Saturday, July 10, 2021

Taking the Leads

• The good folks behind PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Mystery! series have announced their broadcast lineup over the next four months. They report that Season 4 of Unforgotten, starring Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar as London-based cold-case detectives, will debut tomorrow, July 11, with the first of six weekly episodes. That will be followed on Sunday, September 5, by a pair of two-hour installments of Guilt, focusing on brothers (Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives) who try to cover up a hit-and-run accident. On October 3, expect to see the opening episode (of eight) in Season 6 of Grantchester, starring Tom Brittney and Robson Green. And lastly, on October 17, will come the first of six Season 2 installments of Baptiste, starring Tchéky Karyo as French detective (and brain tumor survivor) Julien Baptiste. Click here to find a short trailer covering all of these programs.

• By the way, UK viewers need not wait until October for Baptiste. It kicks off Season 2 in Britain on Sunday, July 18. A preview is here.

• Although there’s no air date yet, the sophomore season of the Victorian-era mystery Miss Scarlet and The Duke, starring Kate Phillips and Stuart Martin, has commenced filming in Belgrade, Serbia, according to The Killing Times.

• This caught me by surprise: “George R.R. Martin is co-executive producing another TV show—and this time, it’s not one based on his own books,” explains “Martin is part of the team behind Dark Winds, a series adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s [Joe] Leaphorn & [Jim] Chee series. The show is set to star Kiowa Gordon (Roswell, New Mexico) and Zahn McClarnon (Westworld), with McClarnon also producing. AMC has already ordered a six-episode first season.” The site goes on to note, “Dark Winds takes its title from the fifth book in the Leaphorn and Chee series, The Dark Wind, though according to a statement from Martin, the primary source material is Listening Woman, the third book in the series. The show, according to Variety, is ‘a psychological thriller that follows two Navajo police officers in the 1970s Southwest, as their search for clues in a grisly double murder case forces them to challenge their own spiritual beliefs and come to terms with the trauma of their pasts.’”

• I haven’t had time yet to watch the second five episodes of Lupin, the French Netflix series starring Omar Sy. But already Hector DeJean has a (rather mixed) review up in Criminal Element.

• I did, though, see the seventh and final season of Amazon’s Bosch. And it’s hard to argue with Paul Levinson’s assessment that it’s the “best cop drama ever on television,” despite a few hiccups here and there. I shall definitely be watching for the still-unnamed sequel set to appear on Amazon’s ad-supported streaming service, IMDb.TV.

• Speaking of Bosch, the Web site of Australian broadcaster SBS offers this delightful (and much overdue) tribute to Harry Bosch’s most eccentric Hollywood Division colleagues, Detective “Barrel” Johnson (Troy Evans) and Detective Robert “Crate” Moore (Gregory Scott Cummins). Are they that show’s “real heroes”?

• Can I just tell you how much I hate slideshows on the Web? Having to flip through one page after another just to take in an entire feature is usually too much for me to bear; I almost always quit before the end. That said, I did enjoy this rundown of what YardBarker’s Chris Morgan thinks are “The 25 Best Episodes of The Rockford Files.”

• One last TV-related story: At Classic Film & TV Café, blogger “Rick29” looks back at The Delphi Bureau, a 1972 pilot film for the 1972-1973 ABC-TV series of that same name. Both starred Laurence Luckinbill as a reluctant spy with a photographic memory. Clickety-clack here to see The Rap Sheet’s own piece about that short-lived show, which ran as part of the wheel series The Men.

• OK, I lied. Here’s an additional piece—and quite a thorough one—about a vintage television series, in this case the 1962 episodes (Seasons 3 and 4) of The Untouchables. This is Part III of a post series about that Robert Stack-headlined show in Television's New Frontier: the 1960s. Part I is here; Part II can be found here.

• Director-producer Richard Donner, who died earlier this week at age 91, maybe be best known for making flicks such as Lethal Weapon, The Goonies, and Superman. But as The Spy Command points out, he also “directed four episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., three episodes of The Wild Wild West, and two episodes of Get Smart.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that “Musician-turned-mystery-writer Corey Lynn Fayman took top honors in the 2021 San Diego Book Awards for Ballast Point Breakdown, a wisecracking novel that features a guitar-playing detective, Navy SEALs, and trained dolphins. The book received the Geisel Award, a best-in-show prize named after Ted ‘Dr. Seuss’ Geisel, who wrote many of his best-selling and influential children’s books while living in La Jolla.” Ballast Point Breakdown was released in 2020 by Konstellation Press.

• Meanwhile, PulpFest brings word that Gary Phillips, the creator of Los Angeles private eye Ivan Monk and author of last year’s Matthew Henson and the Ice Temple of Harlem, is among 12 contenders for the 2021 Munsey Award, a prize “named after Frank A. Munsey—the man who published the first pulp magazine. It recognizes an individual or organization that has bettered the pulp community, be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and foster interest in the pulp magazines we all love and enjoy.” The winner is to be announced on Friday, August 20—in the middle of Philadelphia’s PulpFest 2021 (August 19-22).

• I had missed the unfortunate news, carried this week by In Reference to Murder, that “Perseverance Press is closing its doors after [a] long run. In a statement by Meredith Phillips, originally sent to the Dorothy-L Listserv, she announced that ‘Perseverance Press/John Daniel & Co. will be going out of business soon, with the recent sad demise of John Daniel [in December 2020]. We ended our 22-year publishing history this spring on a high note: the starred PW review for Lev Raphael’s Department of Death.’”

• Mike Ripley’s July “Getting Away with Murder” column for Shots contains notes about long-ago author A.G. “Archie” Macdonell; recycled novel titles; and new or forthcoming works by Peter Lovesey, Graham Hurley, Peter Guttridge, Peter Hanington, and Vaseem Khan. You’ll find all of that—plus more—here.

• The program for this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (July 22-25) has been released. So has the list of online events comprising the July 14-17 More Than Malice conference.

• And the dust jacket of Paul Doiron’s new Mike Bowditch novel, Dead by Dawn, confirms that aerial shots of snowy forests really have become a recurring theme on covers these last few years.

No comments: