Profile # 2: Lady Fiona Fizziwig
Coydog on Jan. 11, 2009
LADY FIONA FIZIWIGG:
"I was barely 13, and the only girl in a brood of brothers, when I suddenly realized that nothing much was expected of me in life. That society extended certain advantages to men that weren't extended to we women. So, I decided then and there to become a man. Until it suited me otherwise, of course..."
--Lady Fiona Fiziwigg
In the classic 60's tv show "The Avengers", the dapper John Sneed has the iconic Emma peel by his side. In the Avengers inspired "The Continentals", the equally dapper Jeffrey Tiffen Smythe has the equally iconic adventuress Lady Fiona Fiziwigg, Agent 99, Continental Operative of the A.T.S..T.K by his side.
I've always liked strong, witty, gutsy women in film and tv who not only don't need a man to save them, but could just as easily save any man in need. Of which Emma Peel from the 60's tv show "The Avengers" is one such woman. And the ultimate inspiration for Fiona. From her gutsy straight forward manner that made her a capable partner for her partner John Sneed, to her witty mischievous personality that made her a pleasure to watch, and the outright womanly sexiness that made her not only a sexual icon to mean, but also a feminist icon to women, Emma Peel was a force to be reckoned with. I wanted Fiona to be that same kind of force.
In the repressive 19th century, a woman like Emma Peel would have shaken society to it's very foundations. And that's what Fiona does. Armed with a carefree, do and say as I please and damn the consequences personality, and a witty adventurous nature, Fiona is the 19th century equivalent of a sore thumb. Add to that her shocking personal style of dressing like a man, her provocative choice to live her life like a man and without the social constraints placed on 19th century women, her chosen occupation and working in what some would consider a manly profession, and the even more shocking and scandalous manner she has of conducting her romances as carefree as any man would, Fiona as a character is quite the force of nature.
With a character nod to both Diana Rigg's Emma Peel and Barbara Feldon's "99" from "Get Smart" (Fiona is "Agent 99"), a style nod to Judy Davis' portrayal of 19th century cross dressing feminist writer George Sand from the movie "Impromptu", and using actress Catherine Zeta Jones as the inspiration for her physical type (and even her hometown of Swansea, South Wales), I went about creating a fish cleaners daughter ("a fish cleaners daughter" is how Fiona describes herself) from a small fishing village who grew up realizing that men were valued in society and women weren't and decided to live her life "as a man" and fill it full of adventures of every kind A notorious adventuress and social provocateur who was called to duty as "an agent in her majesties service" as a Continental Operative of the A.T.S.T.K. And that that duty will include investigating the series of brutal, bloody "manglings" that has plunged the city of Mansfordshire into an abyss of fear.
But Fiona and Smythe aren't investigating the Mangler murders alone. They are joined in their efforts to catch a killer by the british version of a work-a-day, working class hero cop--Inspector Norfolk.
NEXT WEEK: INSPECTOR NORFOLK