Friday, May 26, 2006


In July of last year, I reprinted the news story about the concept of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' being adapted for French Television:

The French version of 'Criminal Intent', which will get its own native tongue title, should go into production with an eye toward a 2006 premiere on TF1. The scripts will be adapted from the original U.S. stories, though they will be transplanted to Paris and adjusted for language, culture and considerations of the Napoleonic Code. Producer Dick Wolf said that the absence of courtroom emphasis in 'Criminal Intent' made it ideal for this translation.

"For many years, 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent,' as well as 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,' has been a huge success for TF1,' says the French network's head of drama Takis Candilis. "Taking these unique characters created by Dick Wolf and adapting them for French viewers in primetime will enable a whole new, and much larger, audience to enjoy this great drama. We're sure that it's the beginning of a long story."

As it now turns out, TF1 is looking to 2007 to premiere their version of the show.

And then I went on to suggest that the characters of Detectives Goren & Eames should appear in an episode of this new adaptation to make it an official member of the 'Law & Order' family.

(Even better would have been to send Detective John Munch from 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', and I hope we all know why!)

Now comes word that the globalization of the 'Law & Order' franchise is spreading to Mother Russia:

Localized versions of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" are in preproduction in Moscow, and are scheduled to premiere this year on broadcaster NTV, their producers said Tuesday.

They initially will adapt the original U.S. scripts, taking into account language, culture and the local justice system.

"Realistically, both series travel better than the mother ship because the legal systems do vary in each country," said series creator Dick Wolf who has always believed that 'Law & Order' had great potential in its international variations.

I think this will be especially true with 'Criminal Intent', as Russia is already well-known for its detectives who have unique personalities, beginning with Inspektor Porfiry who was the inspiration for Lt. Columbo. (And Porfiry exists in Toobworld, - in several different TV dimensions! - thanks to his portrayal by Timothy West, Ben Kingsley, Fernando Baleroni, and Ian McDiarmid in adaptations of "Crime And Punishment".)

And as for 'Special Victims Unit', I think Russia has its own dark underbelly of crime and a show like this might help drag the real perpetrators of such horrors into the light.

Again, I'd like to suggest that the original characters from the American versions make crossover appearances on the Russian adaptations, once the shows are up and running. And Munch would be the most appropriate choice to send over - not just because I want to see him rack up more crossover appearances, but because (if I'm not mistaken) he comes from a Russian Jewish background.

But that's not up to me. I can only just hope that somebody brings this suggestion to the attention of the Powers That Be.


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