode of Cabin Pressure, then it's a fact (well, actually, a fiction, but you know what I mean), like it or not. For instance, Martin is short. I know a lot of people wish he wasn't, but he is; it's been mentioned several times in various episodes, and no amount of pointing out that the actor who plays him happens to be tall is going to change that. Sorry. 

However, anything NOT mentioned in a broadcast episode - anything in a script that then gets cut, or a recording that then gets edited, or, I don't know, mentioned as a personal theory in an informal Q and A in a pub, is up for grabs. For instance, how many children does Douglas have? I have my theory, others may have theirs - until I put my version into a script, they're equally valid. 

You may be able to see where I'm going with this. 

As far as I remember, Martin's hair has never been mentioned on air. Carolyn is described as white-haired, Douglas may or may not be 'tinting'; but the locks of the supreme commander remain a mystery.  Is he ginger? Is he perhaps thinning a little on top? Does he have a massive afro? Nobody knows. Until someone talks about it in an episode, it's a mystery: an uncollapsed waveform, simultaneously luxuriant and ginger; brown and sparse; and for that matter pink and dreadlocked. Schroedinger's hairline.  


Schroedinger's hairline. A matter of historic record.


Now, personally.... as I believe I may have casually mentioned last night... when I picture Martin, I imagine him with a 'sun-roof' style bald spot on the crown of his head, which he's rather sensitive about. But until and unless I choose to mention that in a broadcast episode, that's just my theory- no more or less valid than anyone else's. 

I have no current plans to mention it in an episode. 




Yet. 



What horrors - or glories - lie beneath this cap? Nobody knows. 

504 comments:

Anonymous said...

I recall that he's a 'red-faced little man' ...

Jason Stone said...

To be fair, John, if he had "a massive afro" and no-one had mentioned this... that would be a bit odd.

Sparrow said...

Now a balding, red faced little man? Poor Martin, he gets no respect!



Constant said...

God- it messes with my idea of Martin to have him balding. I realise its not 'fact' but it's still weird to me. Also, as Sparrow said, hasn't he enough to being going on with?

Pernille said...

Might explain why the dear captain is so fond of his hat. Not only heavily hinting hinting his status as captain, but also conveniently hiding a bald spot that no man in his thirties would be proud of having.

Anonymous said...

Short, red faced, highly strung, terrible social skills, bit useless at times..... And now a bald patch?

You're a cruel man, Mr Finnemore!

Hehe! In all serious though, balding never did Bruce Willis any harm ;-)

Saff:-)

Fruitbat said...

To unwittingly create so much flailing with an offhand comment over a fictional man's hair... that's some kind of skill, that is.

Anonymous said...

Funniest post I've read in a while.
Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.

Roger the Farmer said...

For some reason I've always thought of him as 'ginger'. Still, when the Cabin pressure movie comes out they are going to have to do a helluvalot of C.G.I. to get Benedict to look the part!

Sarah-L-B said...

I must admit, I found this post rather amusing! I've always liked the idea that Martin is short. No idea why, it just seems to suit the character. As for his hair, I like the idea that maybe its a bit too long and somewhat scruffy. He's always moaning about how broke he is, so I doubt he can afford a barber. I dare say he cuts it himself and, being the accident-prone fella that he is, doesn't always make a terrific job of it...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post! I'd always vote for ginger curls :)

Sorry we fans are so...focused. We can't help it, you made us addicted!

Much love,
CL

Inoj said...

I thought it was brilliant, myself xD

Mr F, since you requested we did not record the episode (obviously) but said nothing re: the Q&A, if by any chance, a member of the audience had recorded your wonderful self answering some questions, would it be all right if such a hypothetical audience member were to transcribe it for others who were not fortunate enough to attend to read? There is the tiniest of brief mentions of the episode of the night but that of course would be removed, if myself transcribing it would be acceptable to yourself. But if it isn't then obviously that would be fine.

baldingredfacedlittleman said...

Captain Mainwearing is already a stereotype. Leave us alone! This is calvo-brevism.

Cherry La Pearl said...

Of course his hair wouldn't be perfect! It's Martin! I'm sure that if his hair had been perfect, knowing him, he'd have clung to that and gone on about it like he goes on about being a captain (the only other thing he feels he's got going for him). He'd be combing that thing like crazy!

... I've given this too much thought now... I need to slink away now and reorganize my priorities....

xhyperxmusicx said...

guys? i don't see the problem at all? his appearance isn't an insult. you know who are babes? derren brown and alexander armstrong. and they (at least i'm pretty sure) have the same sort of hairlines described here.

i don't know, i just think it's weird to get upset over something like this. it's kind of shallow.

Kelly said...

Given the amount of Cabin Pressure porn I've read, I'd be somewhat disappointed is Martin doesn't have a ginger curlyboff 'do. :)

John Finnemore said...

Inoj - Thank you for asking! If you don't mind, I'd prefer if you didn't. I enjoyed doing the Q and A because it was relaxed and informal, and I think if I thought it was being transcribed, I'd have to watch my words more carefully, and it would be less fun. I mean, my God, look at what happened over bald-gate! Hope you understand, and as I say, I appreciate you checking with me.

Everyone else - Rereading it, I realise this whole post is basically a veiled threat. Play nicely, or Martin's hair gets it!

Anonymous said...

How odd, I still have never seen anyone saying they think he's tall! Anyway, I wouldn't mind if he was going bald (poor Martin, though, not his life). I'd just find it strange that Douglas hasn't teased him about it yet! :D Does anyone of them have any facial hair..?

whatthecurtains said...

Funny this came up now, I was wondering just a little while ago how you imagined the characters when you were first writing, and if that image of them has changed over time?

jondrytay said...

People with bald patches and receding hairlines are famously more virile, intelligent, and Just Plain Ace than their more hirsute counterparts, of course. That's from science.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but that's just too mean. He can't be bald. He should have ginger messy curls. Self trimmed, too long type messy ... He is only 30-something after all ...

Anonymous said...

I think it just goes to show what a deprived fandom we are (to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how we survive on the internet without material for gifs- you should have seen the reaction to that one never-before-seen picture you put up a couple of weeks ago) that one small comment generates so much debate. Fear not however, we will stick with Cabin Pressure thick and thin (ha). It is truly wonderful, and hair, or lack thereof, will not change that.

Anonymous said...

John and all the rest were really brilliant last night and we were asked to keep stumm, how sad. So all i can say, in the words of master Shappey, is
BRILLIANT
Gillian S aka anon of hull
stoke me a clipper...!

Anonymous said...

We will always love Martin
(with or without ginger/bald/perfect/afro hair)

;)

Inoj said...

That's perfectly fine captain wing commander sir, just thought I would make sure! :)
The show was magnificent, by the way. Hopefully this debacle hasn't put too much of a downer on it for you.

Magda said...

Bald? Noo, it' definitely ginger messy curls...

Julian said...

Roger The Farmer- they can get him to look like Smaug, so this shouldn't be all that tricky...

Anonymous said...

I hope that you can look on the whole kerfuffle as an out-pouring of affection for GERTI and all who fly on her. You've made us care so much for them!

Helen said...

I'd just like to say that there are many of us that are appalled by the bald-gate thing. We adore Cabin Pressure and creative decisions you choose to make.

You're, if you'll excuse the term, absolutely brilliant, and I hope you don't feel the need to change anything you do because of the reactions of a few fans.

And, on a personal note, I was just re-listening to episodes this morning while I was out clearing up wet leaves in the garden. It's making an otherwise miserable task completely bearable, thank you!

Aurélie said...

"Schroedinger's hairline"...

You, mister, are definitely one of my favorite people in the world.

Hisietari said...

This made me chuckle quite a bit, and being sick with an upset stomach, that's a nice thing to have. :)

Being on medical mode, actually the balding makes sense. If Mr Crieff really lives off such a poor diet, pasta and the odd potatoe, he clearly lacks vitamins and protein, which results in such symptoms as premature loss of hair, and partially also in his built.

I still want him to have a blue lemon tree on his head though. ;P

CaptainMorgan'sWench said...

Here is something to take your mind of all the craziness, I was asked today in just your average conversational tone how big my testicles were by a four year old. I am a 23 year old woman.

Puck said...

Thank you for this post I laughed so much. Best post I've read in a while.

For my part, I always have pictured Martin with thinning hair on the forehead (stage III on your picture), something which he must be self-conscious and quite sensitive about. And he tries to hide it with his cap.
I would LOVE to hear something tactful from Douglas about that !

I must confess I'm not convinced by the massive afro : I'm sure Arthur would describe it with his usual eloquence but I can't imagine Douglas and Caroline not saying anything.

And I think Martin is a ginger but I might be partial as I am one myself and I think it is not a major defect.

Eclectic Man said...

I agree with Anonymous' opening post. If Martin had a massive afro then it would have been mentioned by now. Also if Martin were balding I am sure Douglas would have made mention of it. In fact the only things about Martin that Douglas would not mention would be one about which he is unable to tease aforementioned Captain Martin. Unless, of course Douglas were equally balding, in which case an unspoken male truce might have sprung up. In which case also it is likely that Caroline would have said something, or Arthur would have pointed out that balding in men is due to the male sex hormone and so indicates sexual maturity (something to which I suspect Arthur wistfully aspires).
So my guess is that Martin has, surprisingly a full head of perfectly unremarkable hair, adequately cut (by whom? as he obviously cannot afford a visit to the barber). Martin is also pretty fit from all that box shifting in his paid job, so his psychological insecurities are exacerbated by his apparent visual similarity to successful people.

The mystery of Martin Crief's hair could run and run.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist :)

Anonymous said...

Nobody knows, nobody knows!

Kris said...

Honestly, I think they're all being a bit silly. What does it matter? It's your character, he should look like whatever you imagine him to look like!

And if they want to disagree and have their own ideas... well that's okay too! This is fiction, after all.

I do like someone else's response that this might be another reason why he's so fond of his hat :P

Anonymous said...

To the above anon: I'm glad I wasn't the only person who heard that in my head while reading that final sentence.

Anonymous said...

And just when you thought your lemon's hiding-place was safe... out comes the latest British Airways advert... http://youtu.be/MH6lJ69B4k4 Take a look and smile!

Anonymous said...

Not that I want to argue with the great creator of the Heavenly Cabin Pressure. But there are offical pictures out there on the web with Martin with his hat off. Also he's not looking short enough in the group shots I presume a box was employed so he looked at lease as tall as Douglas ;-)

Picturetalk321 said...

I am so happy you posted this, and I am ecstatic about the words 'Schroedinger' and 'hairline' in the same phrase together. There are a LOT of fanworks around the interwebs that represent Martin as 'ginger'. But I have always tried to keep Martin separate from Benedict. And Martin is SHORT. I have my own view of Martin; I have even drawn a little cartoon of him but (subconsciously?) kept the hairline of mystery hidden underneath a gigantic cap that slides down onto Martin's nose. I had never considered him as balding but now that you mention it, I am immediately convinced, Heisenberg or no, that he is. totally. balding. It makes So Much Sense.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a "sun-roof" style bald spot. I've never come across this before, but I imagine it means that the owner of said spot can, whenever he wishes - perhaps when he is feeling a little hot and would like a bit of cooling breeze on his noggin - press some kind of secret button and a patch of his hair will slide sideways across his head, creating a neat, rectangular bald spot.

But to get back to the question of Captain Crieff's hair, why is it I wonder that so many fans have fixed on the "ginger curls" idea? I'm assuming that's based on the fact that in the few photos of recordings that are floating round the web, Mr Cumberbatch has ginger curls. But it seems slightly odd given that in the promo pictures, the only official images of the characters we have, he sports perfectly ordinary-looking short brownish hair.

Anonymous said...

I'd say fairly offical hatless Martin http://johnfinnemore.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/should-auld-placeholders-be-forgot.html?m=0

Still could have lost hair since. Especially with flights like those.

Lee said...

Not really something I'd given much thought to, to be honest, but it's always nice to have extra information about the characters - thank you for sharing! And I look forward to the next series, whatever it may bring. :-)

Kris said...

Martin being little is fine with me! I LIKE that CP characters are real-world people with positives and negatives. It's not about bald being unattractive in the real world, it's def not a drawback, imo. But what character profile are you building by what little details you've revealed?

He's already plain, short, poor, skinny, awkward, and single-minded. Now you're threatening his hair? Is there no balance in attributes?

There comes a point where his weird personality starts to make him sound not charming or cute, but just desperate and unappealing. There's a fine line between drawing a character as adorkable and making him into George Costanza (Seinfeld).

Katie said...

Hey fans, I think it's important to remember that Martin Crieff is NOT Benedict Cumberbatch. They share a voice, but Martin is not a tall, gorgeous bloke with messy ginger girls and the cheekbones of a god. He's short, red-faced, and if The Powers That Be will it, balding.

Don't let Benny's crazier fans change your vision in any way, Mr. Finnemore! As a proud Cumberbabe AND Cabin Pressure fan, I'll happily accept whatever do you choose to bless our beloved Captain with.

Much love from a messy dorm room in New York,
Katie

Arthur said...

I bow down to you, captain. You are brilliant! And the way you're dealing with this is absolutely brilliant! I really, really appreciate that you've presented us with this brilliant radio show, and, even though I'd love Martin to have the current "gingerly-curls" hair, what you say it's what counts.

Did you read that, fandot?
Play. Nicely.


Or Martin's luck might strike again.

Anonymous said...

"Schroedinger's hairline." Best line ever. I love you John.

And I think the idea of Martin with a bald spot would be quite in character. Would further explain why he is so attached to his cap. :)

But, no matter what hair type you decide to give any of the crew members, I will continue to love this air dot! I support you, in whatever creative decisions you make.

hazeltea said...

People go bald, or a bit bald, it happens. It would probably happen to someone like poor Martin. Take a deep breath, you guys, it isn't the end of the world! He's got his hat to make him feel better, after all.

AnabelleC said...

English is not my first language, so I hope I can express this properly:

I love the way you think, and the way you let us glimpse into your imagination through all the wonderful writing. We discover the characters little by little (and supply the rest of the data with our own perceptions waiting for more... and getting more each program, each season).
And you surprise us, revealing how different our perceptions of the characters can sometimes be. And that's the magic of radio and the reality of good solid writing (and an amazing sense of humour and creativity).

So, regarding this little issue of not-broadcasted-info, I'll enjoy widening my perceptions of Schroedinger's hairline *brilliant imagery, by the way*...
But I'll also just consider myself a goldfish that has dived into your mind and seen the Supreme Commander's head in a box... and opened the box and...

Oh, I just wish I had a better memory! What was I saying?

Oh, yes! That I can't wait until season 4.
Well, actually I can. Quality productions are worth the wait.

Tiffany Rae Knight said...

Which makes more and more sense. Poor Martin-- he does after all seem to be the most sensible of the bunch... but life keeps throwing lemons and he doesn't have anything to make lemonade with. ^_^

Anonymous said...

You know, I am such a dummy. I totally looked at the promotional photos and failed to realize the captions read something like this:

"I know you know who all these actors are from their long careers in show business, but they do not necessarily depict the characters they play on the show. Because this, this is radio. So just in case you think the characters look anything like the actors who play them, here are some pictures of said actors who definitely maybe do or don't look like the characters they play.

"To further clarify, the actors are dressed in costumes and posed in ways that portray their characters, so I think you'll agree that you still have no idea what the characters look like, apart from a few broadcast hints. Benedict Cumberbatch has red hair; you can see it there, under Martin's captains hat. Yep, there's Martin's cap. Wonder what color his hair is? It's a mystery.

"Look, on the off chance that you still don't realize that you can't possibly have a clear mental image yet, the pictures have been used as cover art for the official complete seasons CDs. Therefore, obviously, you cannot take those photos as evidence of what Carolyn, Arthur, Martin and Douglas look like; Stephanie and the gang just decided to dress up as airline employees and we thought that'd be funny to put that on the cover. Pay no attention to the faces behind the jewel case.

"Spooky, isn't it?"

Anonymous said...

Martin's hairline is A Thing? Really?

I thought the Iron Cross on the carnival ride was far, far more disturbing. (Seriously. An IRON CROSS? Are we talking Barnum & Bailey & Buchenwald?)

Tillyecl said...

I think I'd go with the, ever increasing, bald spot. He's probably paranoid about it in the same way as Adrian Mole is about his.
But keep that under your hat.

Maren said...

I agree with one of the earlier comments: please don´t forget that Martin Crieff is not Benedict Cumberbatch. Apparently there are a lot of fanfics out there in which Martin even is the 'lost' Holmes brother, and/or people who meet him (like John Watson) are gobsmacked by the striking resemblance APART FROM THE HAIR, which usually is described as ginger for obvious reasons. Poor Mycroft is clearly losing out, coming to think of that.

Anyway, for me it is also difficult to imagine Martin, despite the descriptions, because of his voice. It is impossible for someone to be short, red-faced and potentially balding if their voice sounds like that, is it? =)

Paul H said...

I take all the points above, and agree whole-heartedly - Martin must, and should, look exactly as the brilliant Mr Finnemore intends him to as the series unfolds.

But... because I'm so familiar with Benedict, Roger and Stephanie from all their superb roles elsewhere, I can't picture them any other way apart from what they actually look like (I've tried, honest I have...).

Conversely, my first experiences of John Finnemore were exclusively on the radio (The Now Show mainly), and the face I created for him in my head is sorely outdated and wildly inaccurate now I actually know what he looks like. I can't shake that first 'photo-fit' image though and it's often confusing - I actually have the same problem with Kenneth Horne, but that's another story! (John, I'm sure you won't mind any comparision with Mr Horne - you belong in the same category of excellence as far as I'm concerned)

If it's any consolation, actual Finnemore is much better-looking than aural Finnemore if that makes sense! Perhaps I should stop now, happily married man and all that...

By the way, I introduced two friends to Cabin Pressure on a long road trip recently, expecting that we might squeeze in a few episodes - I stupidly under-estimated the awesome power of GERTI, and we wound up hearing eight episodes back-to-back. Net result, two more rabid fans, clamouring for more. You're an awesome talent sir, and I can't wait for our next appointment with MJN Air - many thanks!

John Finnemore said...

Pretty much everyone - Thank you! Both to those of you who like the bald spot, and to those of you who cheerfully accept my invitation not to believe in it. And of course to those of you who don't care either way, which obviously and rightly is almost everyone.

xhyperx and Jondrytay - I know! The most surprising thing about this is that (a few) people seem to think giving a character a bald spot is analogous to giving him a terminal disease. Baldness is not the end of the world, guys! Some balding men even go on to leave more or less useful lives, like being action film heroes, or winning World War Two.

Kris (the second one) - Hmm. I take your point, but I'm fairly happy with the balance of Martin's attributes. Also, I'm not really aiming for "adorkable" - it's a sitcom, not a boyband. And if I ever create a sitcom character anywhere near as brilliant as George Costanza, I'll be a very happy man.

Most recent anon - I wither before the righteous blast of your sarcasm. Please accept my humble apologies.

Anonymous said...

may I remind the balding-haters that there are men around who are balding and hot in the same time? As an example, I got the impression from a few publicly availibel photos that mr. Finnemore's forehead doesn't have the contour it used to have once, but this doesn't diminish our devotion as fans. Tumblr feminists, please replace "balding" with "chubby", and feel your body-positivity and "every bodyshape is legitimate and is attractive to some people" response activated. Balding happens to all men sooner or later (if they live long enough), and saying that they are good to throw out after losing a bit of hair is just as mean as saying that women can be dumped after the appearance of the first wrinkle. On the other hand I know that balding people are not idolized the same, just like women fatter than a supermodel aren't idolized the same, so I understand if Martin gets embarrassed about it.

Anonymous said...

On behalf of my boyfriend, who's an absolutely gorgeous balding 25 year old, thank you! The comments I've been seeing from some of the 'rabid Cumberbatch fangirls' are enough to make anyone tear their hair out. It's not the end of the world, guys, grow up!

Tata said...

I think the funniest thing about these comments is that everyone making them is being completely serious.

Kat said...

I thought this might be as good an opportunity as any to mention what a fantastic character I think Martin is! What I find fascinating about him is how he can be so obsessive and anal-retentive, yet still so very likeable. Characters like his are often portrayed as unsympathetic, which makes Martin a refreshing exception. Regardless of hairline. Hurrah!

Patrick Wirbeleit said...

@Tata: agree

Anonymous said...

But if short Martin has a bald spot, it would have been clear visible to tall Douglas. And he didn't made sport of it? Douglas? Not persuasive, Mr. Finnemore. Martin can't wear his hat all the time.

P.S. Write more Soap Box, I am addicted to that stuff.

Anonymous said...

Dear sarcastic anon... Cumberbatch's hair is BROWN and SHORT, not red, in the promo photos, and yet people have still collectively decided (for some reason) that his hair is ginger and curly. You really have failed to grasp the concepts of a) this being a RADIO show b) the context of the comment in its original setting and c) John Finnemore's right to think whatever he damned well pleases about the character because he created him! The man's essentially God! (in more ways than one...)

Anonymous said...

I can easily picture Martin as balding, just as I've always been absolutely fine with him being short, but then I never really associated him with Cumberbatch. He's great but so were Tom Goodman-Hill and Simon Kane and they all sounded much the same (truth be told, Newcastle's my favourite Martin episode).

In fact, the only two characters I couldn't imagine being played by anyone else are Arthur (because JF's just so perfect as him) and Douglas (Roger Allam's voice is very, very distinctive and I now can't imagine Douglas's as being any different).

Obviously if the show was transferred to TV, this would mean that those characters would have to look like those actors (fine by me... well, more than fine, they're both gorgeous!) but while it's on the radio Douglas could have antlers and Arthur a tail for all I care (though one would have thought that this might have been commented upon by now... and that Douglas's antlers might get in the way of his hat).

Margaux said...

*sighs*

"When something becomes successful it can get a vocal fanbase who feel they own it and can dictate terms, but that’s suffocating and if you ever listen you are sunk. You have to do it for yourself.” - Mark Gatiss

I am so sorry people are acting quite silly about this, Mr Finnemore. Put cotton balls in your ears and try not to listen to their shouts.Know that there are many, many people out there who love Cabin Pressure for its own merits: the humour, the storyline, the vocal performances of the entire cast and for the utter brilliance of your imagination. These are your characters, living in your world, and I for one am simply grateful you are willing to share them with us.

PS: if anything, Martin's sun-roof patch suits so well with the mental image created, that my only reaction was: of course!

Susanne said...

"Schroedinger's hairline."

If this hairy mess was good for something, it's this. Thank you. :D

Elasis said...

balding, already?
hum.. why not..
what about an episode when he discovers his first grey hair? :D

Teresa said...

hunh. You know, when my friend told me to prepare myself for the wankstorm that has hit the Cabin Pressure fandom, I braced myself for something truly awful. And, I must admit, that I am pretty disappointed, but not in the way I expected.

Maybe I'm a little naive, or Mr. Finnemore's getting some hateful messages privately, but from what I've seen, most of the "negative" reaction to the balding news seems to be sympathy for a beloved character; the poor guy has been dealt yet another thing about which to feel insecure (regardless of whether he ought to). I'll admit it, that was my initial reaction.

What I haven't read from the "anti-bald" fans are first-hand accounts suggesting they will no longer like the show or Martin if he's bald; or that bald men aren't attractive; or that they're actually mad JF's vision of the character doesn't match with their own. I certainly haven't read any comments suggesting Mr. Finnemore ought not have anything but creative control over his characters and show. The only people who have suggested any of these things are Mr. Finnemore's "defenders" -- and who knows? Maybe they're reading posts I'm not; but I've simply not seen it.

Again, maybe I'm naive, or maybe I've missed the worst of it, but I honestly don't think I've read anything that's been truly disrespectful to Mr. Finnemore or his choices. I guess I am a bit naive, because I even read the sarcastic remarks here as a (probably failed) attempt to use humor to point out there's a pretty legitimate reason why the people have always pictured the actors when imagining the characters. Again, I'll own that I've always pictured a short Benedict Cumberbatch at Martin because I didn't really have any reason not to.

Taken in the best possible way (which I simply have to allow the people in this small fandom, due to all the positive experience I've had with other fans), maybe we can interpret all this as proof people care quite a lot about the show and it's characters, and have momentous respect and expectations of John Finnemore. That Mr. Finnemore sees it that way, too, is my sincere hope.

Cheers, Mr. Finnemore, and thanks for a truly fantastic show... and something to keep us all busy while we're waiting for the next season.

Saffron said...

You know what's great about this whole kerfuffle?

In a, admittedly slightly weird, way, it just proves what a brilliant writer you are, Mr Finnemore.

No...really....go with me on this....

Because you've created characters that people care for enough to get opinionated about.

How is that ever a bad thing?

Anonymous said...

I'm the anon who wrote the comment adressed to tumblr feminists, and I'd lie to clarify that I didn't mean to be mean to those who feel sorry to Martin. I just found a but funny how people that invested in Social Justice And Body Issues can b so sad for a bit of balding. But I understand that 1. not everybody here comes from tumblr 2. someone as frustrated as Martin really isn't in a place to accept things like a sunroof. So what I aimed at was just a bit of good-natured putting-things-in-perspecive. May the lemon be with you.

pennswoods said...

Bald or balding matters not. Martin still makes me laugh, and now I'm dying to see what the cosplayers do to address this.

Cabin Pressure is brilliant, and I look forward to season 4 even more now!

Kris (the second one) said...

Mr F,

I think what we're talking about is Flanderization, what Tv Tropes says is when one characteristic starts to dominate a character's personality and nudge out all the others. CP has had 3 seasons, and as fans, we have seen other shows start to show they're age around this time. So if we're worried about the future of the show, we have precedent. This isn't about equating a bald spot with cancer, it's Martin's character being changed in a way that doesn't really fit with how we've seen him previously.

Also, adorkable is a perfectly respectable adjective that I couldn't think to apply to a single member of any boy band I've ever heard of, not that I listen to that ... stuff. It means, a charming, intelligent, awkward, nerdish person, usually male, who isn't "movie star handsome" but is attractive in his own way. John, women often call you adorkable, especially given your posts from the British Library and your laundry muppets (we love). George Costanza is NOT adorkable because while he's awkward and a nerd, he's also angry, sexist, and unattractive. (Oddly, the actor who plays him is kinda cute.)


Kris (the second one) said...

Oh ... in all the debating ... I didn't bother to say that your characters are much better written than Seinfeld's. I mean, the balance, how they fit together? It's what JK Rowling says about Jane Austen, how each character complements and highlights the others. CP is an absolutely brilliant 4-part harmony. I've compared you to classic lit so many times, I could teach a class. I honestly study your writing to learn things and I HAVE.

K. said...

@Kris (the second one)- "Martin's character being changed in a way that doesn't really fit with how we've seen him previously."

It's A BALD SPOT. Bald spots are NOT character flaws, they're just the unfortunate result of testosterone. This is not Martin's 'Achilles bald spot'- I would never have assumed that it would have gained more than a brief mention, if that, and then I would have liked to believe that it would have had a similar reaction to Douglas's hair tinting (i.e. none) even though most people see Douglas as grey because Roger Allam is. I doubt there's going to be a major plot point in which Douglas is blinding by the glare of his bald head and thus GERTI crashes into a mountain!

One of the great joys of radio shows is that the characters can look however the listeners want them to look. There are, believe it or not, listeners who are not part of the Cabin Pressure 'hive mind' of fandom and don't see Martin as ginger and curly haired (wherever that came from)- indeed, there are even some within it who don't. Personally, I've always thought of Martin with short, mousy hair. There is no 'fitting with how we've seen him previously' precisely because we have NEVER seen him.

Theorising and fretting that a radio show (or indeed any show, work of literature or... well, anything, really) on the basis of a bald patch is completely barmy. And quite hilarious.

K. said...

Good lord I should have proof read that post... if those typos aren't proof that I need to go to sleep then nothing is. Night all, I'm off to dream about luxuriant manes. To be honest, I'm surprised that all the characters other than Douglas aren't bald. I'm fairly sure that Allam's has some kind of gravitational force field.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think a bald spot or balding is an unfortunate result of testosterone - I find it quite attractive and thus not unfortunate at all - just the opposite, in fact. I would be surprised if I were the only one who feels like that.

I do think it is rather amazing that this topic has generated so many comments compared to other blog posts! (Including this comment, now - sorry.)


Anyway, Mr Finnemore, I'm very, very pleased that more Cabin Pressure is peeking over the horizon and hope you remain untrammelled (?) by baldgate. I want to listen to whatever you want to write and have performed. As you have previously expressed your need to be totally in control, I don't think that will be a problem!

GG




afailedjournalist said...

To be fair, ginger men do go bald earlier than other men... And they 99.9% always go bald.

So even if he's not balding now... he will eventually go bald. Poor Martin :(

Saying that, the Martin in my mind has lovely curly hair, which gives the hat a nice surface to sit on...

Indy said...

I can't imagine him being more than thinning on top without being mercilessly teased by the others. The same goes for red hair and an Afro. We'd have found out about it by now, I recon.

When I hear him, I see a mousey nondescript colour hair, in thin uncontrollable, slightly wavy whips and a haircut more usually found on older men (side parting, shortish back and sides).

Perrywinkle said...

Oh dear, oh dear, Mr Finnemore...

I remember you once mocking Downing Street for issuing a statement on Cornish pasties. Did you ever imagine the day would come when you would feel the need to do something similar concerning Captain Crieff's follicular situation? ;)

Anyway, I really do hope that you are not too weirded out by all this but rather take it as a compliment - isn't it kind of awesome actually that something you created causes people to have such passionate feelings and discussions?

And the great thing is that - even though you have such a generously democratic view on what is true and what is up to the listeners' imagination in the CP universe - it is all up to you. Not only can you rightfully threaten to do unspeakable things to Martin's hair, you actually don't even need to stop there. The world of CP (and a lot of people's well-being, too, obviously) is at the tip of your pencil after all - and you could always, should it please you, decide that Carolyn now dyes her graying hair purple, Douglas actually sports a beard like Hulk Hogan and Arthur has a mohawk because he feels it makes him way cooler...

All the possibilities...

Good luck with writing the fourth season which is certainly going to be great. I'm really, really looking forward to listening to it and am (as many others, surely) perfectly fine with any choice you make on the crew's appearance and fate... ;)

Come to think of it, Douglas' comments if Martin should ever try to cover his bald spot with a toupet might be... brilliant...

Angie said...

My turn my turn!
I've always pictured Skip's hair something like the "III" picture in that diagram. Although now I'm finding it very difficult to imagine anything other than a giant ginger afro o.O

Laura G said...

Remember Mr Finnemore, that it's entirely up to you. It's very generous of you to share your thoughts in advance with your adoring fans, but I'm pretty darned sure they won't adore you any less whatever you write. And if they do, then they're not the fans I thought they were. So there.

kodama said...

Imagine all this new fanfiction about Martin's hair that will flood the Internet because of this post... ;)

Anonymous said...

I was squirming out of sympathy (and ,umm, giggles..) for poor Martin incase you might have now said that on top of everything else he'd also be losing his hair.
I've always imagined the characters to look like the people who play them, but I edit them a bit in my head to fit how they are described in the series as new features get mentioned, like, Martin looks like Cumberbatch but um he's just short and I think of Martin with auburn hair because he had that color hair in those promotional pictures. Have fun writing, Mr. Finnemore!

Anonymous said...

Ah, well. The rise to fame. Curse and blessing. But, Mr. C. is just one actor in a very good ensemble.
And you are the boss. So, if he turns into a curse REPLACE HIM!!!

Hehehehe. Imagine that shitstorm.
Luckily, this is just about a bit of hair... or not hair.
Be afraid, Mr. Finnemore. Be very afraid.

I can't believe you reacted to this with a post at all. This deserves to be completely ignored.
THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING FROM CABIN PRESSURE WITHDRAWAL. What about that? Huh? And.. and...and you are discussing character hairstyles with
incorrigible fanatics.

Moving on to the next (hopefully more relevant) topic, please.
(Corgettes! Now THAT was relevant ...)

Looking forward to season 4. Keep up the good work ;-)

Annie said...

I think calling him a "little redfaced man" somehow gave me the impression that he had ginger hair. I suppose he could have hair that's just "sort of brown" or thinning, but I can't imagine Martin being very bald at 32 or 33. I have seen it happen though.

What about Arthur though? I don't think we've heard anything about his physical appearance. :P

Charlotte Evans said...

I've always assumed ginger myself, but the Schroedinger's hairline idea gives me immense pleasure. So, carry on.

Charlotte Evans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eclectic Man said...

--- FLATTERY ALERT ---

John Finnermore wrote "And if I ever create a sitcom character anywhere near as brilliant as George Costanza, I'll be a very happy man."

I accept that the character you mention is a work of genius, but frankly, I reckon you are pretty close.

--- END ALERT ---

PS. I don't really care what Marin's (fictional hair) is like, whether he is bald or not, as long as he keeps flying Gertie.

Katri said...

This must be the best blog post ever, and the best comments too.

Thanks to everyone!

Us said...

I have a friend who's early balding, and sometimes I get sad that there are so few fun balding characters. So I'd actually be rather pleased if Marting was balding... >.> :D

Anonymous said...

NO! Martin's too young to be bald D:

Britt said...

Seriously? People are making a fuss over what you may or may not even be doing to a character your most esteemed self wrote for himself's own radio programme?

Ridiculous. Thank you so much for creating a show that brings me such joy (and my parents now too! I introduced it to them on a road trip).

Please find it in your heart to know that they don't represent the bulk of our beloved airdot's fanbase. Congratulations on Series 4!

Anonymous said...

In my head Martin has a lot of unruly ginger curls that make him look younger than he is. Partly he's happy about his curls because it's nice to have at least something that is abundant and for free, partly he's annoyed by them always falling into his eyes when he's flying some plane or driving his van, partly he's frustrated by them as they do make him look younger and it's already so difficult to be taken seriously as a very young, rather short, miserably skinny captain. In this picture of mine, he uses his beloved captain's hat both to show off rank and to hide the boyish hair.

I have to admit originally I got the idea of Martin being a curly ginger from promo and live recording pictures, but not because I wanted Martin to look like Benedict Cumberbatch, actually it was the opposite, I though Benedict Cumberbatch looked very much like Martin, boyish and wearing faded clothes when not flying, all proud and neatly combed when wearing his uniform. Also the ginger theory seemd to be confirmed by the "red face" canon thing.

Now this veiled threat of a balding Martin is interesting indeed. Ok I'll (sadly) have to rework my entire idea of Martin being proud of his curls but always having to brush them away from his eyes (full view of the sky, you know) and wanting to hide them to look older and more authoritative. But this also means that Martin *will* look older, and maybe a little bit more authoritative, and this makes perfect sense with him working his way to become a proper professional pilot, one with a salary, who can land a plane on one engine in a crosswind, and who returns to his own flat devoid of agricultural college students.

Cheers

Melissa

Alex C said...

Ahem

I have a poem:

Martin's hair is fine,
Martin's hair is sparse,
If you Don't like Martin's hair
Shove it up your arse.

There are more where that came from....

Alex C said...

Martin's hair is swell
Martin's hair ain't thick
If you don't like Martin's hair
I think you must be sick

Alex C said...

Martin's hair is brilliant
Martin's hair is black
If you don't like Martin's hair
Shove it up your crack

Anonymous said...

I've always imagined Captain Martin to look like a short red-faced version of Martin Freeman. Clearly Cabin Pressure/ Sherlock brain bleed... Thanks for the brilliant show.

Inoj said...

My dad started losing hair when he was 16! He felt all happy and represented in the media on Monday :)

shezan said...

"Short, red faced, highly strung, terrible social skills, bit useless at times..... And now a bald patch?"

HE'S PRINCE CHARLES IN DISGUISE!!!

(That would explain the accent, too.)

Tata said...

Oh lord. This is becoming a debate. I can feel tensions rising. The Cabin Pressure Hairline War is coming, everyone. Say goodbye to fandom-wide peace.

Sarah (the grumpy one) said...

It's radio - it doesn't matter! That's why radio is so cool and you can do stupid things like Harry Biscuit being a brain in a jar and whatever you imagine he looks like is way better than any stupid special effects the tv would manage to come up with if it was on there. Because it is radio, Martin can have as many different types of hair as there are people imagining him and that's ok and even if Mr Finnemore were to put in a description of him somewhere he could have a pink mohican one episode and be bald all over the next and have an afro the next and it would be ok because it is radio, aside from the fact that I can't quite imagine Martin with anything other than boring non-descript hair, oh God, now you've got me joining in with it too! Anyway, it doesn't matter, people's faces rarely fit how their voices sound like they should look when you see them in person, they could look like anything. Shut up now, Martell. RIght. Bye. Breakfast time!

Elasis said...

by the way, how do you picture Arthur? :)

ClosetDiva (aka Kate K) said...

Such a fun post - I'd never really thought about Martin's hair before. I guess I'd always just pictured the crew as they appear in the official group photos. I suppose Martin could have a "stealth" bald spot towards the back - or a thinning patch of hair.

Other than that, I've always assumed the good captain was standing on a box for the photo. (Because even though the actors are actually about the same height, we're clearly told that Martin is much shorter than Douglas in the first two episodes.)

Of course, I had to re-listen to all the episodes again. (Such a chore! By which I mean I was probably almost as happy as Arthur on Christmas morning!) Now I'm just left with one question:
Why is Lent one of Arthur's favorite times of year?

Elasis said...

maybe because, before Lent, there's lot of food and fun (Carnival), and at the end, there are lots of chocolate and bells?
he should go in Germany (catholic Lands, preferably) around February/March, they do huge streets parades for Carnivals/Fasching...

tmort03 said...

Wow. I've been unavoidably distracted from my favorite blog here due to having to actually do my job and shepherd a half-dozen young people around a convention for the past week or so. Had I know that this type of entertainment was available to me during my 16-hr (one-way!) bus trip with said students and about 50 others, I would have definitely, definitely paused my episode of CP and read the latest entry and all these comments. I can't say it's just as entertaining as an episode, but it sure does come close.

As always, a plethora of thanks to Mr. Finnemore for always finding ways to keep us entertained. It truly is a testament to your amazing powers of...well, I suppose just your amazing powers, that so many people care so fervently about issues such as this. Honestly. You've turned a mass of probably otherwise intelligent people into rabid, hair-obsessed fangirls/boys and I simply love it, as it gives me a place to be with people of a similar mindset!

I could care less if, as many others have mentioned, you decide that Martin Crieff is not only balding but BALD, shiny as a cue ball or if he does in fact have an afro or cornrows or even a weave. Doesn't matter a bit to me, as long as you keep writing fantastic events in his life, his hair is of little to no importance to me. Of course, I do have a mental picture of him as well as Arthur (a lovable young doofus, dark haired for some reason and really, really earnestly blue-eyed), Carolyn (stiff-backed, steel-grey in hair and eyes, briskly paced and formidable) and Douglas (the fading stud, a bit of grey in the mahogany, beady dark eyes, beaky nose, the start of a jowl, broad across the shoulder) but it doesn't really matter what my mental image is, as he's not "my" character. He belongs to Mr. Finnemore, who so graciously shares him with us. So thanks, many many thanks, in fact, and keep up the brilliant work!

(Although, on a side note, to everyone who says that Martin is too young to be balding - I have a wonderful brother-in-law about to turn 22 next month who has been balding since I met him. He was 14 when I met him. The receding hairline has become true baldness and - brace yourselves - he has actually had long term relationships with lovely young ladies who seem to not even care that his hair is not as robust as some. What a crazy, crazy world we live in, eh?)

theredwitch said...

You are evil Mr. Finnemore. Evil.

Stella said...

To me, Martin will always have a slightly unruly ginger do a la David Tennant after standing in the rain for a while (but orangey). Nothing you say will change my headcanons, but I will bow (albeit sometimes a bit unwillingly) to the whim of your creative genius if need arises. Long Fly the Airdot!

Philippa Sidle said...

Very sadly, I have had to remove my name from the list for Monday (5th November) as I'm no longer able to make the journey - so there's a single vacancy for that night, if anyone wants it.

Anonymous said...

I feel a bit sorry for Martin if people just want him to look like gorgeous Benedict Cumberbatch. I mean, that's kind of what he wants for himself, right? If all his fans want that too, and don't like him short and balding, then Martin must feel terrible!

Seriously - don't listen to anyone who's arguing with you over what you do with Martin. He's your character. Nobody else's. And what you're doing is brilliant. :)

Eclectic Man said...

It seems that in Ottery St. Mary, on 5th November, they carry barrels with burning tar through the streets (according to Radio 3's breakfast show that is).

I wonder if they accompany the celebration on the piano?

Dexter said...

I definitely picture lustrous, ginger curls--a full head of hair, as he deserves.

Dexter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

I always pictured Martin as a blonde, like REALLY blonde and this and Douglas sometimes told blonde jokes. I dunno my brain is weird and comes up with random headcanons.

Still, nothing wrong with a thin hairline if it suits your face.

Alex C said...

Martin's hair is shiny.
Martin's hair's abundent.
If you don't like Martin's hair,
stick it up your fundament.

Caroline, Clarisse and Valentine said...

Hello,
We're french girls and we love Cabin Pressure (and you by the way).
We'd love to go to the next recording... Could you (or anyone) tell us where exactly is the studio ?
Thank you so much!
Have a nice day!

Random_Nexus said...

Wow, such a kerfluffle over a fictional character's hair!
I adore Cabin Pressure, adore you, John Finnemore for creating it, and adore the lovely actors who voice it (including John) for doing such a fabu job of it.
Whatever John decides to do with _his_ creations is his decision, IMHO, and that's that.

Everyone just calm down and have a Toblerone, hm?

Anonymous said...

Using my Holmesian deduction skills (yes), I've generally concluded that Martin, being rather lacking in the money department and probably not very knowledgable as far as current hair styles, probably just has very plain hair that gets occasionally cut by himself, and somewhat messily at that. In my mind he's ginger or maybe blond- rather average looking. And small. And cute. But I am a teenage girl, so the cute part comes naturally.

Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOOOOO please don't do this to Martin :(

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Paula said...

I'm half way through season 2 at the moment, and I thought that Martin's height was mentioned as being 6ft2? It's where Douglas is berating him about something and in the middle he asks "how tall ARE you?" and he replies with 6ft2?

Stephanie said...

I thought he was ginger. Didn't one episode say he was ginger? Or was that ginger as in 'clumsy'? Anyway, folks, he's Martin, not some Ben C. - so he might as well be a balding red-head...go for it, John. ;o)

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Anonymous said...

Schroedinger's hairline.
Schroedinger's airline.

Anonymous said...

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