Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Peter Wyngarde, 1927-2018, R.I.P. ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post

Ordinarily, when I post about someone who's recently died, it's because that person did one or more things that made him or her notable to me. To me, I stress. If I'm not personally familiar with a person's body of work, his or her passing goes without comment from The Silver Fox. (And by the way, fellow babies, I am well aware that it's been a relatively long time since I've done one of my tribute posts, but it does not mean that nobody's passed on who meant anything to me. I've just been too busy doing other stuff.)

Having said all of that, I must admit that I wasn't really aware of Peter Wyngarde, who died January 15th at the age of ninety, as an actor. However, just looking at the man's extensive body of work, I've definitely seen him as General Klytus in 1980's Flash Gordon -- although his face was covered by a metal mask -- and looking at some of the TV shows he appeared in over the years, I'm certain I've seen him in half a dozen dimly-remembered roles, if not more.

Wyngarde is best known for playing the character of Jason King in two TV shows, Department S and its spinoff, called (What else?) Jason King.

But none of the above explains why I'm writing about him.

As it happens, Peter Wyngarde was the visual basis for a character created by writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne, that of "Jason Wyngarde," who first appeared in the pages of Uncanny X-Men in the early 1980s. (Where they got the name is fairly obvious.)

Well, technically that's when the Jason Wyngarde persona debuted, although his "real" self, a villain called Mastermind, first appeared as far back as 1964.

Okay! No more comic-related text! I'm just going to share the following brief sequence, where the immensely powerful Jean Grey (a/k/a Marvel Girl and Dark Phoenix) has discovered Mastermind's deception, and... Well, see for yourself!

And before I sign off here, I want to mention that Mr. Wyngarde (Peter, not Jason) also helped to inspire the creation of a character whose three films I've enjoyed, Austin Powers! (Of course, Austin owes a lot to several pop-culture heroes from the '60s, and not just Jason King.) So there's one more reason for my tribute to Peter Wyngarde.

Thanks for your time.


  1. Knew Jean screwed his likeness up in the comics. She never got as violent with him in the cartoon, if I recall correctly. Never knew Austin Powers came from him though.

    1. Austin was inspired by several popular fictional characters, mainly from the 1960s, including James Bond, Derek Flint, and Matt Helm. Quite a mix!

  2. I vaguely remember him in the Jason King series, but I wasn't a fan.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    1. I never saw either series "Jason King" appeared in.

  3. His face looks familiar but I have not seen that series

    1. I did a Google image search and there were photos of him, clean-shaven, with shorter hair. Those looked familiar, which is why I said I no doubt saw him in other roles, probably when I was too young to discern most actors from one another.

  4. Austin Powers ~ haha ~Oh, behave..haha..ok, I just had to as you did set it up.

    Enjoy your week!

  5. David:
    dozen dimly-remebered roles"

    1. Ouch! I hate typos. Just fixed it. Thanks for pointing that out, Paul.

      By the way, for any of you readers who see this, Paul Howley is my friend and former employer. He owns That's Entertainment, a comic and collectibles store in both Worcester and Fitchburg, Massachusetts, T.E. In 1997, That's Entertainment received the "Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award" from Comic-Con International: San Diego. The Worcester store is located on the corner of Park Avenue and (I swear!) Lois Lane.

      Almost every good thing I know about collectibles retailing was learned from Paul. He's been selling comics since the early 1970s.

      How many of you can say that your former boss and his store have their own Wikipedia entries?


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