So, here's the thing! Hordes of fans, well a few anyway, have said how they'd like to see the Parish & Richards books adapted for television - I agree! Well, I would wouldn't I, but no... I'm being serious. I mean, what's on the TV worth watching these days? Bugger all is my answer - excuse um moi! Ha, ha, you didn't know I could speak French, did you? Anyway, A Touch of Frost came to an end, and that was brilliant. Dalziel & Pascoe came to end, and that was just as brilliant. What have we got left? Oh, there's been some other adaptations.
Mark Billingham's Thorne is quite good. David Morrissey does a reasonable job as DI Tom Thorne, but for the life of me I can't recall any of the other characters, which is not good. You've probably guessed I'm a character man, I love creating characters, and that's what a lot of the reviews say - "Parish & Richards are wonderful characters, and they want to hug the Chief..." Then there's The Body Farm - not good. Now, Waking the Dead was brilliant - why? Because Trevor Eve and Sue Johnston were brilliant. In The Body Farm, Tara Fitzgerald and her bunch of weirdos have no personalities - they're one-dimensional. Silent Witness was also very good, but I quite fancied Emilia Fox who plays Nikki Alexander. I'll do some more, but I'll let you into a little secret now - Of course, there has to be a good storyline, but unless there are some three-dimensional engaging characters, it's generally no good because people want to root for or hate your characters.
Stephen Tompskinson also does a good job with Peter Robinson's DCI Alan Banks, and I also like Andrea Lowe as DS Annie Cabot (but I think I might have a bit of crush on her!) The Killing (Danish version) was also fantastic, but the ending was rubbish - again the characters were suberb. Sofie Grabol as Inspector Sarah Lund was really excellent - sacrificing everything to get to the truth. Her partner, Jan Meyer was very good as well. Also, there's a 2nd series due to be aired on BBC4 on 19th November - only nine days to go - Excellent!
Now, you'll note that I've only been discussing British TV crime series - Well, that's because I live in Britain, Toady! But hey, I'm not a complete anglophile - I've just ordered the complete Prison Break (series 1 - 4 including the Final Break) just in case there absolutely nothing on over Christmas, which is probably a dead certainty!
Now, let's continue on, Toady. Taggart - getting a bit dated, and without Mark McManus it was never the same. Sherlock Holmes - I'm afraid I still like the Black & White ones with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Hawthorne (I know, call me a dinosaur!) I definitely don't like that weird-looking Cumberpatch doll! Midsomer Murders - dear me! Morse with John Thaw and Kevin Whately was brilliant. The spin-off Lewis isn't bad, but without Thaw, well it's just not the same is it. Agatha Christie's Poirot with David Suchet is also excellent, but again a bit dated. New Tricks and Foyle's War I've never fancied. Luther was very good, but I began to lose sympathy with the character. The Wire in the Blood with Robson Green and Hermoine Norris was fabulous, as was Rebus with Ken Stott, and Spiral - the French series, Rose & Maloney with Sarah Lancashire and Phil Davies (I particularly like Phil Davies - I think he's a superb actor, and was excellent in this series). Linda LaPlant's Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren was brilliant. In the past, there was Cracker with Robbie Coltrane, which was wonderful. There are some I've not mentioned, which are okay, such as George Gently and Criminal Minds.
So, the common thread running through each of the TV crime series that are successful is a strong lead character(s), and strong supporting characters as well. In the Parish & Richards series we've got Jed Parish, Mary Richards, Ray Kowalski, Chief Day, Doc Michelin, and Paul Toadstone. I know there are others, but let's focus on Parish and Richards to start with. Who do you think should play these two?
Now, I've looked at some male UK actors, but none make me think of Jed Parish. I think I'd have better luck trying find someone to play Mary Richards. So, I don't want to colour your judgement, who do you think should play these two? Now, that's not necessarily a redundant question, because I'm teaching myself scriptwriting with a view to writing a Parish & Richards script for TV - How hard can it be? Anyway, I'll keep you in the loop, but books and scripts to write Toady, so toodle-pip for now!
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.