Saturday, October 23, 2004

Miss Marple Will Be Delayed

From the BBC Online:

The latest incarnation of TV detective Miss Marple has been unveiled, with actress Geraldine McEwan stepping into the role of the determined sleuth.

ITV has adapted four Agatha Christie novels to give them a more modern feel and evolve the detective's character. The late author's estate has welcomed the modernised adaptations, hoping they will attract a new audience.

McEwan, 72, takes over from Joan Hickson, who died in 1998. "With Miss Marple, I feel that I have been entrusted with a national treasure of whom I already feel both protective and extremely fond," said McEwan. "I love Miss Marple and when I was asked to play her, I just felt it was - well it sounds a bit dramatic - but I thought it really was right that I was asked to play this part.

"I felt it was my destiny really, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. She is still evolving for me, and she's still becoming more things to me as I discover more about her," she added.

The new episodes, set in the 1950s, will reveal more of Miss Marple's past, showing the spinster did have a romantic side and a relationship in her younger days. She is also less judgemental than in her previous incarnations, and is depicted as an unshockable modern woman with many young friends.
Thanks to TV shows like 'Star Trek' and especially 'Sliders', we know there are alternate dimensions to the TV Universe (Earth Prime-Time).

One of these we have dubbed "Earth Prime-Time Delayed". On this version of TV Land, all of the TV shows, TV movies, and pilots which are later remakes of original series have been dumped, er, lumped together.

I'm not talking about reunion movies and specials like 'Rescue From Gilligan's Island' or the recent 'Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars'. Nor am I talking about shows that pick up in sequels where the original left off, like 'Lou Grant' or the ABC version of 'Columbo'.

'The Love Boat' set sail again in the late 1990s with an all new crew led by Robert Urich's Captain Kennedy. But a later episode definitely established that the cruise liner was in the same universe as the original series when many of the original cast showed up in their original roles.

All of the 'Star Trek' sequels are set in the same universe as the original series. 'Enterprise' is set 100 years or so in the past of James T. Kirk and crew, while all of the others follow the lead of 'The Next Generation' which is set about 75 years in the future of the original.

Earth Prime-Time Delayed is the world for all those shows who try to recreate the same characters, the same situations, and the same magic from an earlier show but with an all-new cast playing the original roles and usually updated to the current time frame, (if it's a modern series), rather than that of the original.

One exception to this would be 'Ponderosa'. All new actors played the same roles to be found in 'Bonanza', but it was a prequel about their early lives in the Nevada territory. So we can chalk up the differences in their appearances between both series to the effects of aging and life in general.

Just about every cinematic remake of a TV show would be relegated to the "Cineverse" with the exceptions of those that use the original casts and tie into the plots and history of the original series.

Those exceptions include:
'The X-Files: Fight The Future'
'Batman' (1966)
The entire 'Star Trek' movie franchise

But the movies of 'My Favorite Martian', 'Leave It To Beaver', 'Car 54, Where Are You?', 'Sgt. Bilko', 'M*A*S*H*', and 'The Addams Family Values' and even the Miss Marple movies of Margaret Rutherford? Grab the popcorn and the jujubes, it's Movie World!

Among the shows to be found on Earth Prime-Time Delayed are:
'87th Precinct'
'A.E.S. Hudson Street'
(which was known as 'Stat!' in the other dimension)
'The Untouchables'
'Dark Shadows'
'Battlestar: Galactica'
'The New Gidget'
'The New Addams Family'
'The New Monkees'

Coming soon:
'Lost In Space'

(Don't think the appellation of "New" in the title is a lock for placing a show on Earth Prime-Time Delayed. 'The New Leave It To Beaver' and 'The New Lassie' were actually continuations of the old series.)

And so now we can add Miss Marple to the inhabitants of Earth Prime-Time Delayed. And she is not the only British sleuth who will be found there. 'Dalgliesh' has already taken up residence there; soon to be followed by 'Hercule Poirot', 'Rumpole of the Bailey', and 'Inspector Morse'. And if we gave it some thought, I'm sure we could choose a version of 'Sherlock Holmes' to banish to that realm as well.


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