Anonymous asked you: OH WISE ONE- GIVE US YOUR INTERPRETATION OF MYCROFT’S OFFICE? FORTRESS, IF YOU WOULD BE SO KIND :>
Hello! I suppose an analysis is overdue – although I wouldn’t be surprised if the following suppositions transpire to be completely wrong.
The first thing I notice about the new office is how much darker it is than the old. Mycroft’s previous office was a ground floor affair in an old government building, possibly in Whitehall – the office of a minor government official – with street-facing windows with old-fashioned catches. The new office seems to be entirely windowless, more private and all the more secure, and therefore the more suitable location for a secretive meeting with your brother who supposedly died in disgrace. If I have to pick a location, I would lean towards the rather modern MI6 building in Vauxhall Cross, going by the decor. From the contact of this scene, it is clear that privacy is key. “Fortress” isn’t far off!
Mycroft’s old office was full of files, papers, boxes, books and stamps, and other accoutrements of office work and bureaucracy. While neat and tidy, no surface was left uncovered and the bookshelves were stacked up to the ceiling. By contrast, this office is considerably more minimalist; the only file in there seems to be the one in Mycroft’s hand.
The furniture in the new office is more modern than that in the old, which was quite traditional dark wood, and likely standard government-issue rather than something Mycroft chose for himself. The new office is likely decorated to Mycroft’s personal tastes. The desk is considerably larger and more imposing, especially in what looks to be a fairly small office. The chairs are larger and more comfortable than before, and fit the more modern setting. As Mid0nz has discovered, the lamp on his desk is a Christen Dell Bauhaus design that likely dates from the 1950s. The fan on the other side of the desk is likely from the same decade – it bears a striking resemblance to my own vintage Pifco fan, but it’s difficult to tell. Also on the desk is a large glass globe – a beautiful little ornament that gestures towards the considerable power and influence wielded by its owner. If you look very carefully (and assuming my eyes haven’t gone funny), you can see Mycroft’s umbrella hung up on the wall on the right, just behind the fan. This is clearly a space that belongs solely to Mycroft and one that he is comfortable in.
The Norwood Builder has identified the painting behind Mycroft as the 1956 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Pietro Annigoni. This beautiful painting is considerably larger than the one in Mycroft’s old office (also identified by the Norwood Builder in her post), and makes the office appear considerably more opulent. It is the presence of this painting that makes me think that this is a governmental office rather than one in Mycroft’s private residence.
One thing that has remained almost the same is the red telephone on Mycroft’s desk, albeit a different model to the one in the old office. Reminiscent of the cold war hotline, and a symbol that has reoccurred in the corridors of power and bond films ever since, this is clearly Mycroft’s emergency line.
My feeling is that this is Mycroft’s secret or alternative office, consummate with his stature as “the British Government” itself, and he still retains the old office to store things and to keep up appearances, a venue for taking meetings with those who believe he really does just hold a minor position in the British government. The unabashed display of the globe on his desk seems to indicate that anyone who sets foot in there knows just who they are dealing with and Mycroft has no need to pretend to be anything less.
But it all still remains to be seen! I’m still hopeful we might get a glimpse of Mycroft’s Pall Mall flat this series, which is still a possible, if unlikely, location for this scene.