I Heart Taggart

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Do You Want ‘Possums with That? opossum1

Having just returned from two weeks in splendid [self imposed] isolation, I’m tempted to declare that I was on a spiritual retreat, or writing the next Great American Novel.

The truth is that a dear friend of mine found herself in the dilemma of her adopted dad about to shuffle off this proverbial mortal coil(e), and her property caretaker unable to delay personal business.

I’d planned to write my next blog entry on Eureka at that time. I was instead thrust into a remote homestead in the Arkansas Ozarks, careening about spiraled mountain roads, channeling Shakespeare snippets. “Once more into the breach, dear friends!” Melodramatic? Perhaps. But it was, at least, a metaphorical breach.

Wrenched from the epitome of a relatively modern South Carolina dwelling into a land where the closest gas station was 10 miles distant, I was hauling firewood up a hill to stay warm. And I was in a quandary: How to get into Eureka mode? Even the Rube Goldberg style woodstove, reminiscent of some Eurekan failed experiments, didn’t inspire me.

Wild Pig

Wild Pigs [sic] Couldn’t Drag Me Awayyyyy

Then it happened. I was hiking across a ridge with my digital camera and saw some strange tracks. I took photos of them that day, and matched some with online deer and wild pig tracks (duh, I was in razorback country), as well as a very large canine track. The next night, after an all day frog strangler complete with dense fog, something ran into the side of the house. The crowd of dogs in the kitchen went wild. All the miscellaneous tough outdoor cats that usually keep the outbuildings rat-free slept on the upper porch for several nights after that. Even the dog-sized opossums couldn’t have shaken the upper porch. Rumors abound of Ozark phenomenon. A thorough examination the next morning revealed no evidence. I never solved the mystery. Errant nearsighted wild pig? I found myself wondering, “WWTD?” (What Would Taggart Do?) And in that moment, I had the subject of this post on Eureka. James Taggart is Eureka’s resident “biological containment specialist.” Some have lovingly referred to him as Eureka’s dogcatcher. Indeed he does occasionally play dogcatcher, such as when LoJack — early described by Frewer as Taggart’s Moby Dick — is on the loose. He apparently doubles as the local veterinarian as well. When LoJack is injured, Taggart nurses him like a child.

taggartlojack

Taggart, Man & Myth

But like many of the folks in Eureka, there’s more to Taggart than we see in any given episode. He’s another Global Dynamics mystery. He has an array of smart cages, weaponry, and yes, even “smart cheese to catch smart mice. Taggart is a man of many talents, notwithstanding his mediocre paintball playing. He’s like Tarzan with a larger vocabulary and less hair. Some have said that Taggart is just “useless comic relief.” Yet Taggart enacts a nearly archetypal Trickster role in Eureka.

 

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He’s often portrayed as the Fool, the Coyote, the buffoon, however comic allusions to a darker side of his transformative nature are revealed in the webisodes of Hide and Seek, with his Bigfoot meets Jekyll & Hyde style “missing link” experiments. What is Taggart’s story?

He’s Too Sexy for his Shirt

Let’s face it; Taggart is also sexy in a romanticized Wild Man of Borneo style.

taggartwildman Of course, the “real” Wild Man of Borneo is actually an orangutan, mistaken by some for a wild jungle man. Taggart is no orangutan. He’s that wild guy who’s crazy and brilliant…the one you’d definitely want to take with you to the island on Survivor. My friend, Rinda, the anime queen, said, “I’ve always thought Taggart was crazy and oddly sexy but I’m attracted to the odd, crazy, violent and anti-social ones!” (Ed. Mature readers and fans of Bleach can confirm this by reading her Zaraki fanfic)

I’m not sure how I feel about that particular sentiment, but attraction to Taggart, like many other things in Eureka, is complicated. He can be the slightly scary storytelling uncle, as in the opening scenes of Phoenix Rising. Naturally, he then morphs into mad scientist mode with the “human bits” and the unidirectional particle emitter. He may even have a nuclear bomb. But we all have our faults. He loves animals, perhaps most especially cybernetic ones.duckduckgoose1

Sentiment for AI (artificial intelligence) may be genetic or behavioral. In my own case, just last month my elderly mother spent hours walking behind my IRobot made Roomba vacuum, encouraging it to greater suction and tenderly correcting it when it missed a spot. Ah well, Birds of a feather, as they say…

 

 

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 Being a master plumber’s daughter, I was oddly fascinated with the Taggart and Jo during the H.O.U.S.E. Rules episode. Taking a seminal groping scene from a movie such as From Here to Eternity, and lampooning it in the bowels of SARAH’s bunker was en-grossing. My mind was a riot of wild sensory extrapolations right after Taggart said to Jo, “Good on ya, mate,” and I washed my hands with anti-bacterial soap as taggartandjosoon as the scene was over.

 

 

 

 

taggartandjodance copyLast but not least, in his favor as a romantic barbarian sort, Taggart even cleans up fairly well, and he can dance. I ask you…What’s not to love?

 

 

 

Some have said that Taggart’s bad Aussie accent grates on the psyche. I don’t know, since nearly everyone where I come from has a bad accent of some description. One thing I can say with certainty:

Max to Taggart

James Taggart, aka the former Max Headroom, is always entertaining, if eccentric. He can p-p-p-p-ark his b-b-b-boots in my laboratory any time.

Shiny1 is sometimes known as Patricia deVarennes



[tags] Max Headroom, Eureka, sci-fi, fan, Taggart, Matt Frewer [/tags]


7 thoughts on “I Heart Taggart

  1. Linda

    Speaking from my position of authority as the Anime Queen, I must say that I loved this post! I’m a big fan of Taggert’s. Probably because I like oddball characters. But it’s more than that. He’s smart, funny, quirky, oddly endearing and he loves animals. Also, I kinda like his weird accent! lol Eureka is simply a wonderful show/town populated with strange but charming characters that feel uncoventionally normal! Great post! Please keep it up!

    Linda/Rinda

  2. Carrey

    Frankly speaking I liked the post very much as I love Taggart. THe funny and peculiar charecters are very heart touching.

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  4. Vernon

    Where the hell did he get that “Aussie” accent from?? No one I’ve met speaks like that! I’ve lived in Australia pretty much my whole life…

  5. Avatar of 2xKnight2xKnight

    Yeah, the accent was a bit strange, but almost everything about the character was odd. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’d acknowledged how weird it was on the show. Maybe it wasn’t the actor faking an accent, but the character.

    I’ve missed him during the last season. The show really seems to be missing something without him.

  6. Shiny1

    IMO, Taggart’s accent, like most everything else about him, is quirky and something of a study in the absurd. I assumed it was just part of the “fun” since Taggart’s past is fairly murky.

    Living in the southern US most of my life, I know it irritates me when 95% of the “southern” accents portrayed in TV and movies are ridiculous and inaccurate as well (unless they’re intended to be for fun). I miss him…he’s probably my favorite screwball on Eureka.

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