The Monocled Mutineer
Ni: Percy Toplis is a strategist, who knows how to manipulate people and the system to get what he wants. He doesn’t have a long-term goal, other than self-gain, but whenever he figures out what he wants, he pursues it diligently and meticulously until he squires it. Toplis has a knack for picking up behavioural dynamics and knows how to imitate pretty much anyone for his cons. Toplis has an idiosyncratic sense of humour, which he uses both to amuse himself and to disconcert others. He tends to think most people rather boring, and doesn’t hesitate to make fun of them for their inconsistencies and views. Toplis is good at predicting how things will go down, which allows him to sit calmly while others worry, but also causes him to panic when he knows his death is looming near.
Te: Toplis is assertive in all things, be it courting ladies, leading revolutions or conning people into giving him money. He has strict opinions, and voices them bluntly. He’s good at public speaking because he understands rhetoric and how other people’s brains work (Ni). He always has a comeback for any remark set to him, and he’s never without a plan. Toplis constantly has to be doing something, else he gets bored. He knows how to organise people to get them to do pretty much anything he wants, such that he easily rises from having no footing in the revolution, to becoming an iconic leader within it. He tends to view life as a game, and plays it to the fullest. Toplis is all about action. He’s not one to sit around doing nothing at camp, but prefers to be implementing various schemes or parading as an officer.
Fi: Toplis has a general disregard for rules and strongly resists allowing other people to control or manipulate him. He breaks rules both for personal gain and for the moral cause of not allowing others control over him. He has little respect for authority and follows his own personal moral code rather than relying on what other people tell him. He is deeply affected by the atrocities he witnesses in war, but is usually able to put off his emotions until convenient times, whereupon he becomes overwhelmed by trying to work through them. Toplis doesn’t share his feelings directly with anyone, including those closest to him, but rather, acts (Te) to accomplish something in relation to them. He loves Dorothy, so refuses to allow her to accompany him to his death, for instance. As he grows older, Toplis gets colder, but he’s also more affected by his emotions, and begins to question his morality more heavily.
Se: Toplis is a very sensual person. He spends a large amount of time in brothels and living the life of an officer in disguise. He tends to internalise his stress, never really speaking about it, but allowing it to come through in what he does. As a youth, he’s often kept awake through the night without being able to explain why. Toplis is pro at using his environment to his advantage, such that escaping from confinement is a piece of cake (or should I say, a piece of noose?).
Because there is so much controversy as to what the real-life Percy Toplis was actually like, I’m doing this analysis based off of The Monocled Mutineer, which was banned from the BBC in the 80s for bringing up historical controversy.
Ages ago, when I first watched this show, I typed Toplis as an ENTJ because he can be very outgoing and charming at times, but after going back recently and re-watching it, I’m convinced that he’s not an extravert. He retreats to solitude much too often for that, and his sense of humour is much more Ni-dom than Ni-aux. He’s just a very sensual INTJ without a long-term life goal (aka, not a particularly healthy INTJ).
Also, every time I watch this, I can’t help thinking that Paul Mcgann with a moustache looks vaguely like a Nikola Tesla doppleganger. Just me? Or perhaps I’m too much of a Tesla-fan.
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