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It is Christmas (well it will be in a couple of days) and I have just been released from work so that warrants a special post. I had actually been wracking my brains to think of something Christmas themed to post about and then it struck me that I had not done a Geek Quotient post for ages and there is a Christmas themed film that is bursting with potential for the GQ treatment – Love Actually.

You see, like Downton Abbey it is full of the sort of British actors who end up in sci fi and fantasy films or series on a regular basis and, in fact, given some of the names here it would not surprise me if it scored even higher than Downton’s rather good score of 0.633.

So, as usual, we look at the list of names on the cast list on IMDB, take a note of the number of them who have been in something sci fi or fantasy related and divide that into the total number of cast members.

So, when this is done we get a value of 0.496, which is a lot lower than both Downton’s value and the 0.584 achieved by the new version of Hawaii Five-O.

So, in a film which boasts Underworld and Shaun of the Dead’s Bill Nighy, The Hobbit’s Martin Freeman, Keira Knightly (Pirates of the Caribbean), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity, 2012, Children of Men, Salt) and Liam Neeson (who has been in Star Wars, Batman and the Narnia films among others) along with a host of others who have been extras in Doctor Who* and other geek treats how come the value is so low?

The truth is that it is the sheer size of the cast list on IMDB that scuppers Love Actually. There are 115 cast members listed and many of them are only actors in this one film. So while there are actually very many contributing to the GQ here (57 in total) it is still just less than half the total cast. This is one of the flaws of the method of the GQ – you have to stick to the cast as listed on IMDB.

Despite that disappointing score, you still have to admit that Love Actually includes some major geek talent covering a broad range of films and TV shows. As well as the ones mentioned above we also have some very obvious Harry Potter links (Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson, who was also in Men in Black III among other things), quite a few who were in Ashes to Ashes (Rory MacGregor, for example), Game of Thrones (particularly the actor playing Liam Neeson’s son, Thomas Brodie-Sangster who was also in Doctor Who), the Walking Dead (Andrew Lincoln) and the Resident Evil series of films (Sienna Guillory). And even some of the actors you might not consider to have had a geek credit have some. Gregor Fisher (Gormenghast), Hugh Grant (was the Doctor in Curse of the Fatal Death along with Rowan Atkinson but also starred in a horror called Lair of the White Worm) and even Colin Firth scores with his role in Nanny McPhee.

Of all the cast list, the one that surprised me the most was Margery Mason. That she was the tea lady on the Hogwart’s Express is not the surprise. That came when I found out that she was also the aged old crone who boos Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride in 1987, a very memorable character for her very brief screen time. Incidentally, unless the IMDB entry for her is woefully out of date, Margery earned a telegram from the Queen in September this year for reaching the ripe old age of 100 so well done to her for that!

Margery Mason, playing wonderfully batty old crones for over 30 years

So, there you have it. The GQ of Love Actually. A film which had great promise for a high score but didn’t make it due to the huge cast list. So, I am still waiting for something to beat Downton Abbey’s score… Any suggestions for a non geek film or series that might beat that score are welcomed.

*Including Caroline John, who played Liz Shaw in classic Who and who was there for the merest seconds in the funeral scenes as the mother of Liam Neeson’s character’s recently deceased girlfriend.