Winston smith went to Eton
This is when supposed “every man” characters in British Sci-Fi are played by upper middle class sounding people


(permanent link) added: 2012-07-27 06:05:54 sponsor: dragonslip (last reply: 2012-07-27 21:43:15)

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Often in sci-fi works especially dystopian ones, the main character is often meant to be an “every man” whose experiences represent that of the many. Considering that you have to wonder why so often even today these characters are played with upper middle-class accent (only if the production has English cast obviously) that don’t represent that of the many at all

Years ago the reason for this was most likely just that most everyone in British TV and film sounded like this as the defult and these types of characters often don’t have a real life background with a set real world accent attached. More resent examples might generously just be the result of a disproportionate number of upper middle class people going into acting and American casting agents not know any better. More cynically it might be because often these characters are suppose to quite deep thinkers on some level and in some people’s minds it’s easier to take people seriously as civilised intellectuals if they sound like Stephen fry


Examples

Film
  • in the 1984 film version of 1984 John Hurt plays Winston smith with his own upper middle class accent
  • in the film version of Vfor Vendetta Natalie Portman plays Evey Hammond with a posh English accent


LiveActionTV
  • the main character in the second episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror averts this but his reality TV star love interest does not


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