Friday 11 September 2020

The Young Ones

Find a good character, and make what TV series you can from them...and when the plots seem exhausted, go back to their youth, and make the 'prequels'. Especially it is good to demonstrate that detectives were solving mysteries from their earliest days [my teddy bear is missing! whodunnit?]

In 1982, a fresh faced Guy Henry played Young Sherlock, in an 8 episode TV series [Guy has gone on to much greater things now] There have been other Young Sherlock films since. Basically an adolescent with a deerstalker.

In 2012, we discovered the early career of grumpy but gifted Morse, when Shaun Evans popped up to play Endeavour. I'd watch anything with Roger Allam in it, I just love his voice.

 It looks like Endeavour series 8 will happen late in 2021 [filming has been delayed due to covid19]  It is set in 1971. 

Prime Suspect 1973 - the clue is in the name - shows the beginnings of Jane Tennison's police career. In 2016 Stefanie Martini played the role made famous by Helen Mirren.

Having loved Luca Zingaretti's portrayal of Inspector Montalbano [our daughters sent us to Sicily in 2016 to celebrate our 60th birthdays] we greatly enjoyed Young Montalbano with the slightly more hirsute Michele Riondino title role.[great casting of the other members of his team too]

All of which brings us to the latest 'prequel' - Henning Mankell's lumbering, slow moving, but quick witted Swedish detective, Kurt Wallander appeared on our screens last week as Young Wallander.

Now there are problems here - Firstly, it's a bit like Poirot, or James Bond - when a number of actors have played a role, people have favourites. KW was Krister Henriksson, then Rolf Lassgard, then our own Kenneth Branagh did it in English. [Personally I like RL best] So depending on your preferred 'old' Kurt, you may or may not think the 'young' one [Adam Paisson] does him justice. But I thought he was excellent, and greatly enjoyed this series.

Problem 2 is that this is a British production - so like the new Van Der Valk, the cast are almost all Brits, with recognisable accents [Adam is Swedish though] But that's no great problem. [subtitles are tiring]

Problem 3 - this is the odd thing- the Wallander books were set in the nineties/noughties in the town of Ystad. So you'd expect this 'prequel' to be another 1970s retro production. Instead it is bang up to date contemporary in Malmo. I think you just have to forget this Kurt is going to grow up to be the other Kurt [whether KH, RL or KB] 

All of which led us to an interesting conversation over our meal the other night. My perfect Poirot is, of course, David Suchet. But if they did a Young Poirot given Ms Christie's vagueness about his age [birth between 1854& 1873] - as a young man, Hercule would be in Belgium at the time of King Leopold II [not a very nice chap imho] I think it would be hard to produce a convincing series - and who would play him? [Daniel Radcliffe is young, and only 5'4" tall] And as for a Young Jane Marple? The character first appeared, described as old, in 1927 - but Joan Hickson's TV series was set in the 1950s. So I imagine her to be in her 20s during WWI and inconveniently losing her true love in the Great War. Here's Clare Bradley, latest winner of the Great British Sewing Bee.

 Whilst I do not ever want her to give up her vital frontline role with the NHS and become an actor, I can just imagine her playing a younger Jane Marple  in the early 1930, feisty and intelligent - solving mysteries and generally being a wonderful friend to all, can't you?


  1. I much preferred the Young Montalbano to the older version though I wish they'd filmed it with more colour. Sicily is full of colour and bright sunshine but you didn't get that impression from watching the prog. I agree with your choice of Clare as a young Miss Marple. I'm sure I remember Margaret Rutherford playing Miss Marple (yes, I'm THAT old) or was that another character? Have a good weekend Angela and Bob.

  2. I agree about the colourful beauty of Sicily. And yes MR was Miss Marple once.

  3. Clare B. does look like a young Miss Marple! that would be fun.
    I do enjoy Endeavour, we're about to get that "Dutch" detective series starting this Sunday and I just got the notice from Netflix about Young Wallander so I think I will watch that over the weekend. I've only seen the Montalbano series when I was in the UK but would love to see both version - maybe they'll pop up in the future.

  4. I see that I need to watch more detective stories on TV! I am not familiar with any of the series you've mentioned!

  5. I remember when we didn't know what Morse's first name was! It was a big mystery! It was like knowing what my head teacher's middle name was. I've not actually seen any of these prequels although I do have the DVD OF the Young Sherlock Holmes film. Montelbano is the name of my Lush shampoo bar!
    I've read prequels of things.
    David Suchet is the only Poirot I accept!
    I've been watching the new James Herriot series on Channel 5!


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