Following on from the blog I wrote last week we look at another group of the participants of the popular “Up” series, 63 Up being shown on SBS at 7:30 Monday evenings. There were four identities in the group on Monday, Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Peter Davis and Lynne Johnson. Today I will be focussing on Bruce, Jackie and Peter, looking to identify the Agent Dynamics profile that I believe is most aligned to them. I have decided not to make any comment as to Lynne’s profile type as sadly, she passed away in the period between the filming of 56Up and 63Up and is no longer with us.
Peter Davies – Creator
Peter displays a lot of the traits of a Creator profile. as one of the show's participants who's often looking for something bigger and brighter off into the future. As a seven-year-old, he aspired to be an astronaut and as his life has progressed, he has been one of the few who seemed to have some pretty big ideas but was not quite sure how he was going to get there. Creator profiles are very much the big picture thinkers and can easily drift from one idea to another. Great at getting things started but not so good at getting things finished.
He started life as a teacher, then became a public servant and now is a full-time musician. Creators can also shut down, disconnect and withdraw if they lose interest. This was evident when, after appearing in 28 Up he took some criticism in the local press after commenting during the show on Margaret Thatcher Britain. Branded a ‘Red’ he subsequently withdrew from the show without comment and only agreed to re-join for 56 Up when he saw it as an opportunity to get some publicity for his band. The Creator’s ‘take it or leave it’ attitude bubbles to the surface in quite a few of the episodes.
Jaqueline Bassett - Mechanic
Jackie was one of a group of three girls we were introduced to in 7 Up, who was in the same class at a school in London’s East End. Last week we spoke of another of the girls Suzanne, the Trader profile and in this episode, we also learn that, sadly, Lynne her other friend passed away shortly after filming 56 Up.
Jackie is a hard one to pick from a Profile perspective but when we look at the 8 different profile types, she seems to be most closely aligned with the Mechanic. Mechanics sit between Steel and Dynamo energy. They are known to not have a lot of social filters and of all the profiles are probably the one that speaks their mind the most. They can very much have a sense of what is right and what is wrong and aren’t scared to tell you.
This shows up in several episodes where she appears frustrated by the interviewer’s questions which focus on male and female stereotypes. In true Mechanic style, she gives Michael Apted, the Director the rounds of the kitchen, highlighting how his questions throughout the series have always been on the girls/women’s love life and children whilst the boys/men are asked about their success in life and their employment.
Bruce Balden - Accumulator/Trader
Bruce is one of the hardest to get a real angle on and I think he shows the attributes of both an Accumulator and a Trader Profile. He is a good example of how our lives are not only affected by our innate talent but also by our environment. In his early years, we get a sense of his isolation and loneliness as he speaks of his father being in Africa, his parents divorce and his life at boarding school. In subsequent episodes, the isolation continues as he can’t seem to find a partner in life until marrying and starting a family quite late in the series.
Bruce attends Uni and becomes a school teacher which is no real surprise. Accumulators seem to be attracted to the school teacher role as they sit between Steel energy, (data, research and process) and Tempo energy, (service to others and a great capacity for work).
You will remember last week that we spoke about Nick, whom we believe is also an accumulator profile and also a teacher. Bruce’s Tempo energy continues to shape his life when we discover him teaching in Bangladesh in one episode and then find him back in the East End helping children from some of London’s most socially challenged areas. In 63 Up Bruce is secure, semi-retired and still displaying that same sense of being a little lost in life that he first showed us 56 years ago.
Next week is the final episode before we put a close to 63 Up and wait patiently for another 7 years for 70 Up.