Monday, May 14, 2012



Edgar Allen Poe

George C. Scott

"Murders In The Rue Morgue"


TBD - possibly Earth Prime-Time (or alternate)

From Wikipedia:
Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin is a fictional detective created by Edgar Allan Poe. Dupin made his first appearance in Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841), widely considered the first detective fiction story. He reappears in "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" (1842) and "The Purloined Letter" (1844).

Dupin is not a professional detective and his motivations for solving the mysteries throughout the three stories change. Using what Poe termed "ratiocination", Dupin combines his considerable intellect with creative imagination, even putting himself in the mind of the criminal. His talents are strong enough that he appears able to read the mind of his companion, the unnamed narrator of all three stories.

Poe created the Dupin character before the word detective had been coined. The character laid the groundwork for fictitious detectives to come, including Sherlock Holmes, and established most of the common elements of the detective fiction genre.

Dupin is from what was once a wealthy family, but "by a variety of untoward events" has been reduced to more humble circumstances, and contents himself only with the basic necessities of life. He now lives in Paris with his close friend, the anonymous narrator of the stories. The two met by accident while both were searching for "the same rare and very remarkable volume" in an obscure library. This scene, the two characters searching for a hidden text, serves as a metaphor for detection. They promptly move to an old manor located in Faubourg Saint Germain. 

For hobbies, Dupin is "fond" of enigmas, conundrums, and hieroglyphics. He bears the title Chevalier, meaning that he is a knight in the Légion d'honneur. Dupin shares some features with the later gentleman detective, a character type that became common in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. He is acquainted with police prefect "G", who appears in all three stories seeking his counsel.

Dupin is portrayed as a dehumanized thinking machine, a man whose sole interest is in pure logic. This view of Dupin serves as a counterpoint to Poe's concept of perversity, introduced in "The Imp of the Perverse". This impulse embodies no reasoning and, in fact, urges people to act upon things in the opposite manner to what logic would suggest.

In "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", Dupin investigates the murder of a mother and daughter in Paris. He investigates another murder in "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt". This story was based on the true story of Mary Rogers, a saleswoman at a cigar store in Manhattan whose body was found floating in the Hudson River in 1841. Dupin's final appearance, in "The Purloined Letter", features an investigation of a letter stolen from the French queen. Poe called this story "perhaps, the best of my tales of ratiocination". Throughout the three stories, Dupin travels through three distinct settings. In "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", he travels through city streets; in "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt", he is in the wide outdoors; in "The Purloined Letter", he is in an enclosed private space.

Dupin is not actually a professional detective, and his motivations change through his appearances. In "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", he investigates the murders for his personal amusement, and to prove the innocence of a falsely accused man. He refuses a financial reward. However, in "The Purloined Letter", Dupin purposefully pursues a financial reward.

This is another example of a character who is also shared by the Wold Newton Universe, but the Toobworld Dynamic does not have the connections between Dupin and members of the Wold Newton Family.

Scott's portrayal was not the first English-language version; that honor goes to Edward Woodward for an episode of 'Detective' eighteen years earlier. However, this is more accessible and more expansive on the characterization, so I lean towards this trumping that earlier production and being the official televersion for Poe's detective in Earth Prime-Time.

As for the other portrayals, Daniel Gelin, Laurent Terzieff, and Pierre Vaneck - they can all be found in alternate TV dimensions in which the French held sway in world domination. (Surely, out of the thousands of alternate dimensions mentioned in 'Sliders', there had to be more than one in which the whole world spoke French.)

Gelin, being the first of the French actors to play the role, would be given supremacy in the main French TV dimension in which I place other TV shows from France. Terzieff and Vaneck, like Woodward, played the role in episodes of anthology series, whereas Scott and Gelin played Dupin in longer, more detailed productions. In fact, the argument could be made that since the story takes place in France, then Gelin's portrayal should be considered the true Dupin of Toobwoorld.  (I'd like to know your opinion on the subject.....)

The very first TV portrayal of Dupin was in 1954, in a German production with Walter Andreas Schwarz as the Chevalier. So that can be placed in the TV dimension in which the Germans conquered the world back in the 18th Century. And again, that was in only one episode of an anthology series.....

The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1986) (TV) Played by George C. Scott

"Histoires extraordinaires"
La lettre volée
 (1981) TV episode, Played by Pierre Vaneck (as Dupin)

"Les grands détectives"
Le Chevalier Dupin: La lettre volée 
(1974) TV episode, Played by Laurent Terzieff

Le double assassinat de la rue Morgue (1973) (TV) Played by Daniel Gélin (as Dupin)

The Murders in the Rue Morgue
 (1968) TV episode, Played by Edward Woodward

"Die Galerie der großen Detektive"
Auguste Dupin findet den entwendeten Brief 
(1954) TV episode, Played by Walter Andreas Schwarz


No comments: