Barbara Bain

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Barbara Bain

Post by Senmut on Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:08 am

Some "critics" have trashed her, as Helena, calling her "wooden", and so forth. I don't see her as so.
What about you folks?
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Re : Barbara Bain

Post by Commander Koenig on Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:40 am

Senmut wrote:Some "critics" have trashed her, as Helena, calling her "wooden", and so forth. I don't see her as so.
What about you folks?

I liked Barbara Bains portrayal of Helena, I thought she played it just right. She was also trained in the Method acting techniques which requires the actor to immerse themselves in the character, and as such her role as the Doctor called for her to be calm and competent which I think she achieved very well. We also saw other sides to her character when called for in the scripts - compassion, care, love, admiration, anger - the full range of emotions and I think she handled these admirably. I do remember reading on various websites that Barbara Bain particularly enjoyed the episodes where she could move away from playing the competent doctor and 'get down and dirty' as she put it!
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Re: Barbara Bain

Post by CalgaryAlphan on Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:06 am

I absolutely love Barbara Bain's portrayal of Helena Russell (and, in general, I've always been a big fan of her other work, also). I think the critics are unfair in dubbing her "wooden" - do they say the same thing about Gillian Anderson in The X Files (for example)? Barbara's performance was ahead of its time, and in her subtle performance attentive viewers can see and appreciate a very wide range of emotional responses to various situations throughout the first season. By Year Two, of course, she had warmed the character up and her performance was quite a bit different.
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Re: Barbara Bain

Post by Andrew Kearley on Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:21 pm

I prefer Helena in series 1 - (yeah, OK, so I prefer everything in series 1) - but in series 2, Bain seems to be playing her as if she's drunk all the time! Very Happy Just kidding! The whole thing about the "wooden acting" jibes, I think, probably started as a sort of humorous comment derived from the Andersons' previous reputation with kids' puppet series, and got out of hand from there. But in series 1, certainly, Barbara Bain is portraying Helena as a totally professional and dispassionate doctor. This might make her seem emotionally repressed, and maybe it's this the critics are responding to - but if so, that's a shame as I think it's a really bold acting choice - it strips her character of the traditional, feminine caring qualities that would usually define a female doctor role. I suppose you could compare a more "touchy-feely" character like Dr Crusher in Star Trek TNG. But you know, Helena is the chief medical officer of Alpha - if you like, that makes her effectively the head of a hospital - a really senior management level doctor, and in that role, she's impressive and completely believable. I'd want someone dispassionate to make difficult life and death decisions. But that doesn't mean she's not kind and sympathetic with her patients - plenty of times she shows a caring side.
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Re: Barbara Bain

Post by Senmut on Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:31 pm

The "traditional feminine caring qualities" are quite evident at the delivery of Jackie Crawford. Something besides an autopsy and filling out a death certificate. But detatched and reserves she is, in Y1. And it makes sense.
After all, she's lost her husband, been blasted out into space, found, then lost Lee again, been kidnapped by certain nuts, had her head screwed with by telepathic aliens, et al... She's trying to regain her equilibrium as a person, and a professional.
Hell, I'd be "reserved" too.
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Re: Barbara Bain

Post by cmdrkoenig67 on Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:47 am

Barbara played the role well....I don't feel she was wooden, at all (some critics say that of the whole cast).

I agree that she emoted when the scripts called for it.

What exactly do these critics expect? Did they want the cast to wig out at every danger they encounter? How could the characters be called professionals, then?

I happen to agree about Helena in Yr 2...She does seem tipsy...LOL.

Dana
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Re: Barbara Bain

Post by Senmut on Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:45 am

Tipsy? Hhmm...sampling Tony's beer??? Razz
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Re: Barbara Bain

Post by s99fan on Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:51 am

No, that would have been 'Guardian of Piri'.
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Re: Barbara Bain

Post by Senmut on Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:54 am

Smartypants!
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Re: Barbara Bain

Post by SPACE 1899 on Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:06 pm

All credit to Barbara Bain and her 'restrained emotions' portrayal of Helena Russell in Year 1, which I find strangely attractive.
I sometimes wonder if later Star Trek characters such as Seven of Nine on Voyager and T'Pol on Enterprise borrowed at all from her portrayal.
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Re: Barbara Bain

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