|Head is one of those lucky actors|
|who looks increasingly good|
Regarding television, it seems that every British actor must appear in (1) a costume drama; (2) a detective show (usually Agatha Christie but not automatically); (3) a Dr. Who episode; and (4) an American show either as a guest or a regular.
Anthony Head fits these requirements!
(1) Costume Drama: It hardly seems fair to start with costume drama since this is the one genre in which Head does not excel. He appeared as Sir Walter Elliot in 2007's Persuasion. Granted, 2007's Persuasion is already somewhat strange what with Borg Queen Alice Krige playing Lady Russell. However, Alice Krige is capable of subtlety; Head isn't so much. He portrays Sir Walter as a villainous jerk rather than as a vaguely self-centered, vain man.
To be fair, Head himself would likely tell you that he is much better at scenery-chewing and/or comedic parts.
|From Dr. Who|
(3) Head continues with upperclass sliminess as the purely evil headmaster in Dr. Who's "School Reunion." (Head's facility for "correct" BBC English may be why he got cast as Sir Walter. As James Marsters would tell you, Head's real accent is closer to Spike's than to Giles's, and Spike's accent suffered slightly when Marsters was removed from Head's daily influence.)
(4) And naturally, of course, Head is the magnificent Giles in the American show Buffy. Head excels at comedy, and he captures the wry, tender, slightly sardonic, father-figure librarian with panache and ease. He also manages to convey an undercurrent of danger or unpredictability within the character. Giles is Buffy's rock, yet one is never entirely sure exactly which direction he will jump.
And Head is willing to be silly, a quality I admire in actors (see notes on Supernatural's heroes). So in Buffy, his character eats candy and regresses to his teen years, turns into an animal-thing (as they would say on Star Trek), wears a silly hat, etc. etc. etc. And he never portrays any discomfort or sense of self-consciousness. Kudos!