What I have always admired about RA and his acting skills was the ability to go through a character transformation, do it convincingly and adorably. He is able to squeeze every essential drop from a character, even if the role is minor or supporting. Some transfomations go hand in hand with a physical change and this is the first:
Sparkhouse– John Standring
He works at Sparkhouse Farm and manages plenty of animals. He is in love with Carol, but is also painfully shy, hard-working, honest and decent. He is also one of the most endearing characters RA has played to date.
Although John starts out as a secondary character, he is slowly moved to the centre of the storyline.
Before they get married, Carol encourages him to go through a physical transformation. I think it’s symbolic in the sense that I feel he would never have been good enough for her. It is true that the heart wants… but in times of need she would turn to John for help and comfort knowing full well she wouldn’t be able to give him what he wanted or needed in return.
Carol has undoubtedly been hurt in life, not only physically, but also psychologically and in a sense John is the complete opposite of the type of men who have wounded her, like her father or Andrew.
One might say that Carol used him on many occasions, but perhaps any link to her was acceptable to him, as long as he could have her close. He seems like an incredibly lonely character. It seems he has a need to nurtue Carol, help her save the farm and her family from financial ruin. He dispays a loyalty and love for her she seems unable to reciprocate.
He displays a vulnerability that is both adorable and awkward. His naivity and sexual inexperience contrasts with all the other characters in Sparkhouse, they all seem to have an agenda whereas John seems pure hearted, trusting and honest.
He is truly a modern day hero- his strength comes from the goodness in him, his simple logic and ability to love with all his heart.