"Sir Stuart Strange is the leader of the East India Company in London. Strange’s empire-building aspirations are greatly disturbed by Delaney’s return to the fold, and the character becomes further aggravated when Delaney — spurned by unsavory dealings with the East India Company in the past — refuses to cooperate. Long-standing Head of the Honourable East India Company across the entire face of the Earth. An extremely powerful man, who is used to getting what he wants, both in London and abroad. "
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Sir Stuart Strange was a man in his sixties with white hair, grim eyes, and the face marked by the years. He was wearing fine black suits, elaborately stitched with gold embroidery and bow ties pinned with precious brooches. An ostentatious richness of clothing poorly concealed his cold personality, prone to profanity when his subtle and seemingly calm approach will not serve to achieve desired goals. His methods as a military general were quite atrocious.
Sir Stuart Strange presided over the meeting at East India Company House to discuss the legacy of not so much mourned Horace Delaney, a former member of the company. During the meeting, he asked Benjamin Wilton to brief the other members about the past of James Delaney, son and heir of the deceased. Then they discovered that James served as a cadet under the control of Strange himself years before. Several days later, Strange tried to convince Delaney to give up Nootka Sound, the plot of American land inherited. At the refusal of the young man, Sir Stuart Strange lost his temper, deliberately antagonizing young Delaney. (Episode 1)
The plans of Sir Strange to get rid of James Delaney continued to take shape when informed by Wilton about Delaney's new shipping company, Strange began to suspect that the Americans were hiding behind Delaney's recent fortunes. When a mysterious woman claimed to be the widow of the late Horace Delaney, Sir Stuart Strange decided to take the opportunity to steal Nootka Sound from James Delaney. (Episode 2)
Totally angry with his subordinates, Sir Strange came to terms with Solomon Coop, secretary of the Prince Regent, in a conversation with implicit veiled threats about the outcome of Nootka Sound, and their apparent common goal to get rid of James Delaney. (Episode 3)
When Sir Strange was informed by Wilton about Solomon Coop treason, who had tried to buy the favors of Lorna Bow only on behalf of the Crown, the head of the East India Company went on a rampage, venting his frustration on Benjamin Wilton and John Pettifer. (Episode 4)
Sir Stuart Strange convened an extraordinary meeting to deal with the recent robbery at their warehouses with stocks of gunpowder. Later, frightened by the recent affiliation between Solomon Coop and George Chichester, spokesman of the "Sons of Africa," Sir Strange commissioned Wilton to destroy some documents about the slave ship, and contacting Mr Chichester immediately in order to offer him their support, trying to deflect the blame for the sinking off the East India Company, and above all from himself. (Episode 5)
Sir Strange was briefed by Wilton and Pettifer about their conversation with Chichester, finding that the latter was really determined to carry out his royal commission to investigate the covered up affairs of the East India Company. After evaluating a strategy involving the King, Prince Regent, Delaney, and Chichester comparing them to pawns on a chessboard, Sir Strange decided it was time to implement their plan. Joyfully, Sir Strange gathered a council among the members of the Company's Desk, revealing how a priest had snitched about the confession of a certain Ibbotson, an associate of James Delaney, who had confessed to where to find the factory. Sir Strange then gave orders for a search, waiting anxiously the good news, but when Wilton returned to report that the factory had been dismantled before they arrived leaving them with absolutely nothing, Sir Strange ordered that Delaney's ship was destroyed as a declaration of war. (Episode 6)
Despite losing the battle, Sir Strange found soon the will to win the war when two prostitutes, Helga von Hinten and Pearl, presented themselves before EIC's Desk, confessing to being aware of important details about Delaney's involvement with the theft of gunpowder from the warehouses of the East India Company. Sir Strange, then, made them arrested for complicity, waiting that they could be used as witnesses during the trial. Along with his associates, and attorney Robert Thoyt, Sir Strange visited Solomon Coop, making him aware of the news and, since thanks to legal loopholes, had managed to secure Nootka Sound to the King, Sir Strange demanded the exclusive trade with China. While playing golf, Strange was approached by Chichester, who was mistaken for a caddy by Strange because of his skin colour. Chichester informed the EIC chairman to be in possession of evidence that would prove his undoing, leaving Sir Strange disappointed because he thought he had won once and for all. Following the arrest of Delaney, from the moment that he decided not to admit anything, Sir Strange had to meet him in a cell as part of an agreement between Delaney and Coop. (Episode 7)
Sir Strange was then blackmailed by James Delaney, who proved to be in possession of vital documents for the defeat of Sir Strange and his precious company. Sir Strange could not help but accept Delaney's requests and, once back in his office, he instructed Wilton to provide a ship and basic necessities to Delaney's affiliates. While waiting to be free from blackmail, Sir Strange received a visit from an angry Chichester, and the two men implicitly proved to be both pawns in the hands of Delaney. Believing himself to be safe, Strange received a package signed by Dr. E. Dumbarton. Believing it was a treaty which gave him a monopoly on the tea trade with China together with the end of Delaney's situation, Sir Strange indeed met his end, since the package contained an explosive that was activated as soon as the man opened the casing. (Episode 8)
- "The issue today is Old Man Delaney. May he rot in Hell!"
- ― Sir Stuart Strange about the late Horace Delaney
- "Jesus Christ! Am I the only one in this company with a brain?"
- ― Sir Stuart Strange
- The series is set in the year 1814 and the real chairman of the East India Company at the time was, in fact, the Honourable William Fullerton Elphinstone.
- As revealed in the sixth episode, Sir Stuart Strange has a brother who owns sugar plantations in the Jumbly Bay, Antigua.
- The death of Sir Strange is vaguely similar to that of another character played by Jonathan Pryce; High Sparrow, a character of the famous TV series "Game of Thrones". Both died from a violent explosion caused by their enemies.
- Jonathan Pryce also portrayed Governor Weatherby Swann in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, a character also involved with the East India Company.
- Jonathan Pryce is but one of the several actors working on Taboo who had roles on the HBO series, Game of Thrones (2011). The others are Oona Chaplin, Mark Gatiss, Lucian Msamati, Jefferson Hall, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Tim Plester and Nicholas Blane.