Monday, April 22, 2024

Screen Scene

• Just two months after news broke that the Victorian TV crime series Miss Scarlet and the Duke would be losing actor Stuart Martin, who personated London police detective William “Duke” Wellington during that show’s initial four seasons, we learn from In Reference to Murder that “Tom Durant Pritchard (The Crown) has joined the cast of the Masterpiece drama”—to be retitled Miss Scarlet—“playing Alexander Blake, a handsome former soldier and respected detective inspector who joins the force at Scotland Yard after Wellington’s departure. He’s not particularly shocked by a woman working as a private eye, so Eliza [Scarlet, played by Kate Phillips] takes this to mean she’ll be given more cases. But their relationship gets off to a rocky start since Blake has decided not to allow private detectives to aid in his investigations. As Blake and Miss Scarlet cross paths at various crime scenes across London, they can’t help but develop mutual respect for one another, and perhaps even an attraction.” The Killing Times reports that the production of fresh Miss Scarlet episodes “is currently underway in Belgrade, Serbia, and [the show] is set to return to Alibi [and Masterpiece] in 2025.”

• Meanwhile, a trailer has been released for Season 9 of Grantchester. The first of a half-dozen new episodes will be broadcast in the states under PBS-TV’s Masterpiece umbrella come Sunday, June 16. Times are changing in more ways than one as this tale continues. The year is now 1961, Reverend Will Davenport (Tom Brittany) is departing his post in the Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester—much to the consternation of his friend and colleague, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green)—and a new vicar is stepping in to replace him: Reverend Alphy Kotteram, portrayed by Rishi Nair (Hollyoaks). Nair will be the third Anglican vicar protagonist in this series from UK network ITV, following James Norton as the Reverend Sidney Chambers (Seasons 1-4) and Brittany (4-9).

• This comes as a bit of a surprise: CBS-TV has cancelled the crime drama CSI: Vegas. A revival of the original, 2000–2015 series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Vegas debuted in 2021, and in its first year found William Petersen and Jorja Fox reprising their roles from the popular previous series. Marg Helgenberger, who’d played forensics officer Catherine Willows in the first CSI, signed on to the cast of CSI: Vegas during its second season, joining Paula Newsome, Mandeep Dhillon, Matt Lauria, Ariana Guerra, Jay Lee and Lex Medlin.

• And timed nicely to what would have been this month’s 100th birthday for American composer-conductor Henry Mancini (had he not died back in 1994), Philadelphia journalist Shaun Brady pens a glowing tribute to one of Mancini’s best-remembered works, the “iconic” theme to the TV series Peter Gunn (1958-1961). “Peter Gunn instantly made Mancini a household name,” Brady recalls. “The soundtrack was awarded Album of the Year at the inaugural Grammy Awards, and the theme proved to be the first of many indelible Mancini melodies to come.” If you’d like to hear more versions of Mancini’s eminently whistle-able piece, see The Bunburyist’s collection here.


E. Ellis said...

I am absolutely stunned at the lack of attention toward the prequel series to the movie Sexy Beast streaming on Paramount+. Not only that, I am highly disappointed in all the crime fiction/crime show sites that have completely ignored this series.

And what is especially irritating is how this lack of attention will most likely lead to the ending of any hopes for a second season for this vastly underrated series.

Every single major performance is excellent (especially that of Stephen Moyer and Tamsin Greig) and the story is compelling and full of suspense.

I feel this series is going to go down as one of those series everyone describes as one of the best shows no one is watching and then later complain how it is one of those shoes cancelled way too soon.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Wow, I'll have to check that one out. It completely escaped my radar. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.